Although this has been a challenging year in many ways, Partridge Creek Farm is growing and thriving. We are having a hugely successful year on many fronts. So as the snow flies and our gardens are tucked in for the winter, we want to take a moment to “THANK YOU” for your continued support and share some very special updates.
Our Farm to School program has proven to be exactly the kind of education children need during this time of isolation. By working in the gardens, we get the kids away from their desks, out of their masks, and into hands-on experiential education. 88% of our students in our fall farm to school program reported trying a NEW vegetable. 70% reported liking a fresh vegetable that they previously thought they disliked. 62% reported "liking" or "LOVING" fresh salad. All the students participated in growing and harvesting these vegetables and when the school was shut to the students for Covid-19 isolation, 100% reported that they missed our Farm to School program most above all else in their school experience.
Our Farm Fresh Fridays Program was initiated this year. We distributed 1592.18 pounds of our freshly harvested food to 338 Ishpeming residents for free. We are now engaging our students in Farm to School in this program so that they can work and bring home fresh food to their families. We did all this with the help of our NMU interns and special volunteers who clocked over 2000 hours with us this year.
Our Resiliency Garden Bed Project put 24 raised bed gardens in the hands of local residents this Spring and was so successful that most of the people who purchased one have expressed interest in buying another one for their yard next year. Eagle Mine provided funding to sponsor 5 families in need with free beds for their yards.
Our weekly Great Lakes Recovery Youth Services collaboration continues to have a deep impact on kids in addiction recovery. We have grown, harvested and prepared hundreds of pounds of fresh food on the GLRC campus with these students and helped them discover healthier ways of self-medicating with food.
The momentum of this vital food movement is growing in Ishpeming and we are thrilled to share some exciting news: this winter we will begin plans for a 2-acre, inter-generational farm next to Ishpeming School and the Jasperlite Senior Housing. This site will be the foundation of an elevated and expanded Farm-to-School and Ag Tech program, in partnership with Ishpeming School District, MARESA, MiSTEM, NMU, GA HAAN and more. We are calling it, “Growing Future Farmers, Eaters, and Leaders”.
Friends, there has never been a more important time to invest in our food system and our communities health. We invite you to join the movement, whether it is donating a Resiliency Garden Bed to a family in need, Sponsoring a Farm-to-School Class or investing in the plans of “Growing Future Farmers, Eaters, and Leaders” curriculum no gift is too small to make great change today. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for your continued support—it means the world to our kids and community.
-Your Friend, Dan Perkins
We are an educational farm located in Downtown Ishpeming that is dedicated to improving local access to fresh produce, building a healthy community, and promoting education on sustainable food systems. Partridge Creek Farm will collaborate to build a food system that is socially responsible while being environmentally and economically sustainable.
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Programs & Projects
Incubator Farm Garden Site
In partnership with Grace Episcopal Church.
Our first big community-driven project in downtown Ishpeming. Hundreds of volunteers from the community came together to help us construct our first Incubator Farm where we keep raised beds, a hoop house, bee hives and a brand new invention - the Yoopertopia Greenhouse.
In partnership with Aaren Joki of Metsami Creations.
Our compost program is championed by fellow board member, Aaren Joki, in partnership with Metsami Creations. We collect food waste from Ishpeming public schools, local restaurants and other businesses and put our worms to work! We now have high quality vermicompost available for sale at Partridge Creek Farm.
Inspiration Orchard Garden Site
In partnership with Ishpeming's Inspiration Zone.
The Inspiration Orchard is one of our newer projects, constructed in 2019 by hundreds of volunteers throughout the community. The orchard is located on the corner of North & York streets in Ishpeming and contains apple, plum, cherry, pear, crab apple and silver maple trees, as well as a wide variety of different berries.
Ishpeming Schools Garden Site
In partnership with Ishpeming Public Schools.
Elk's Lodge Garden Site
In partnership with the Elk's Lodge of Ishpeming.
In 2017 we formed a partnership with the Elk's Lodge in Ishpeming and they allowed us to build a new garden site on their land. In addition to our traditional raised garden beds we also decided to experiment with Hugelkultur in this space. Hugelkultur are no-dig raised beds with a difference. They hold moisture, build fertility, maximise surface volume and are great spaces for growing fruit, vegetables and herbs.
Carpet Specialists Garden Site
In partnership with Carpet Specialists of Ishpeming.
On Earth Day in 2017, Carpet Specialists allowed us to build a garden site on land adjacent to their building. Over a hundred volunteers from local businesses and the community showed up to help us on Earth Day. The old mining truck and towers behind this garden site make for a beautiful scene for cars driving into downtown Ishpeming from the highway.
Maple Syrup Program
In partnership with Great Lakes Recovery Centers.
We're very proud of our partnership with the Ishpeming Great Lakes Recovery Center. One of our most successful programs with GLRC has been the maple syrup program, where we take residents into the forest surrounding their complex to tap trees and collect sap, and we help them process our harvest into maple syrup. This year the residents put on a delicious pancake breakfast for everyone using the fruits of their labor!
"Farm Fridays" Daycare Program
In partnership with Roots & Wings Daycare.
Farm Fridays is a brand new program we're implementing in partnership with Roots & Wings Daycare of Ishpeming. We'll take field trips to our garden sites and teach the children about what it means to grow food for yourself and be self-reliant. We also plan to help them build a raised garden bed on their property, where the children will be able to maintain and watch their plants grow.
Dan's Garden Site
The genesis of Partridge Creek Farm.
Where it all began. Many years ago Dan Perkins began gardening in his backyard has a hobby. Over time the garden grew and eventually attracted some attention. Dan began to notice more and more neighborhood children wandering into his yard asking if they could help him in his garden. The children would leave and come back again with more friends. It was here where an idea was born - Partridge Creek Farm.