Second annual Dig In celebrates eating and growing healthy foods | ParkRecord.com

Second annual Dig In celebrates eating and growing healthy foods

Nonprofits partner for family event

Local nonprofits Summit Community Gardens and EATS Park City's second annual Dig In party will show how growing healthy foods and eating them can be fun.

The event, which will include dinner and family-friendly activities, will be held from 3-6 p.m. on Sunday, Sept. 10, Summit Community Gardens, 4056 Shadow Mountain Drive, off of Old Ranch Road.

Tickets are $80 per family, which includes two adults and two kids. Individual tickets are $35 each. Kids tickets are $10. Visit EATSParkCity.org or SummitCommunityGardens.org for ticket information.

Dinner will be created out of locally sourced produce and meats, said Jenae Ridge, executive director of EATS Park City.

"We will offer smoked chicken legs, barbecue ribs, grain salad, green salad and macaroni and cheese," Ridge said during a Park Record interview with Summit Community Gardens Executive Director Ken Kullack. "Deer Valley's cheese maker [Corinne Cornet-Coniglio] will also be on hand with her artisan, handmade cheeses."

In addition, Red Bicycle Bread and Woodland Biscuits will be part of the party, as will a cash bar, said Kullack.

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"Last year we offered beer and wine for purchase, but this year we are adding cider from Mountain West Cider," he said.

Throughout the evening, children and families will have the chance to participate in different food-related coloring crafts, have their faces painted, receive their own potted plants and interact with Fiona and Shrek, two friendly goats.

"We will also have a photographer, Joy Conneally, who will take family portraits," Kullack said. "She is donating her time and will also donate 50 percent of the portrait sales back to Summit Community Gardens and EATS Park City," Ridge said.

Dig In will also feature an opportunity drawing.

Drawing tickets are $5 and the items have been donated by Ranui Gardens, Fat Moose, Jafflz and a Summit Community Gardens plot, Kullack said.

"Even if people can't come to the event, they can still purchase an opportunity drawing ticket online, because they don't have to be present to win," he said.

The nonprofits decided to team for Dig In because September is Family Meals Month.

"Our goal as EATS and Summit Community Gardens is to get people to think about the food they eat, but we also want them to think about eating together," Kullack said. "With how busy our lives are today, it's so much harder to sit down, talk and enjoy some good food together."

The nonprofits also have their own community goals, Ridge said.

"At EATS [which stands for Eat Awesome Things at School] we advocate for healthy food to be served in local schools," she said. "We also provide nutrition education."

One way to educate students is through taste tests.

"We hold taste tests in schools where kids can pick lunch menu items by voting after they try some of the food we introduce to them," Ridge said.

EATS also offers after-school cooking classes and school gardens.

"The cooking classes are in all four Park City School District elementary schools, and this year, we are moving into the middle and junior high school," Ridge said.

The in-school gardens give students an up-close look at how food gets to their dinner tables.

"There is a difference between just giving students salads and actually showing students the seeds that is used to grow the food, and how you have to wait for it to grow before you harvest it," Ridge said. "We want to get the kids more engaged in the entire process, which makes it more probable that they will eat the salad. If you just give students a handful of greens and a carrot, they may not want to eat it."

Summit Community Gardens' mission is to encourage people to grow their own food gardens and empower them to do so, Kullack said.

"We do that through our plot rentals," he said. "We have 90 plots in the garden."

This past summer, Summit Community Gardens hosted four weekly kids camps.

"We wanted to get kids out in a garden to get their hands dirty while learning about bugs and seeds," Kullack said.

The nonprofit has also established a bounty project, which is a food donation program.

"We grow organic produce in our demonstration garden, and the produce is donated to the People's Health Clinic, which we just added this year, and the Christian Center of Park City," Kullack said. "We also work with Community Action Services that is based out of Kamas and Coalville so we can reach outside of Park City."

Last year Summit Community Gardens donated a total of 1,400 pounds.

"This year to date we're close to 650 pounds," Kullack said.

Summit Community Gardens and EATS Park City will partner for the second annual Dig In that will be held form 3-6 p.m. on Sunday, Sept. 10, at Summit Community Gardens, 4056 Shadow Mountain Drive. For ticket information, visit EATSParkCity.org or SummitCommunityGardens.org.