Summit Community Gardens unearths new way to fundraise amid COVID-19
What: Versante in the Garden
When: 5:30 p.m. on Thursday, July 9
Where: Summit Community Garden, 4056 Shadow Mountain Drive
Cost: $65 or garden plot renters and $75 for non plot renters
Summit Community Gardens has found a new way to fundraise after COVID-19 tossed DIG In, its seasonal group dinner party, onto the compost pile.
Instead of presenting one big dinner for more than 450 people, the nonprofit has begun hosting smaller Dinners in the Garden that will adhere to social-distancing guidelines, as well as raise awareness and funds for its programs, said Jordan Gottlieb, garden manager and adult education coordinator.
These dinners feature local purveyors, producers and chefs that highlight seasonal, organic and Utah-grown ingredients, she said.
“We want to feature producers, chefs and businesses so we can highlight what Park City has to offer,” Gottlieb said.
The next dinner is scheduled for July 9, and will feature a four-course plated picnic prepared by Versante Hearth and Bar Culinary Director Richard Samaniego, according to Gottlieb.
“The picnic is a summer garden-inspired affair that will feature lots of fresh produce and fresh pasta,” she said.
Versante Hearth and Bar is located in the Peaks Hotel, and is known for its innovative pastas and handcrafted, wood-fired pizzas, according to Gottlieb.
Registration for the dinner is open by visiting summitcommunitygardens.org/dinners-in-the-garden.
“All of the money we raise is put back into ways we can improve our garden for the community who grows things in our garden, and the community who benefits from what we grow in the garden,” Gottlieb said. “We’re a nonprofit, and most of our harvest is donated to the Christian Center of Park City’s food pantry.”
The garden’s goal is to donate 1,500 pounds of food to the Christian Center this season, she said.
“In light of COVID, more people than ever are finding themselves at the pantry’s door,” Gottlieb said. “So it’s important for us to grow our garden and donate as much food as we can.”
To help reach the goal, Summit Community Gardens staff and volunteers have expanded the garden in the past few months and planted some apple trees, installed a new irrigation system and added 88 new plots, a children’s garden and a hops garden, she said.
Summit Community Gardens has already hosted two dinners in the garden this summer, Gottlieb said.
The first was June 13 with Forest Butter, a local pizza company owned by Summit Community Gardens board members Brad Allenick and his partner Evan Grott.
The next one was held June 25 with local chef, yogi and wellness coach Sofia Mileti. Mileti crafted a four-course menu highlighting farm-fresh, seasonal and local ingredients. Donors include Blue Sky Farms, Auntie Em’s and Park City Creamery.
Other dinners are currently being planned for July 23 with Davanza, Aug. 6 with Twisted Fern and late August with former Slow Food Park City director Linda Elbert, said Gottlieb, who is studying for a masters degree in nutrition science and food police.
“I’m interested in the intersection of agriculture and nutrition, and how we are impacted with what we grow and how we grow it,” she said. “So getting involved in the garden and bringing people together over food is great for me, because I’ve been able to expand upon the adult-education programming role by implementing these bimonthly dinners.”
Even without the bimonthly dinners, Summit Community Gardens is a place for families and individuals to sit down for their own picnics, Gottlieb said.
“People can visit whenever they want,” she said. “It’s a place to build community and teach people how to grow food.”
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