MARQUETTE, Mich. (WJMN) – Northern Michigan University’s grand ballroom was nearly filled to capacity as they hosted the 2023 U.P. Food Summit. The summit which brought together the best and the brightest in the world of food sustainability touched on virtually every aspect of the importance of quality, locally grown, and sustainable food sources. Alex Palzewicz, manager of the Northwoods Test Kitchen learned how diverse our local supply is.

“There are so many incredible things happening in our local food system and the community because there’s so much like what you just said there are so many different pieces to it,” Palzewicz said. “So it’s how does it get into the ground? How do we take care of it? How the science side but then there’s also the feeling side or like, who like, what are the issues when it comes to food access? You know, how do we make food more accessible? How do we get folks to have able to have the chance to be able to put their hands in the soil.”

Monday’s forum fostered a conversation on all the various components of a robust local food supply, from funding to harvesting, to consumption and, according to Alex, there is a lot to learn.

“There are so many incredible things happening. System community across the Upper Peninsula,” said Palzewicz.

Alex went on to say how important learning through face-to-face dialogue is in passing down information, both successes and failures, from those who have gone before us.

“Yes, you can read a book. You can watch a webinar from other people in the country, but it’s really vital that we learn from each other right here in our community,” said Palzewicz.

The 2023 food summit also included presentations on the importance of wild rice production, gaining grant money, and alternate growing environments, like hydroponics. For more information and how you can get involved, please go to: