Summit Community Gardens thriving | ParkRecord.com

Summit Community Gardens thriving

by John Cartier, THE PARK RECORD

In an age dominated by the supermarket local gardeners have banded together to grow their own organic fruits and vegetables. The Summit Community Gardens, and its green-thumbed participants are proving delicious produce can be grown in Park City’s own backyard.

"There are a lot of people that don’t think we can grow food and vegetables in Park City, but we can," said Executive Director, Anne Dorsey. "The garden provides a way to help keep dollars local, reduce our carbon footprint and have a great sustainable food system."

For the first community garden in Summit County it’s all about sharing a passion for environmental stewardship and the potential bounty Mother Nature can yield. Located on the Koleman open space parcel alongside State Road 224, the first plots were tilled and seeded last year by 60 different plot holders according to their website http://www.summitcommunitygardens.org

"It costs about $300 to build each plot with a working irrigation system," said Dorsey. "But we charge $80 per plot and at the end of the season $25 dollars is refundable."

Dorsey says the garden relies on a host of sponsorships for maintenance and hosting activities for the community. One such event coming up is the 2nd annual Frost Free Festival.

This Saturday, July 14, from 3 to 6 p.m., attendees can expect music, food and a fundraiser consisting of an opportunity drawing with prizes donated from local businesses such as Canyons, restaurants even a two-night stay at the Montage.

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Dorsey says the festival is put on every year to help raise awareness of the garden and last year also served as its debut.

Since the first discussions about opening a community garden in Park City in 2008, locals have jumped on board to support the project.

This year the garden had a waiting list, topping at around 13 people, all itching to practice their gardening skills on a plot. With only 38 plots there are plans for expansion in the future with the leased land from the county.

Recent improvements to the garden include the addition of a beehive to the area and the planting of 26 trees including evergreens, junipers and apple trees.

One of the garden’s primary goals is to help educate the community about the importance of planting along with conservation. Aside from hosting classes for those interested in maintaining a garden, Dorsey says a few simple tips can help gardeners make the most of a dry season.

"Plant selection is number one; you need to choose appropriate plants for the environment," she said. "I like to go longer with my water at a slower drip in the early mornings and evenings. Because then you’re stimulating the roots to grow deeper and you get a more vigorous plant."

In the future, more volunteers will be needed to help the blossoming project. Dorsey says volunteers with a focus in marketing and communications are greatly needed. Experience in web design and fundraising are also bonuses to anyone looking to help. Anyone interested can contact Dorsey at anne@summitcommunitygardens.org .

Summit Community Gardens 2nd Annual Frost Free Festival featuring food, music and a fundraising drawing will be held Saturday July 14th, from 3 to 6 p.m. Admission is free and all proceeds will help support the garden’s educational workshops and classes.