A Wasatch Community Gardens site.

Local Partner Feature: Wasatch Community Gardens

Empowering people to grow and eat healthy, local food

We love giving back to the community, so as our first Utah restaurant neared completion, it was important for us to find a great local partner to help us connect with our new neighbors while helping us make a positive impact in the Salt Lake City area. This is where Wasatch Community Gardens* (WCG) comes in. WCG has served Wasatch Front residents since 1989 with the belief that the quality of a community is directly related to the quality of its food. They offer garden space, educational programs and community events to empower people to grow, harvest, preserve and prepare fresh, healthy food.

Kids at a Wasatch Community Gardens site.
Pictured: WCG achieves their mission through four main programs: Community Gardens, Youth Gardens, School Gardens and Community Education. (Photo courtesy of Wasatch Community Gardens / Austen Diamond.)
 
So why else are we partnering with WCG? Food insecurity in Utah is a serious problem in communities across the state. According to the 2013 Feeding America Map, the Meal Gap and a survey conducted by mobile retail app Retale: 
  • One in five Utah kids are unsure where their next meal will come from
  • One in seven Utahns are at risk of missing a meal every day
  • 15 percent of Utahs population is food insecure
  • Utah is one of the least food-friendly states in the nation (42nd of 50) 
  • Nearly 9 percent of households in the state's population of more than 2.9 million had low accessibility to food 
 
WCG is helping to address the food insecurity problem head on, and we want to help them with their mission.
 
Fresh tomatoes from a Wasatch Community Gardens garden.
Pictured: WCG envisions an inclusive, robust and vibrant community that is nourished by healthy and affordable food. (Photo courtesy of Wasatch Community Gardens / Austen Diamond.)
 
Interested in mastering the art of urban homesteading? Curious about broadening your canning horizons? WCG has more than 50 enrichment workshops throughout the year to inspire community members to get more involved in growing food and using organic food in their cooking.
 
Wasatch Community Gardens volunteers.
Pictured: Wasatch Community Gardens volunteers. (Photo courtesy of Wasatch Community Gardens / Austen Diamond.)
 
We especially love WCG's School Garden Program. The program is dedicated to growing healthier and smarter kids by using school gardens as an educational tool. School gardens are an excellent way to engage hundreds of students, administrators, parents and volunteers through the participation of garden projects. WCG also has a great Youth Garden Program where they utilize summer camps and group garden visits to encourage kids ages 4-12 to get excited about gardening and growing their own food.
 
Kids get their hands dirty at a Wasatch Community Gardens site.
Pictured: Kids getting their hands dirty in the garden. (Photo courtesy of Wasatch Community Gardens / Austen Diamond.)
 
So how are we working with WCG? To start, we're teaming up during our August 11 grand opening party at MAD Greens - Lehi! WCG volunteers will be on site collecting donations and we'll also be donating a portion of our grand opening sales to this amazing organization. 
 
But we'll be working together throughout the year to raise awareness for WCG, so stay tuned for more to come! Interested in learning more or getting involved with WCG? Check this out.

*Fun fact: The Wasatch Range is a mountain range that stretches approximately 160 miles through central Utah!