Phoenix Community Farm receives Strosacker grant

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Phoenix Community Farm strives to meet basic needs for fresh, healthy produce. They cultivate and share products, educate and empower our community to grow together in good health. The farm received a $ 10,000 grant from the Charles J. Strosacker Foundation for infrastructure and equipment expansion.

Through a growing collaboration with Windover High School, Phoenix Community Farm has gained access to an empty and vacant lot next to the Windover parking lot and transformed it into a vibrant one-acre farm to improve food security in County of Midland. Now, a grant from the Charles J. Strosacker Foundation is helping protect produce by providing funds for a taller, stronger fence to help keep wildlife out of the garden.


“We knew that replanting our community farm inside the town of Midland was going to require quite a bit of effort and expense. But the location next to Windover High School gave so many new people access to the farm and opportunities. to get involved, “said Beth De Vries, nurse practitioner and founder of Phoenix Community Farm. “We are so grateful to be part of a community that gave nearly 500 hours of volunteer work this spring to revitalize the property! And now having a perimeter fence to protect our plants and give the garden more structure will help us to breathe a lot easier during the growing season. “



This year, Phoenix Community Farm launched a new Adopt-a-Row program allowing community members to adopt a 3×35 foot plot to grow produce for the season. Participants can keep some of the produce for their household and donate the rest for community distribution. The 14 available rows were adopted quickly and the program was expanded to make room for 16 households and the Head Start preschool program later who wanted to learn how to grow their own food.

The Charles J. Strosacker Foundation of Midland was established in 1957 by the late Charles J. Strosacker, one of the pioneers of The Dow Chemical Co., “To aid and benefit the political subdivisions of the State of Michigan,, charitable, scientific or educational organizations.

Phoenix Community Farm serves the community by sharing produce through Arnold Center’s Midland Fresh mobile pantry and also through a produce stand in the Windover High School parking lot that is stocked Thursday mornings with fresh, healthy produce. The farm has also been able to share produce with the Windover High School summer students and will continue to share with the school in the fall.

“We are grateful to our students for having access to healthy, local foods through our collaboration with Phoenix Community Farm,” commented Marcella Mosqueda, Principal / Superintendent of Windover High School. “The fresh lettuce made a great addition to our summer lunch menu. We are excited about the continued district-wide farm access opportunities through our CTE Culinary Arts program.

Phoenix Community Farm will be the nonprofit organization’s flagship booth at the Midland Area Farmers Market on Wednesday, August 4. There are regular volunteer opportunities on the farm. For more information on how you can get involved with Phoenix Community Farm, visit www.phoenixcommunityfarm.com.


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