UPHS-Portage Café Partners with Niemela’s Market Gardens for Fresh Local Produce

June 5, 2015

HANCOCK, Mich. – UP Health System - Portage has started a partnership with Niemela’s Market Gardens who will supply fresh local produce for the hospital’s café. The first delivery was made on Friday (June 5).

Niemela’s Market Gardens is located in Pelkie and started growing for market in 2008. They focus on naturally growing a number of vegetables, without the use of synthetic chemical fertilizers or pesticides.

"We are happy to partner with UP Health System - Portage to provide fresh, local, naturally-grown vegetables for their patients, staff, and visitors,” said James Niemela. “We appreciate the opportunity to broaden our market and share our produce with more residents of the Copper Country.”

Niemela’s Market Gardens grows lettuce, carrots, beets, chard, kale, summer squash, cucumbers, tomatoes, green onions, escarole, endive, leeks, green onions, cabbage, broccoli, and more. The Niemela’s use tunnels to extend the short growing season here in the Upper Peninsula.

“We’re really excited to be teaming up with Niemela’s Market Gardens,” said Shannon Brodeur, the Director of Food Services at UP Health System - Portage. “It’s always great when you can invest back into our community, and our patients, employees, and visitors will appreciate the fact that some of our produce will be coming from a local farm that uses natural techniques.”

The café at UP Health System - Portage is open Monday thru Friday from 7 a.m. – 7 p.m. It offers a full menu for breakfast (7-10 a.m.), lunch (11 a.m.-1:30 p.m.) and dinner (5-6:30 p.m.) along with a la carte and room service.