Beginning June 8th and running every Saturday through October 19th, the Downtown Farmers Market will support local farmers and provide fresh produce to the public. A project of Urban Food Connections of Utah, the Market seeks to help communities incorporate more local and whole foods into their daily menus while supporting regional farmers and food producers.
“This Saturday, June 8th, at 8 a.m. we’ll fill this park once again with some of the most amazing farmers, growers, and artisanal food producers from around the great state of Utah,” said Alison Einerson, executive director of Urban Food Connections of Utah. “In addition to providing healthy, fresh food to our community, we aim to support local agriculture and growers at all levels throughout the state. The more local produce you buy at our market, the more likely it is that farmland will continue to be farmed.”
“Here in Utah, the demand for more organic local produce is pushing the popularity of farmers’ markets across the state and its shifting spending habits, as well as providing an avenue for our local farmers to grow their businesses,” said Salt Lake Chamber and Downtown Alliance president and CEO, Derek Miller. “Local farms are local businesses, and when you spend your money at a local business more money is kept in the local economy and you’re helping to create local jobs. When you visit the Market this summer, it’s not only good for your health, it’s also good for our economy.”
Mayor Jackie Biskupski credited the Market for helping transform Pioneer Park on a weekly basis. “The Market has been instrumental in the revitalization of the park. The fence you see behind us will be coming down in August,” Biskupski said in reference to a new multi-purpose field that spans from the center to the southern end of Pioneer Park.
In an ongoing effort to be a zero-waste market, Urban Food Connections of Utah is taking a bite out of food waste. Thanks to the recent opening of Wasatch Resource Recovery, an anaerobic digester in North Salt Lake, all types of food waste will stay out of the landfill. A food waste collection bin, monitored by Waste Wise Coordinators, will be located at the center of Pioneer Park. Customers and vendors can dump all types of food waste, from lettuce to chicken bones, in one bin. Once at Wasatch Recourse Recovery, this food waste is turned into natural gas to power homes and fertilizer for farmers.
Farmers and growers anticipate a productive early season with plenty of produce available for opening day on June 8th. Patrons can pick up rhubarb, lettuces, arugula, kale, salad mixes, herbs, radishes, turnips, spinach, garlic scapes, chard, english peas, beets, bok choy, and much more. Also available will be locally raised beef, chicken, pork, honey, baked goods, cheeses and other artisanal products. The south end of Pioneer Park will feature nearly 100 local art & craft vendors with products including ceramics, jewelry, art, body care products, apparel and more.