Partridge Creek Farm announces Farm-to-School program expansion

North Central UP
Partridge Creek Farm office in Ishpeming on Main St.

Partridge Creek Farm office in Ishpeming on Main St.

ISHPEMING, Mich., (WJMN) – Partridge Creek Farm is a non-profit educational farm Ishpeming that is dedicated to improving local access to and education on healthy, sustainable food in order to build a healthy community. In 2020 they harvested and gave away 1592 lbs of fresh produce for free to 338 local community members as part of their Farm Fresh Fridays program.

Partridge Creek Farm’s cornerstone Farm-to-School program also saw success this year. 88% of their students reported trying a new vegetable and 70% reported liking a vegetable that they previously disliked.

With great momentum and results, Partridge Creek Farm is thrilled to announce their next steps in growing this vital youth program that involves a two-track, standards-aligned curriculum: food education in the elementary and middle school and an Agriculture Tech program in the High School. This comes in tandem to the planning and development of a 2-acre, inter-generational farm located on the new Jasperlite Senior Housing site next to Ishpeming School. Current partners include Ishpeming School District, Marquette Alger Regional Education Service Agency, 906-Central Region MiSTEM Network, Northern Michigan University, and Haan Development.

Farming is the ideal platform for engaging our children in healthy life habits and inspiring them with the notion of taking care of themselves, their community, and planet. The physical, emotional, and spiritual components of tending plants and the land they grow in brings insight into a child’s own place in the universe.

On one front we are battling a plague of alienation, depression, drug addiction, and suicide that is as deadly as Covid 19, and on another front, we are building local food systems for our own sustainability should global corporate agriculture cease to supply our sustenance.

Every year Partridge Creek Farm partners with the MQT Local Food Fest, put on by Taste the Local Difference, to raise awareness and funds for their programing. Due to the pandemic, the planning team has decided to refrain from holding an in-person event, instead focusing on a three weeklong social media campaign celebrating, honoring and connecting all links of the Upper Peninsula’s local food system, from farmers to eaters and everyone in-between.

“We couldn’t be more excited to focus this year’s fundraising efforts on this big news!” says Alex Palzewicz, the event’s lead coordinator. “The work of Partridge Creek Farm aligns directly with our event’s goal of inspiring youth to pursue and value careers in food and farming.”

You can support Partridge Creek Farm as they take this big next step by visiting their fundraising website, Palzewicz goes on, “we ask folks to give what they can, no dollar amount is too small. This is an investment in a healthier future for not only Ishpeming but the rest of the region as we educate future generations on the importance of real food.”

Check out the release video here:

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