With farmers markets across the area in full swing, Salt Lake City is pleased to announce that a second round of funding is open for local farmers through the Local Food Microgrant Program.
The program, first announced in February, is in partnership with Urban Food Connections of Utah and offers support to area farmers who want to expand their operations with sustainability in mind. The grants will help them access technology, education, tools, and equipment to grow more produce and do so more sustainably.
“Our local farmers add so much to our community, as anyone who has visited one of our nearby markets can attest. Quite literally we are nourished by the fruits of their labor every day and we want to support their endeavors,” said Mayor Jackie Biskupski. “The City also believes in increasing the amount of healthy, small-scale, sustainably-grown food available to Salt Lake City residents. Helping farmers make their operations more sustainable also keeps the land and soil healthy for generations to come.”
In the first grant cycle, the program was competitive with 33 applicants requesting a total of $131,668.93 in microgrant funding.
“We were overwhelmed by the interest we saw in the first round,” says Alison Einerson of Urban Food Connections of Utah, “There is clearly a sizable demand for continued microgrant opportunities to support local farmers and we look forward to working with the City to continue to grow the program in the coming years to meet more of that demand.”
The second round of the Local Food Microgrant Program will accept applications until August 25, 2017. For more information on the program, visit: http://www.slcfarmersmarket.org/programs-events/local-food-microgrant-program.
The first round of grant recipients include:
Carly Gillespie and Coleman Riedesel of BUG Farms were awarded $5,000 through the microgrant program to fund a summer apprentice and expand their growing operations. With the extra space and extra help, BUG Farms plans to increase produce production by 15%, while also developing a more sustainable crop rotation system with new cover crops.
Tamara Hed of Blue Spring Farms was granted $3,275 to build a hoop house that will help extend their growing season and protect crops from pests. This will allow Blue Spring Farms to extend their CSA delivery season and provide greens and herbs at local markets throughout the winter.
Kevin Nash of Earth First Organix was awarded $2,000 to purchase equipment that will help him extend his growing season, including the purchase of solar-powered black water barrels to heat his greenhouses and tunnel hoops to protect early season crops. This equipment will allow him to provide greens and root crops all winter, and produce summer crops much earlier in the season.
Kent Pyne of Pyne Farms was awarded $4,220 to invest in new fruit trees and additional apple storage bins. The new fruit trees will allow Pyne Farms to provide a greater variety of fruits to local markets, including pluots, plums, peacotums, and Kaweah peaches. The apple storage bins will allow him to increase the number of apples he can store and sell throughout the winter.