by Maggie McCormick
When you think of summer, what is the first thing you think of? Warm weather, long days, and fresh fruit and vegetables are a few that come to mind. This summer is no exception! We are excited about the many farmers markets that are opening this week here in Salt Lake City.
Some of these markets are familiar summer sights (the Downtown Farmers Market has been around since 1992!), while others are just getting started (welcome Liberty Park Market!)
Courtesy 9th West Farmers Market.
Opening June 7-11
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 . . .
Blue Springs Farm at the market
Beets from BUG Farms
Pepper seedlings from Earth First Eco-Farms
Carrots from Earth First Eco-Farms
Apple trees in bloom at Pyne Farms
by Avery Driscoll
In February, the City announced a microgrant program for local farmers in partnership with Urban Food Connections of Utah (UFCU). The fund will offer the majority of funding to local farmers over a two year period who want to expand their operations with sustainability in mind. (UFCU will receive a small portion of the funds to administer and help grow the program).
The grants will help farmers access technology, education, tools, and equipment to grow more produce and do so more sustainably.
“We’re delighted to partner with Urban Food Connections of Utah to give farmers the critical boost they need to invest back in their operations,” said Mayor Biskupski.
The first of three grant cycles has just concluded. The program was competitive with 33 applicants requesting a total of $131,668.93 in microgrant funding. So while only a handful of awardees were chosen for this round, we know there is sizable demand for continued microgrant opportunities to support local farmers and the local food market. We hope to continue to work with UFCU to expand the program in the coming years to meet more of that demand.
So without further adieu . . . Read more
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
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 calculate and reduce your climate footprint!
Calculate & Reduce
The EPA calculator estimates your footprint in three areas: home energy, transportation, and waste. Everyone’s carbon footprint is different depending on their location, habits, and personal choices. https://www3.epa.gov/carbon-footprint-calculator/
Maybe you are very efficient with the energy usage in your home, but live far away from work so have to drive more. The calculator will give you a snapshot of your footprint and the “best bang for your buck” in how to reduce it.
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