Farm to School Program Expands to Birchview Elementary | WJMN

ISHPEMING, Mich. (WJMN) — Students in kindergarten through fourth grade discovered their new garden space on Monday, September 12. This is the latest development of Partridge Creek Farm’s Farm to School program.

Each class gets two flowerbeds to plant, grow and learn whatever they want.

Emily Bateman is an in-school farm educator at Partridge Creek Farm. She started as an intern three years ago and continues to expand her role. The program started with 5th and 6th graders in Ishpeming and is now planting the seeds of agriculture even earlier.

“A big thing with outdoor education is that you want to empower kids. It is a space for them to learn for themselves, to experiment for themselves. So a great thing is to have an educated garden bed in every class. So they feel like they’re in control of that bed and they can tell what’s happening to it,” Bateman said.

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

On Monday, the students received their first farming lessons and were able to leave their mark by putting handprints in the paint outside the beds.

The gardens that classes begin will be maintained by Partridge Creek Farm during the summer with the help of summer camp students, and when the student returns in the spring, they will learn how to harvest, prepare and store the food they have cultivated.