Sunday, October 19, 2014

Did you know we have a community garden?

            The idea for the Community Garden was brought to life by its founder Pete Conover, who, in 2013, won a $500 scholarship to Snow College. He used these funds to get the project started.
 “I grew up here in Sanpete County in the 70s and 80s and we always had chickens, pigs, cows and fresh vegetables from the garden.  I didn't realize how lucky I was until I moved away because everywhere else that type of food is 'organic' or 'natural', and expensive.  We were cash poor but food and nutrition rich.  I would like that to be every child's legacy here in Sanpete; healthful, nutritious food that is readily available to them.  I think it's odd that we buy so much of our food from the store, where it is shipped from hundreds or thousands of miles away using industrial chemicals, irradiation and preservatives to get it here, when we have all of this farmland at our disposal.  I'd like to help change that.”
                Pete aims to educate people on gardening, and to provide for many in the community, and anyone can volunteer or join in with the fun! To get involved, you can adopt a 4x12 plot, or volunteer 2 hours of labor to the garden. This will provide you with water, seeds, and access to tools.  You can also accrue hours working in the garden which you can cash in for veggies at harvest time. The garden also has multi-family plots where you can work with other families. Each family works one day a week in the garden to to maintain it, and then the harvest is shared among the families. The garden also has a local farmers market, so if you are strapped for time, you can still have access to the local bounty, and purchase veggies there. Even if you don’t need a garden plot yourself, but you’d like to help there is always room for you to donate or volunteer!
                The garden takes year round effort, and even today, they are getting ready to start the plan for next year! The plans so far include the completion of a green house, the planting of a ‘food forrest’ (A free area that everyone has access to), the creation of a multi-family garden area, and the planting of quinoa. Pete would also like to have a permanent farmers market store established along with a community kitchen. The Kitchen is for helping people start up their own cottage industry food business, such as canning, baking, and cooking.
                USU has generously provided a grant to buy equipment and will be providing classes on nutrition and cooking at the store house and the Co-Op, and the Ephraim Co-Op is providing their commercial grade kitchen for use. The kitchen will give an opportunity to many who’s kitchens may not pass inspection, or for those who do not have access to the equipment. It fits in perfectly with the Garden’s mission of making local, nutritious food easily accessible to everyone. Details for the classes will be posted to the Facebook Page once they are available!
             The garden also hosted their first annyual Harvest Party here at Ephraim Square. It was quite the vent with locals bringing fresh produce for sale, and a dinner was offered. I have a few pictures of the Party Below!
             For anyone seeking more information about the community garden, there is a Facebook page dedicated to the project! 

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