Nonprofits encourage public to learn about sustainability and Dig In | ParkRecord.com

Nonprofits encourage public to learn about sustainability and Dig In

Summit Community Gardens and EATS Park City will emphasize the old refrain "from garden to table to mouth" when they encourage the public to enjoy an afternoon of food and fun at Dig In, on Sunday, Sept. 18.

The nonprofits will host the event, which is designed to raise awareness of healthy eating and sustainable gardening, at the Summit Community Gardens, 4056 Shadow Mountain Dr., from 3 p.m. until 6 p.m.

EATS Park City Executive Director Ann Bloomquist and Summit County Gardens Executive Director Ken Kullack said they have been trying to find a way to work together for years.

"We have partnered up because we have similar missions — we want to teach people about growing their own foods locally and eating healthily," Bloomquist said. "We designed this event and one of the premises was harvest season."

Dig In also celebrates National Family Meal Month, Kullack said.

"We had talked with the Summit County Health Department and they had interest in promoting Family Meal Month as well and they are one of our sponsors," he said. "Another goal of the event is to get families out together around a table to eat."

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Kullack said both he and Bloomquist didn't want to raise awareness through a big gala fundraiser.

"For me, personally, it's like an anti-gala," he said with a laugh. "There are so many gala fundraisers out there, which is great, but we wanted to make this an event that is fun and features a meal that is made partially from food that is grown in our garden."

"We wanted to do a down-home event for our down-home community," Bloomquist said. "However, if people want to donate, they can by visiting our websites."

Dig In will include live music by Mike Rodgers and a buffet lunch prepared by Park City and Deer Valley resort chefs, who will use some of the vegetables grown in the Summit Community Garden.

"The quality of the food will be fresh because some of it will be harvested that morning," Kullack said. "Some will be harvested a day or two before."

Bloomquist looks forward to seeing the resort chefs work together.

"They came together to cook the food and this is a great partnership in and of itself," she said. "Instead of us asking them to make something, they said they would come up with something on their own."

In addition to the Summit Community Gardens produce, the meal will also include foods donated by Copper Moose Farms and Woodland Biscuits, Bloomquist said.

"We'll also have a cash bar with Moab Brewery and Gallo Wines donating some of the adult beverages," she said.

The event will also include family-friendly, educational activities, according to Bloomquist.

"For example, we will have two friendly goats, Fiona and Shrek, coming so kids can feed them," she said. "The goats will also be set up near our composting area and we'll have some information about composting from Recycle Utah."

In addition, Summit County will donate some herb pots for kids to take home.

"They can plant their own seeds and water their own plants," Bloomquist said.

The Swaner EcoCenter will also be on hand for another activity as well.

"We'll also have face painting," Kullack said. "The kids will be asked what their favorite vegetable is and they'll get it painted on their faces."

The highlight will be a table-talk activity, Bloomquist said.

"We will have participants go around and ask people they don't know what their favorite foods are," she said.

The idea is to get people to interact with each other, Kullack added.

"We're doing this because during a lot of events, people just sit around with people they know or their families and not mingle as much," he said. "The questions are also for their own families as well. We'll ask what was the last meal they had that was locally sourced or what was the last vegetable you grew in your own garden."

Once the questions are answered, Kullack and Bloomquist will give out prizes.

"We will also have one opportunity drawing," Bloomquist said. "The Park City Culinary Institute has donated a six-person, in-home dinner where one of their chefs will come to the home and cook."

The event is technically sold out, but a wait list is available, Bloomquist said.

"We would like for people to get on the list so we can prepare for next year," she said.

EATS Park City and Summit Community Gardens will team for the Dig In dinner at Summit Community Gardens, 4056 Shadow Mountain Dr., on Sunday, Sept. 18, from 3 p.m. until 6 p.m. For more information and tickets, visit http://www.eatsparkcity.org or http://www.summitcommunitygardens.org.

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