EARTH FOCUS

Local food and health fair held in Ishpeming

Dan Perkins, farm director at Partridge Creek Farm, lays raspberry bushes out to be planted by volunteers in the community berry patch located at the Elks Club in Ishpeming on Monday. (Journal photo by Corey Kelly)

MARQUETTE — Earth Day is the time to focus on the planet and, in turn, focus on our health.

Partridge Creek Farm’s annual Local Foods & Health Fair Earth Day celebration took place at the Elks Club in Ishpeming Monday afternoon. Partridge Creek Farm and multiple community organizations came together to talk about local food, self-care practices and sustainability.

“The tolerance for our pollution is coming to a head,” said Dan Perkins, Partridge Creek Farm’s director. “We’ve got to get sustainable ways of existing, so this is a collaboration of all those people who do that.”

A few organizations in attendance included the Downtown Marquette Farmers Market, Queen City Seed Library, Michigan State University North Farm, Peninsula Solar, Grow and Lead: Community Youth Development, Marquette-Alger Regional Educational Service Agency, Marquette County Conservation District, Start the Cycle, Upper Peninsula Power Co. and more.

“We feel that there’s plenty of people on the side of the light who are working towards good outcomes,” Perkins said.

To promote healthy living MARESA gave out smoothie samples made from banana, plain yogurt, spinach, berries and mango juice. Partridge Creek Farm also set up a transplanting station inside, allowing attendees to get their hands in the dirt and experience gardening.

Student Reece Sharland, 15, helped transplant tomato and pepper plants. He said the event was a “good youth activity” and that he and his friends liked helping out last year, so they decided to come back again this year.

Rather than physical swag, Perkins wants attendees to leave the event with a certain feeling.

“I hope they take away hope,” Perkins said. “That they see kids working and aware of the issues that face us and that they realize that there’s many organizations working towards sustainability and a healthy world, healthy planet.”

During a free healthy meal prepared by event volunteers, participating organizations were invited to speak about their group or business and how it’s working toward a sustainable, healthy future.

The event concluded outside with a planting activity. Attendees were invited to help get 450 raspberry bushes planted in a community berry patch on the Elks Lodge property.

For more information about Partridge Creek Farm, visit www.partridgecreekfarm.org.

Corey Kelly can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 243.