FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 22, 2018
Salt Lake City and Urban Food Connections Announce Round Three of Funding for Local Food Microgrant Program
BUG Farms, a recipient of the first funding round from the Local Food Microgrant Program.
Applications are now open for local commercial farmers to seek assistance in expanding their operation and production of more organically-grown fruits and vegetables.
Salt Lake City launched the Local Food Microgrant Program in February 2017 in partnership with Urban Food Connections of Utah, the non-profit organization that runs the Downtown Farmers Market, Rio Grande Winter Market and Tuesday Harvest Market. The Salt Lake City Council, on the recommendation of the Administration and its Sustainability Department, in 2016 set apart $85,000 to initially fund the program.
The program offers funding to local farmers who want to expand their operations with sustainability in mind. The grants help farmers access technology, education, tools and equipment to grow more sustainable produce.
“Our goal is to increase the amount of healthy, locally-grown, organic food available in Salt Lake City,” said Mayor Jackie Biskupski. “By providing small grants to farmers, we are also supporting local, ecologically sustainable agriculture and the City’s economy.”
The third funding round is now open and will award $15,000. The microgrant program has so far generated substantial interest among small-scale commercial farmers. Read more
This week, SLCgreen FruitShare partner The Green Urban Lunch Box and Mountain West Hard Cider are inviting volunteers to help press locally harvested apples into the second edition of The Green Urban Lunch Box Hard Cider.
The collaboration between the local non-profit and local business began last year and was a natural solution to the problem of what to do with fruit that’s not high enough quality for eating or donating, but is perfect for juice. What a creative way to minimize food waste!
Harvesting about 9,000 pounds of fruit from 50 various locations across the Salt Lake Valley and even a bit beyond, The Green Urban Lunch Box pressed approximately 350 gallons of juice in 2016. A crew of six staff members and two faithful volunteers spent two 12-hour days pressing apples, while almost 400 volunteers put in more than 1,500 hours to pick fruit that contributed to this juice.
Eat Local Week is back! This fun week, sponsored by a variety of groups including Salt Lake City, is dedicated to helping you eat more local food.
This year there are a number of events that will get you into the local food spirit including lectures, workshops, and even a challenge: Can you eat every meal with food grown or produced in Utah this week?
Food that is produced locally is inherently more sustainable and this event series is a good reminder to take a look at your food habits and consider where your food comes from.
Here’s why it matters: Read more
The Urban Greens Market is back for its second year!
by Terra Pace
The program which began in partnership with The Green Urban Lunchbox, Utahns Against Hunger, and Utah Community Action Program’s Real Food Rising has returned to provide fresh, affordable produce to the Glendale and Poplar Grove communities.
If you love local produce and supporting the local food system, make sure pay a visit to the Urban Greens Mobile Market and tell your friends!
Come Visit the Market
Beginning July 10th the mobile market will be open at these locations and times:
What is the Urban Greens Market?
The Urban Greens Market was started in 2016 to help increase the availability of local and sustainable produce in low access areas of Salt Lake City. Community members in these areas struggle to find fresh fruits, vegetables, and whole foods as a result of a lack of or insufficient grocery stores and fresh food markets in their neighborhoods.
Last year, the five different sites within walking distance of low access neighborhoods hosted the Urban Greens Market and provided fresh produce to over 900 customers. Over 6,832 pounds of produce was sold and 69% of customers reported eating more fruits and vegetables after shopping at the market. Read more
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
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