Summit Community Gardens opens this weekend and prepares to be ‘Born from Corn’
Nonprofit partnered with Artes de Mexico for upcoming, family-friendly programs
Summit Community Gardens opens this weekend with a two-day celebration that will include seedling sales and free classes about water and composting.
Hours for Saturday, May 21, will run from 1-4 p.m., and Sunday’s hours will run from noon-4 p.m., said Program Manager Carmen Bachofen.
“The classes are totally free, and people can come as they are whenever they want,” she said.
Garden administration felt hosting classes about water quality and water management was pertinent to the drought situation that faces Utah, Bachofen said.
“We want to make sure folks are educated and understand how to best use water and what goes into good water quality,” she said. “It will be a great time. We’ll have some kids activities, seedlings for sale and some food available.”
Summit Community Gardens’ opening weekend will also set the stage for its “Born from Corn” programs, made possible through a partnership with Artes de Mexico en Utah.
Artes de Mexico en Utah is a nonprofit that builds communities and strengthens a sense of belonging through cultural connections found through the appreciation and creation of art, Bachofen said.
“They do wonderful work throughout Utah, and we’re excited to partner with them,” she said.
“Born from Corn” is a project that seeks to share what corn means to the indigenous peoples of the Americas with the Park City Community, according to Bachofen.
“We hope to foster an increased cultural understanding and a deeper appreciation of the main agricultural crops, traditions and knowledge, and various needs of the groups in North America and Mesoamerica,” she said.
Summit Community Gardens plans to do that through a series of three free, family-friendly workshops, Bachofen said.
The first will be the “La Milpa” planting at 5 p.m. on Friday, May 27, in the garden.
“La Milpa is a Mayan tradition of planting squash, beans, and corn — main staple foods of Mesoamerica — in the same field, so there is no crop separation,” she said. “Beans provide nutrients to the soil. Beans can wrap around the corn, and squash can line the garden bed. So it works in a symbiotic and holistic way. This is something new to us, and we encourage people to participate.”
Kids are especially encouraged to attend the event with their families, Bachofen said.
“They will get readily involved in planting seeds and learning about the growing process,” she said. “We will also have a (representative) from Artes de Mexico who is knowledgeable and trained in the traditions of this planting. She will give a blessing that will honor the seeds and lands.”
The next program will be in July, and it will examine the importance of food, Bachofen said.
“It will be about the cultural ties regarding food and how we relate to the food we eat,” she said.
The last program will be held in September, and it will surround the “La Milpa” harvest,
“We encourage the community, especially those who planted in the spring, to return for this event,” she said. “They’ll get to pick the food they helped plant, and we’ll eat together as a community.”
Early on in the Artes de Mexico en Utah partnership, Summit Community Gardens engaged third graders at McPolin Elementary School, Bachofen said.
“They learned about ‘Born from Corn,’ Mesoamerica, identity and tradition,” she said. “They also did art projects based on what they learned, and we are displaying that art in our promotions and on our website.”
Summit Community Gardens discovered Artes de Mexico en Utah through a program hosted by the Wasatch Community Gardens in Salt Lake City, Bachofen said.
“They did some fantastic work, so when we began to think of a natural and authentic way to engage Park City, and work with an organization that already had ties with our Latinx community, we kept thinking about them,” she said.
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