The 2019 Local Food Microgrant is Now Open for Farmers
Who doesn’t love getting food from our local farmers’ markets?
Shopping at local farmers’ markets is important for supporting our community as well as benefiting SLC’s surrounding environment. A few of our other favorite reasons include:
- The fruits and vegetables you buy are the freshest and tastiest available. All of the food is grown by the seller within a short radius, picked fresh, and brought to local markets.
- The SLC Downtown Farmers’ market only sells products that have been grown or hand raised by local farmers. This makes it easy to ask them what their farming practices are to make sure they align with your values.
- The incredible variety of healthy fruits and veggies is inspiring. Need information or recipes for something you have never tried before? Farmers often have recommendations for preparing their products and are more than happy to share their favorites.
- We are supporting family farmers! Buying directly from farmers gives them the valuable capital they need to keep operating and providing consumers with an alternative to mass-produced foods.
- Buying local supports the economy, keeping more of our dollars invested in the community.
Many of our local farmers are in business because they love it, but it’s a tough, physically-demanding job with tight financial margins.
Salt Lake City understands the value of healthy, local food as well as the benefit that farmers bring to our local community and economy.
That’s why we’re allocating a total of $75,000 in microgrant funding to assist local, small-scale farmers who want to expand their operations with sustainability in mind. The microgrant fund is one of SLCgreen’s Local Food programs aimed at helping achieve our goal of increasing overall access to fresh, healthy food for all members of the SLC community.
Local Food Microgrant Fund
In 2017, Salt Lake City launched the Local Food Microgrant Program with Urban Food Connections of Utah, the non-profit organization that runs the Downtown Farmers Market, Rio Grande Winter Market, and Tuesday Harvest Market.
There have been three funding cycles so far (check out round 1 and round 2 recipients via the links and round 3 listed below). We’re excited to allocate the last $30,000 this year for a total of $75,000.
“Our goal is to increase the amount of healthy, locally-grown, organic food available in Salt Lake City,”
Mayor Jackie Biskupski
The grant program allows area farmers to apply for funds to access technology, education, tools, and equipment to grow more organic local produce.
A few examples of what the microgrant has helped pay for:
- Building hoop houses or greenhouses to extend the growing season
- Installing waterwise drip irrigation systems
- Increasing storage capabilities
- Installing solar panels
- Purchase of organic seed
- Continuing education for farmers
- Sponsorship of labor costs for interns and apprentices
Grant Applications are Open Now!
Approximately $30,000 is available through this final funding round of this grant. The minimum grant request is $500 and the maximum grant request is $5,000. Grant applications are due by February 16, 2019, and will be awarded by March 16, 2019.
To qualify for this grant, applicants must be an existing small-scale commercial farm that produces primarily fruits and vegetables without the use of chemical inputs. Click here to get started on your application!
Funding Round Three includes:
Pomona Produce used their microgrant funding to install a drip irrigation system. They used funds to convert their old overhead sprinkler system to an efficient and easy to use drip irrigation system that conserves precious water.
Top Crops Urban Farm used their microgrant funding to purchase equipment to trellis and prune tomatoes. This allowed them to harvest earlier, extended their harvest season, and increase the number of tomato plants they grew.
3 Squares Produce microgrant funding was used to hire 4 additional staff to help harvest during the 2018 growing season.
Murray Market Gardens/Solstice Spices used their microgrant funding to install two high tunnels that extend their growing season to continue all year.
Dog Holler Produce (formerly Ranui Gardens) their microgrant funding to purchase new equipment and tools. The new equipment and tools allowed them to open more land, increase production, and extend their growing season.
Intermountain Gourmet used their microgrant funding to purchase new shelving for fruiting mushrooms, built more storage, and employed two apprentices.