From Farmshed Press Release, November 20, 2014
Central Rivers Farmshed and the Boys and Girls Club of Portage County Gateway Report Center have enjoyed a unique partnership over the past few years. When Farmshed took on their
downtown renovation project at the former Sorenson’s Garden Center, the Gateway Report Center was looking for more community service partners. When the two organizations found each other, it was a perfect fit. The teens started helping with construction and clean up projects, specifically at the Farmshed facility throughout the school year. Then in 2013, Farmshed worked with Gateway staff to introduce the teens to several farmer partners, on Tuesdays during the summer, when more program hours were available.
Farmshed’s farm partners included: Cutler Country Comfort, The Sand Box, Rose of Sharon Homestead, Nami Moon Farms, Whitefeather Organics, Lonely Oak Farm, Liberation Farmers, and Painted Rock Farms. When the teens arrived, they assisted with large projects that gave them a glimpse into life on small, diversified farms. These projects included but were not limitedto composting, planting trees and shrubs, feeding animals, pulling thistle and, of course, weeding vegetable plots.
To round out this season’s partnership, the teens went to Whitefeather Organics to choose a turkey for their Thanksgiving feast set for November 20. The turkey was donated by the
Whitefeathers (Tony, Laura, Siris, Ashae, and Indie) and community members, Kent and Sue Hall. During the teens’ visit to the farm, just two days before the dinner, they went into the pasture
and together captured a suitably sized bird. Afterwards they learned from Tony and Laura Whitefeather the process of raising birds on pasture based systems, how to butcher a turkey, and
about poultry’s anatomy. The teens were amazed that turkeys eat grit and pebbles; storing them in their crops before passing the debris to their gizzards. The turkey’s gizzard helps to
grind their food, since turkeys don’t have teeth. For many of the teens, this was an eye opening way to learn how food, like Thanksgiving turkeys, reach our plates.
This partnership between Farmshed and Gateway has been great for many reasons. We look forward to seeing it grows in years to come. Partnerships like these help teens become part of
their community, teaches them how food is raised, and it involves hard work in all aspects. Everyone involved has much to be thankful for…Happy Thanksgiving from Farmshed and the
Gateway Report Center.