Swaner EcoCenter encourages the public to Meet the Producers
During the past few years, consumers have been involved in a food fight.
Instead of flinging sandwiches, mashed potatoes and peas, the fight has been the debate regarding genetically modified food, pesticides, methods of processing and transportation.
Those issues will be addressed when the Swaner EcoCenter presents the fifth annual Meet the Producers event on March 28, according to Brittany Ingalls, the nonprofit’s conservation coordinator.
"Local food producers from around Northern Utah will gather and the public who come to the event will learn who the producers are and where their food comes from," Ingalls said during an interview with The Park Record. "The idea is to offer an opportunity for the public to meet local farmers and producers in a free, open event."
The event will run from 5:30 p.m. until 7:30 p.m. It’s sponsored by Riverhorse on Main, Newpark Town Center, Summit County RAP Tax and Freedom Chiropractic. (See accompanying box for the list of the participants.)
Meet the Producers is a linear fit with the Swaner EcoCenter’s mission, which is to not only preserve land and encourage the human connection to the natural landscape but also to educate communities about the value of nature, according to Ingalls.
"Sustainable and local food go hand in hand with environmental education," she said. "Our food is a big interaction with the natural landscape. So the more we can encourage our local community to support these growers and producers, the better off we are."
In addition to farmers, the event will feature businesses that make goods from locally grown and sustainable products.
Some will even offer samples of their wares to the public.
"This is cool because the event will introduce people to new things," Ingalls said. "Also, if they can, the producers will bring some products for purchase. That way the public can take things home and see if they like them. We encourage them to do that if they can, because it’s fun for people to try them out."
Not all the producers will have items for sampling, but they will have some information to hand out.
"I know the vegetable growers probably won’t have their produce ready because the season hasn’t started yet," Ingalls said. "But this will be a way for the public to get excited for what’s just around the corner."
A majority of the producers will be set up inside the EcoCenter, but there will be some activity outside as well.
"We’ll will have some local chefs from local restaurants on hand to create dishes that are made from some of these local farmers," Ingalls said. "They will serve the food on the back deck."
The event also will give the producers and farmers a chance to meet members of the public.
"That helps them because they can find out who their consumers are and that helps because they get to know who they are growing their food for," Ingalls said.
This year marks the first time the Swaner EcoCenter will host the event on its own.
"We originally partnered with Slow Food Park City for the past four years, but this year we’re taking the lead on this," Ingalls said. "This is a great way to find out what is going on in our community. For those who already know many of these growers and producers, this is a great way to support them and foster relationships they already have.
"I think the community has come a long way, not only with what the event has done, but also because of what Park City and Summit County residents have done in paying attention to local producers and farmers," she said. "They use their consumer-purchasing power to support these local folks. So, this event is like a celebration of those connections."
The Swaner EcoCenter, 1258 Center Dr. at Kimball Junction, will host a Meet the Producers event on Monday, March 28, from 5:30 p.m. until 7:30 p.m. The event is an open house and is free and open to the public. For more information, visit http://www.swanerecocenter.org.
Swaner EcoCenter’s Meet the Producers participants
- Beehive Cheese
- Butchers Bunches
- Canyon Meadows Ranch
- Copper Moose Farm
- Creminelli Fine Meats
- Heber Valley Milk
- Liberty Heights Fresh
- Tagge’s Famous Fruit
- The Chocolate Conspiracy
- Urban Farm and Feed
- Salsa Del Diablo
- Solstice Spices
- Weed Family Honey
- Tree Hugger Granola
- Red Fox Farm
- McDowell Family Farm
- Ritual Chocolate
- Chili Break
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