ISHPEMING, Mich. (WJMN) – Students from kindergarten through fourth grade were introduced to their new garden space on Monday, Sept. 12. It’s the latest development in the Farm to School program from Partridge Creek Farm.

Each grade gets two gardens bed to plant, grow, and learn whatever they want from it.

Emily Bateman is the Farm to School Educator with Partridge Creek Farm. She started as an intern three years ago and continues to expand her role. The program started with 5th and 6th grade students in Ishpeming and is now planting the seeds of agriculture even earlier.

“A big thing with outdoor education is you want to give kids autonomy. This is a space for them to learn on their own, to experience on their own. So a big thing is having a garden bed educated to each class. So they feel like they have control over this bed and they get to say what happens to it,” said Bateman.

The beds are the result of hard work by the Ishpeming Lions, support from Dan Perkins Construction, and plenty of volunteers. They built 12 raised garden beds on Sunday.

On Monday, the students got their first lessons about farming and were able to leave their mark by putting hand prints in paint on the outside of the beds.

The gardens the classes start will be maintained by partridge Creek Farm over the summer with the help of summer camp students, and when the student return in the spring, they will learn to harvest, prepare and preserve the food they have grown.