Salt Lake City Seeking Sustainable Farmers
Salt Lake City has a unique opportunity to help maintain Salt Lake City’s agricultural heritage. We are currently seeking applications from farmers to grow fruits and vegetables on over 1.5 acres of City owned land adjacent to the Sorenson Unity Center at 1333 South 800 West and south of the Cannon Greens Community Garden.
The goal is to have a farm in operation this growing season.
The farmer selected to grow produce on the land must use sustainable methods, including drip irrigation. Toxic chemicals, chemical pesticides, herbicides, and synthetic fertilizer use are not allowed.
In addition to selling as much produce as possible at local Salt Lake City markets, stores, or restaurants, the farm will also have a farm stand that accepts Food Stamp EBT (electronic benefit transfer).
“We expect this local farm, like community gardens around the City, to become a positive part of the surrounding neighborhood,” said Mayor Jackie Biskupski. “By encouraging the production of organic fruits and vegetables in the City, and ensuring they are accessible to people from all walks of life, we are promoting health and working to end food deserts in our communities.”
As documented in Salt Lake City’s 2013 Community Food Assessment, Salt Lake City has lost almost all of its agricultural land, while the average age of farmers in Utah has risen to 57. Furthermore, just 3 percent of the fruits and 2 percent of the vegetables consumed by local residents are grown in Utah.
“We need to focus on preserving existing agricultural lands in the region and get more creative with how and where we grow food within the city,” said Bridget Stuchly, Program Manager for the Department of Sustainability, who oversees Salt Lake City’s food programs. “By doing so, we can expand opportunities for young farmers interested in making a livelihood out of growing food.”
Lisa Shaffer, Director of the Department of Public Services, also helped facilitate the project. “Because access to land is a large barrier for new farmers,” she said, “the City is looking at suitable plots we could make available and this location was a natural fit.”
Interested parties may view the RFP by:
1) Searching for “Small Plot Urban Farming” at this link. 2) Click on the PDF icon. 3) In the PDF, scroll down and click “Request for Proposal document” under Buyer Attachments.
Proposals will be accepted through 3:00 pm on Wednesday, March 1.