Conclusions from Utah Stories farm tours:
This past summer Utah Stories toured our fine state to examine agriculture on farms both small and large to answer some basic food questions: How is our food produced? Where does it come from? And what is going to happen if we continue to build over much of our best farm lands in order to sustain our growing population?
We have found perhaps the greatest disconnect between what our State and local leaders are doing and what residents prefer. Spearheaded by Governor Gary Herbert’s policies of ever-widening the I-15 freeway corridor, farmland continues to disappear at an alarming pace. One farmer told me Herbert has never seen a farm where he didn’t imagine a better economic use for the land. We hear all the great news about Utah’s robust economy without questioning we are building over much of what makes our state desirable and livable. It is only in the interest of driving up economic numbers so that our Governor and economic leaders can boast?
Paving over our local food supply is much more than a consideration of “highest and best use.” Certainly more property taxes will be generated on land which has hundreds of homes rather than hundreds of peach trees. But developers and politicians fail to see our entire population becomes much more vulnerable if we continue building, especially along the most fertile areas of our desert state. “Food security” is a non-issue in the current gubernatorial campaign, we need to demand it be addressed.
The growing localvore movement was on display at Utah Stories 3rd Made in Utah Festival on September 24th. Here, we begin to see the huge economic impact shifting our spending can have when we examine just how many fine small-scale Utah farmers and artisans there are in this State. At the festival we considered the what “independence and freedom” really mean.
Most makers in Utah work far more hours for less pay than they would if they were in corporate jobs. Most have only short vacations and wake at the crack of dawn to attend one of Utah’s 40 farmers markets on weekends. Why do they do it? Because they believe that freedom consists of working outside, working with their hands, working with animals or plants, and producing something unique while connecting with customers and their community through their personal labors and handmade products.
October 1-30: Oktoberfest at Porcupine Pub & Grille. Located at 3968 Fort Union Blvd and 258 S 1300 E, Salt Lake City. Visit http://porcupinepub.com/ for more information and menus.
October 13: Free Bicycle Mechanics Class. Classes are held at Ogden Bike Collective, 936 E 28th St. at 6 pm. The classes introduce basic bicycle maintenance. They run for 12 weeks and start over. Visit http://www.ogdencity.com/events.aspx#/?i=13 for more information and class subjects.
October 20-31: Halloween Lift Rides at Sundance Mountain Resort. Family friendly, the Lift Rides last 45 minutes to an hour on Ray’s Lift. Games, hot chocolate and snacks are on sale and weather permitting, a complimentary movie plays at the base. Monday-Thursday hours are 7 pm to 10 pm, Friday-Saturday 7 pm to 11 pm, closed Sunday. Tickets are available for purchase in person only at Sundance Mountain Outfitters Shop or Ray’s Base Ticket Office. Visit http://www.sundanceresort.com/summer/ for prices and more information.
October 24-November 3: Day of the Dead (Dia de los Muertos). Presented by the Utah Cultural Celebration Center, this event is $5 for children under 12. Students with I.D. are free. Lots of hands-on activities and a folk art exhibit about the holiday. The center is located at 1355 W 3100 S in West Valley City. Hours are 12-6 pm daily. Visit http://www.culturalcelebration.org/day-of-the-dead.html for more information.
October 27-30: 11th Annual Moab Ho-Down Mountain Bike Festival and Film Fest. This event is a fundraiser for local trails and the Moab Bike Park. Events include a dual stage enduro race, group shuttles, townie tour and poker run, dirt jump competition, skill camps, bike films at Star Hall, and a costume party with live music. For more information see http://www.moabhodown.com or call 435-259-4688.
October 28: Pumpkin Carving Contest at Central Utah Gardens, located at 355 W University Parkway in Orem, Utah. There is no fee to enter the contest and all age groups can enter. Pumpkins can be painted, carved or decorated. Entries are accepted from noon to 6 pm on the 28th, and the first 100 qualifying entries get a free baseball cap. Prizes will be award. Go to http://www.centralutahgardens.org/documents/2016PumpkinWalkRules.pdf for the rest of the rules and an entry form.
October 31: Park City Halloween on Main Street. Trick or treat from 3 pm to 6 pm and come to lower Main Street at 5:30 pm to see the famous dog parade!