Photo: Jennifer Leahy
Photo: Jeri Gravlin, 2015
Photo: Jeri Gravlin, 2015
Photo: Jeri Gravlin, 2015
New Roots participants work the soil and harvest greens on one of the IRC’s other farms.
You may remember our post last February, Salt Lake City Seeking Sustainable Farmers as part of the City’s initiative to provide more opportunities for local farmers to produce sustainable agriculture. Our goal with the Request for Proposals (RFP) for Urban Farming was to work with an area farmer or organization to convert a formerly-vacant 1.5-acre City plot into a productive oasis. In doing so, our aim was to strengthen the community, environment, and well-being of both farmers and nearby residents alike.
We’re thrilled to let you know that the International Rescue Committee was chosen!
The non-profit’s New Roots SLC program, which works with experienced refugee farmers, will transform the currently unused space adjacent to the Sorenson Unity Center into an organic, sustainable, and diversified vegetable farm.
The non-profit currently provides land, technical assistance, and market access for over 30 refugee farmers at other locations around the valley.
We’re pretty excited about this partnership. Here’s a bit more about how New Roots works . . .
It’s Earth Week!
Each day this week SLCgreen will post different tips and activities to challenge you to reduce your impact on the Earth.
Today, we are challenging you to grow your own food– whether that’s a pot of basil or something more ambitious.
April is the perfect time to think about planting seeds or starts and increasing your consumption of local food. Local food decreases the carbon emissions associated with food production and transport; preserves open space; supports local economies and wildlife; and so much more.
So what are you waiting for?
In the video above, Bryant Terry explains the benefits of farming in dense urban areas.
Growing food at home can be simple with the right tools – even in Utah. The first step toward growing your own food is assessing your resources. Do you have a yard space? Do you have sufficient sunlight or shade to fulfill plant needs? Do you have easy access to water on your property?
Answering these questions can help you decide if gardening onsite is best, or if you should look at other options in your area. Read more
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). Read more
Salt Lake City is proud to unveil a new grant program, offering $85,000 to spur local sustainable farming efforts.
Because just 3 percent of the fruits and 2 percent of the vegetables consumed by residents are grown in Utah, this program aims to support a more resilient local food system.
In partnership with Urban Food Connections of Utah—the non-profit affiliated with the Downtown Alliance– we’ll be granting money to farmers who want to expand their operations with sustainability in mind. Read more
Photo by Kyle Strayer
Mayor Jackie Biskupski commemorated the first season of the new Liberty Wells Community Garden on 1700 South and 700 East in a press conference with Wasatch Community Gardens and local gardeners on Tuesday, August 30th.
As the latest addition to Salt Lake City’s Green City Growers program, the Liberty Wells Garden is run by the non-profit Wasatch Community Gardens on city-owned land and provides plots for 44 gardeners to grow vegetables.
“Liberty Wells neighbors, including some of our newest resident refugee families, have come together to share knowledge and friendship, which produced this beautiful and sustainable garden,” Mayor Biskupski said. “We have put vacant land to good use while improving the community and good will at the same time.”
The Liberty Wells Garden broke ground in April, after site selection and approval from the city. The plot now has 44 gardeners, with a wait list of 29.
“We’ve been amazed to see the enthusiasm and positive energy put forth by the gardeners who make up our new Liberty Wells Community Garden,” said Ashley Patterson, Executive Director of Wasatch Community Gardens.
Britt Vanderhoof spends hours at the Liberty Wells garden each week. “As an avid gardener, I’ve enjoyed the health benefits of eating fresh, organic, locally grown food. But as much as I love the taste of food fresh from the garden, I have enjoyed even more seeing the community around the Liberty Wells Community Garden come together to help grow this amazing garden into what it is today.”
Salt Lake City’s Green City Growers Program began in 2013 to support local food production on city property. The city continues to evaluate parcels for potential garden sites as demand increases.
Salt Lake Tribune
For more information please visit:
What is Myrtle Spurge?
Myrtle Spurge (Class 2 Noxious Weed of Salt Lake County) grows in large, scattered colonies on our Open Space of Salt Lake City. So we are getting ready to start the yearly purge! This specific time of year is very significant to the plant’s reproduction. We must dig up these plants before their “flowers” (actually colorful bracts) produce seeds very soon. These seeds spread easily and this plant out-competes native species. Please check out our fact sheet about Myrtle Spurge HERE
How does the friendly competition work?
We will compare overall weights of Myrtle Spurge collected and bagged by each community. The winning Community Council will be given the annual title of “Top Myrtle Spurge Purger 2016” and some lucky group participants of that community council will receive prizes!
What will I need to bring/wear?
- You will need to wear long pants and long sleeved shirts, no open toed shoes and bring a shovel, re-fillable water bottle and snack if needed.
- Rubber (inexpensive dishwashing type) gloves are required when pulling spurge, bring your own from home, if you can. Or a pair will be provided.
- Due to the nature of Myrtle Spurge, no one under 12 will be able to participate in this event and a parent or guardian must accompany the child.
Did we mention to bring a shovel?
Saturday, May 7th
9 am to 12 pm
Each Community Council has been assigned an Open Space that is within your community or as close as possible. Your exact location can be found when registering for the event HERE
Don’t see your Community Council listed? Adopt one for the day or . . . . watch for Open Space’s Puncturevine Pull Party happening this summer!
Today Salt Lake City launches a new partnership with Healthy Babies Bright Futures (HBBF) to become one of the organization’s first cohort of Bright Cities. The Bright Cities program is designed specifically to help reduce or eliminate neurotoxic chemical exposures in children when they are most vulnerable.
Exposure to toxic chemicals is so widespread and the impacts on brain development are so severe that leading scientists and doctors call it “a silent epidemic.” When exposure to neurotoxic or “brain drain” chemicals is higher, so are incidences of ADHD, behavioral problems, cognitive delays, and low birth weight.
Studies also show that disproportionately high exposure to these chemicals is one important reason why children below the poverty line are more likely to have intellectual disabilities. While toxic chemicals are not the sole cause for these lifelong effects, they are among the most preventable.
“Through our partnership with Healthy Babies Bright Futures, Salt Lake City is making a commitment to improve the health of our children and our entire community,” says Mayor Jackie Biskupski. “The positive steps we take today to protect our children will last a lifetime and ensure a healthier and brighter future for all.”
Today Salt Lake City will begin phase one of the program, called the Beacon City phase. With support from HBBF, the City will complete an assessment of the current risks, priorities and opportunities related to neurotoxic chemical exposures. The City will also engage in a public process to educate the community and gather stakeholder input on a final plan to reduce or eliminate the impact of these dangerous chemicals on babies’ brains.
For more information on Salt Lake City’s involvement contact Bridget Stuchly at email@example.com or (801) 535-6438.
Healthy Babies Bright Futures is an alliance of non-profit organizations, philanthropies and scientists that designs and implements projects to reduce babies’ exposure to toxic chemicals during the most vulnerable and significant periods of development: in utero and from birth to age two. M.ore information at https://hbbf.org/