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Posts from the ‘Sustainable Food’ Category

Microgrant Recipients Announced! What are these Local Farmers Doing to Grow their Operations This Year?

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

Earth Week Day 3: Grow Your Own Food

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

Earth Week Day 2: Calculate Your Carbon Footprint & Reduce It

Carbon Footprint

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.

Read more

Salt Lake City Seeking Sustainable Farmers

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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

Launch of Local Food Microgrant Fund

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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

Mayor Biskupski Joins 32 Mayors to Urge Climate Action in Letter to President-elect Trump

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Salt Lake City Climate Warming at Twice the Global Average; Continues to Break Temperature Records

In a show of broad cooperation and commitment to addressing one of the most pressing needs of our time, Mayor Jackie Biskupski on Tuesday joined 32 other mayors from cities around the United States in asking President-elect Donald Trump to work with cities, rather than obstruct their efforts, to mitigate climate change over the coming years.

“We write today to ask for your partnership in our work to clean our air, strengthen our economy, and ensure that our children inherit a nation healthier and better prepared for the future than it is today,” the letter stated.

Mayors of cities as diverse as Dubuque, IA; Columbia, SC; Los Angeles, CA; New York, NY; Charlotte, NC; and more, representing over 35 million citizens in both red and blue states, signed on to the letter.  Together, they reiterated the grave risks to our nation’s economy, public health, infrastructure, and environment by failing to reduce emissions.

“Each month, we see a new heat record breaking for the Salt Lake City area,” said Mayor Jackie Biskupski. “Climate change is real. It’s impacting our communities right now. And we’re calling for the President-elect to join with us to ensure a livable future for our children.”

This summer, Salt Lake City had 21 consecutive days over 95 degrees, the warmest nighttime low ever recorded at 81 degrees, and the warmest June since 1874. This summer, the capital city also broke 3 high maximum records, 14 high minimums, and 17 total heat records.

More recently, Salt Lake City broke the record for the latest frost date.  After 242 days, on November 17, 2016, the airport finally hit 32 degrees—setting another record for the number of consecutive days above freezing.

Local bodies of water have also suffered.  In mid-July, a toxic algal bloom on Utah Lake—caused, in part, by high water temperatures and low water levels—closed the lake, sickened more than 100 people, and put dozens of farmers in Utah and Salt Lake counties in a bind during one of the hottest weeks of the year.

Emergencies like this are not just inconvenient; they cost cities, private citizens, state agencies, and businesses money. The coalition cited a recent estimate that the monetary cost to the American economy of climate change will be upward of $500 billion annually by 2050.

Knowing these risks, Salt Lake City is already taking aggressive action to reduce emissions.  Earlier this year, Mayor Biskupski and the City Council passed one of the most aggressive energy policies in the nation, pledging to source 100 percent of Salt Lake City’s community-wide electricity needs from renewables by 2032, and pledging to reduce overall carbon emissions by 80 percent by 2040.

In the days since the Presidential election, Mayor Biskupski repeated Salt Lake City’s commitment to overall environmental sustainability and emissions reductions. “As a city warming at twice the global average in recent decades, while also suffering from poor wintertime and summertime air, we must lead by example. Nothing is more important than the air we breathe–and, knowing we have as many inhalers as lunch boxes in our city schools, we do not have time to waste.”

The letter furthermore calls for leadership from the Trump administration on everything from transit, infrastructure, and renewable energy to the Paris Climate Agreement, and urges cooperation with cities on those fronts.

However, as the mayors conclude: “While we are prepared to forge ahead even in the absence of federal support, we know that if we stand united on this issue, we can make change that will resonate for generations. We have no choice and no room to doubt our resolve. The time for bold leadership and action is now.”

The letter to President-elect Trump was signed by member cities of the Mayors Climate Action Agenda (MNCAA), or the #ClimateMayors, and can be viewed here: http://www.climate-mayors.org/our-letter-to-the-presidentelect-november-2016/

Mayor Biskupski and local gardeners celebrate Liberty Wells Community Garden’s first harvest

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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.

News stories:

Salt Lake Tribune

Deseret News

For more information please visit:

http://www.slcgreen.com/communitygardens