Area schools promote local food

By Michigan Land Use Institute

With asparagus spears and rhubarb stalks poking up above the ground, schools throughout northwest Lower Michigan are spending their last weeks of school capping off a big year of celebrating and serving locally grown food.

This, in turn, offers a number of opportunities for compelling in-school photos and video of the local Farm to School celebration. These media opportunities include:

Leelanau County
Wednesday, May 23: 10:50 a.m. – 12:10 p.m. Northport Public Schools, grilled asparagus for lunch at the school picnic.

Wednesday, May 23: Stir-fry asparagus for lunch at Suttons Bay Public Schools.

Wednesday, May 23: Bardenhagen Blackberries for Waffle Wednesdays.

Tuesday, May 29: Stonehouse Bread sandwich bar or Wellness Wraps with local 9 Bean Rows lettuce and mustard; and an asparagus dish.

Suttons Bay and Northport Cooking & Garden Activities
More info:, 551-427-8630

Tuesday, May 15, 3-6 p.m., Suttons Bay High School: SEEDS Good Grubs Farm & Cooking Club will be cooking up some healthy meals using some of Michigan’s most delicious Spring produce: Rhubarb and asparagus!

Thursday, May 17, 9 a.m. – 1:45 p.m., Suttons Bay Schools: Hosting Inland Seas Project Greenagers for a day of hands-on environmental stewardship, service projects, and hands-on dirty work! Teenagers will be helping out at the Suttons Bay School gardens for the day, learning about compost, gardening, and taking care of our soil while building a compost bin system, planting seeds, and building trellis structures.

Thursday, May 17, 3-5 p.m., Northport School after school program: Out in the school garden!

Monday-Tuesday, May 21-22, 3-6 p.m., Suttons Bay High School: SEEDS Good Grubs Farm & Cooking Club in the school gardens for the afternoon.

Tuesday, May 22, 2-3 pm, Suttons Bay High School: Healthy Cooking Class, learning about herbs and cooking with them

Thursday, May 24, 12:15 – 2:30 p.m., Northport School: Planting seeds in the school garden with elementary school students.

Tuesday, May 29, 8:15 to 9:15 a.m., Northport School: Planting transplants and seeds with Mr. Martin’s middle school science class in the school garden.

Wednesday, May 30, 12 – 1 p.m., Northport School: Planting herb transplants and edible flowers in the school garden with 2nd grade class.

Thursday, May 31, 12:30 – 1:15 p.m., Northport School: Planting Three Sisters Garden in school garden with 3rd grade class.

Antrim County
Wednesday, May 16: Roasted asparagus from Bolt Farm for lunch at Central Lake Elementary.

Thursday, May 31, 11:20 a.m. – 12:20 p.m., Central Lake Elementary, asparagus at the school picnic.

Benzie County
Tuesday, May 15: Asparagus for lunch, Platte River Elementary School, Honor.

Tuesday, May 22, 10:45 a.m. – 11:45 a.m.: Chef Susan Mundt from the Northern Michigan Culinary Arts Community (NMCAC) will come to Frankfort Elementary School in a Chefs Move to Schools initiative in partnership with the Michigan Land Use Institute’s FoodCorps program. Activity: Teaching students how to make a frittata filled with local ingredients including Cream Cup Dairy milk, farm-fresh eggs, and Michigan asparagus. During the cooking, students also will learn about volume and fractions for a fun, hands-on way of learning math.

Tuesday, May 29: Farm field trip planned for Frankfort Elementary School students. Contact Daniel Marbury, FoodCorps Service Member, at 770-653-3805 for details.

Wednesday, May 30: Chef Jim Barnes of Northern Michigan Culinary Arts Community (NMCAC) will visit Platte River Elementary in Honor as part of the Chefs Move to Schools initiative in partnership with the Michigan Land Use Institute’s FoodCorps program. Contact Daniel Marbury, FoodCorps Service Member, at 770-653-3805 for an update on time and theme.

Grand Traverse County
Thursday, May 17: Asparagus stir fry tasting at Interlochen Elementary School.

Wednesday, May 23: Asparagus for lunch: all TCAPS schools.

Wednesday, May 30: Asparagus for lunch, all TCAPS schools.

Please be advised:

Lunches in schools generally are served from 11:30 – 1 p.m., but reporters should call the schools first to make media arrangements.

Other contacts are:
• Daniel Marbury for Central Lake, Platte River Elementary, Frankfort Elementary, Interlochen Elementary, and Suttons Bay and Northport lunchroom, picnic, classroom, and tasting activities., 770-653-3805
• Kirsten Gerbatch for Suttons Bay and Northport school garden activities., 551-427-8630
• Dorothy Sirrine for Leland Public School activities, 231-946-4199, 301-938-9708,
• Gary Derrigan, food service, Traverse City Area Public Schools, 231-933-1911
• Sam Hybels, Glen Lake Community Schools, 231-334-3061 ext. 503
• Diane Conners, MLUI & Leelanau Learning Circle, 231-499-3937.

About the Institute
The Michigan Land Use Institute is an independent, nonprofit research, educational, and service organization founded in 1995. More than 3,000 households, businesses, and organizations have joined the Institute in support of its mission to establish an approach to economic development that strengthens communities, enhances opportunity, and protects Michigan’s unmatched natural resources.