Category Archives: Food Production

Second Annual Fairpark Festival of Spring Huge Success

18216421_1505291439489374_3659562656535945756_oGardeners from all over our community, as well as from surrounding areas flocked to the event on a cool spring day. There were over 300 people who attended, and the Plant Sale sold almost 2,000 plants during the four-hour Festival. Although some needed sweaters on the cool day, the weather didn’t stop hundreds from visiting the various tables. Salt Lake County Recreation, Lead Safe Housing Program,18278182_1505292946155890_2616975938661617678_o
Jackson Elementary and Utah Department of Health Safe Kids Injury Prevention Program all provided outreach and education materials for the Festival.


Because of the enthusiasm and support for this year’s event, organizers are in the process of planning another complimentary event this fall. The current plans for the event will include a workshop for grafting fruit trees, a seed, bulb and scion wood exchange, a cold frame workshop and a garden veggie based potluck! See for more information.

Dirt2Table: Building a Greenhouse: Growing a Community

dirt2tableIt’s a Wrap!

Here is a list of the final figures from Fairpark Community’s First  Annual Plant Sale:

  • 4500 total plants
  • 28 varieties of Heirloom tomatoes, 16 varieties of Peppers, 3 varieties of Eggplant, and 3 varieties of herbs
  • 160 unique pre-orders resulting in 2,373 plants pre-ordered
  • Hot plants (that is, the first to sell out) included:

Tomatoes:Beefsteak, Black Brandywine, Black Krim, Burbank, Hillbilly, Martino’s Roma, Matt’s Wild Cherry, Sugary Cherry,

Sungold Cherry, and Tiny Tim

Peppers: California Wonder,  Gypsy Hybrid, Jalapeno, Poblano, Purple Beauty, and Rainbow Bell Mix

Eggplants: Black Beauty and Mixed Fingers

  • 2,127 plants on Event day for sale

1,977 plants sold, 150 donated to a non-profit organization (there is no accurate count of consumers attending the event day


  • Hundreds of seeds given away on plant sale day.
  • Approximately 500 volunteer hours on the project
  • $8,053 donations: $1,500 Salt Lake City Signature Event Fund Grant$6,553 in kind

This is what happens when a community comes together for to build something good.  And this project was good. It was phenomenal.  It got vegetables growing in the backyards of Fairpark Community Residents. People who never grew vegetables in their lives are now growing their own food. And proud of it.

Remember to submit your photos of your gardening adventures to to post in our Flickr album:

Please also share your stories, your recipes using your fresh vegetables and other anecdotes.  We want to hear from you!

We are also building a list of potential volunteers for next year’s event.  Please write to if you’d like to participate.

Get your Garden on with Fairpark Community’s First Annual Plant Sale!

Got Garden?

We have just what you need to fill it up!

EventFlyerAfter months of hard work by volunteers, the Fairpark Community Council’s First Annual Plant Sale is almost here!  Almost 4,000 veggies and herb plants are being cared for by dedicated volunteers.  The seedlings are growing like wild and will be sure to enhance any garden in our neighborhood with culinary delights.

Read more here ( about how to pre-order your plants and pick them up as early as the end of April, and view full catalogs of the availalbe varieties of vegetables and herbs, as well as a full color listing of the vegetable seeds that will be given away at the May 14 event.

How did this all start?

The FCC Board decided to take advantage of the Salt Lake City annual Signature Event Fund application in fall of 2015. The FCC Board decided that a fun event would be a plant sale and education event.    The scope of events that happened after that was amazing!

IMG_2154A donation of a structure that looks very much like a bus shelter was timely.  Volunteers dismantled the structure over a weekend in late February and the following weekend rebuilt it at All Chay restaurant (1264 W 500 N), the proprietors of which graciously donated space for the project. The next 6 weeks were busy with fine tuning the structure with materials to make it a functioning greenhouse, planting seeds, separating seedlings, watering the plants and generating interest in our community for the project. Tom King, project lead, appeared on KRCL Radio’s Punk Rock Farmer show on April 15 to discuss and promote the project.seedlingseparation

The next few weeks will be spent continuing the care of the plants, advertising and promoting the event, taking pre-orders with the culminating plant sale event at Northwest Community Center, Saturday, May 14 at 10am.

As a special incentive to get people to attend the May 14 event, we will be offering free seeds for lettuce, carrots, zucchini, cucumbers and more! There will fun be activities for kids of all ages.

View the full color listing of the vegetable seeds that will be given away here.

IMG_2980Left over plants from the May 14 event will be taken to the Get Into the River Festival from 5-7pm, at the Fairpark Amphitheater, 155 North 1000 West.

We are very excited about this community building/enhancing project.  We hope residents will become more interested in growing their own food, sharing their stories about gardening, sharing samples of their edibles, and develop sustainable habits that will improve health and lifestyles for years to come.

Garden on dude!


Start Your Garden Catalog!

dirt2tableThe long awaited Dirt2Table Start Your Garden Plant Sale Catalog is finally here!  View the catalog and follow instructions for accessing the pre-order form.

Plants are $1 each, or $5 for a six pack or $25 for 6-six packs. Mix and match is ok!
(all proceeds will be used to enhance the next Annual Fairpark Community Plant Sale).
Fill out your pre­-order form and submit it via any of these methods:

  1. at the All Chay Restaurant, 1264 West 500 North
  2. Scan and email to
  3. Text photo of order form to

Order pick ups will be arranged using the contact info you provide on the order form. We anticipate starting to have orders picked up on May 6 th or 7th
in advance of the May 14 th event in the park.

For status on your order you can call Tom at 801-502-1991.

*** Attention! Quantities are limited! All orders will be filled on a first come first serve basis. Please get your order form to one of our partners as soon as possible to try to ensure your order can be complete. Payment will be at time of pickup, in case substitutions or subtractions apply***

To view the full catalog, click garden catalog.

To print an order form, click plant order form.

To print a flyer, click flyer.

New! (April 19, 2016):  Seed Giveaway Listing for anyone who attends the event on May 14 – even if you have pre-ordered and picked up your order! Click here for the listing.

Click the thumbnail images below to view one catalog page at a time.

Pages 1 and 2


Pages 3 and 4


Seed Giveaway Listing image

seed giveaway listing-1

Dirt2Table: A Great time of year!

Don’t you love it this time of year? I certainly do. Everything from the buds swelling on the fruit trees, dandelions blooming, willows and others flowering, to the birds getting more active, it sure feels like spring.

I just hope that a late frost doesn’t get some of our fruit trees this year. As you may know if you read these columns, the Fairpark Community Council is hosting it’s First Annual Get your garden STARTED Plant Sale. We are starting dozens of varieties of peppers and tomatoes. Lots of heirlooms as well as several varieties of Basil. In fact, as of March 7th some of the Lettuce Leaf basil is already up from seeds planted 8 days ago.

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Dirt2Table: Home Made Snacks!

dirt2tableThis month we are offering a couple of ways to make great snacks. One is Fruit Leather (an alternative to Jam for preserving sweet fruit) and the other is Roasted Curried Chickpeas. Kids and adults alike will eat all that is offered of both of these healthy snacks! The trick is making enough to meet the demand.

The first batch of fruit leather we made was from peaches. We had picked one of our peach trees and were struggling to find enough time and jars to process it all into peach jam. With 4 gallons of cut up peaches waiting to be cooked down into jam in small batches, we decided to put one gallon of them into the food processor and puree them. Then we cooked them for about 3 hours, stirring frequently to prevent sticking. After they had reached a consistency that looked thick enough we added one quart of honey from our hive, cooked a few minutes more and then poured into thin layers on parchment paper spread out on our food dehydrator screens. After fruitleatherpeachone week in the dehydrator at the 120 degree setting, the leather was ready to eat! We ate some and cut the rest into strips the height of canning jars and rolled it up with the parchment paper still on it and put it into the jars to enjoy through the winter. With all the honey and sugar from the peaches the fruit leather stays preserved for a long time without growing mold or going bad. If you don’t have a food dehydrator, the drying could be done by placing the thick fruit mixture onto parchment paper on baking sheets and place in a 180 degree oven for about 4 to 6 hours until it becomes leathery.

IMG_9694Since that first batch we have made two more batches. One out of plums and grapes, the other out of pears and apples. All three kinds of fruit leather are delicious. We cut down on the amount of honey, since the peach leather was a little on the sweet side. The second and third batch we only added a pint of honey as sweetener. You could also use sugar if you haven’t started beekeeping yet.

Our second snack this month is Roasted Curried Chickpeas. Here is what you will need:

  • 1 lb of dried     Garbanzo beans (chickpeas)
  • 3 – Tbsp     Olive Oil
  • 4 – Tbsp     Tamari or Soy sauce
  • 1 – Tbsp salt
  • 2 – tsp.     Curry powder
  • 1 – tsp.     Cumin powder
  • 1 – tsp.     Chili powder
  • 1/2 – tsp.     Cayenne powder
  • 2 – tsp. Lime     juice
  • large baking     sheet (cookie sheet_
  • Parchment paper
  • Large pot or     kettle for cooking beans
  • large bowl for     mixing ingredients

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Dirt2Table: Too Many Apples?

Now is the time to preserve apples. There are literally tons of apples ripening on treesdirt2table here in the Fairpark Community. These apples might be in your yard, your neighbor’s yard or maybe even in a public park. Apples are great to eat fresh, and they will keep for quite a while in the fridge or a cold room. They are also great for making apple butter, applesauce or apple jelly.

One of my favorite things to do with a lot of the apples that I get this time of year is to make dried apples.

You need to get the apples into somewhat uniform thin slices. They can be up to 1⁄4 inch thick, but a little less than that is better. This can be done with one of the hand crank machines that peel, core and slice the apple. They aren’t too expensive and can sometimes be found in good shape at a thrift store. The slices they make are actually a long spiral that can be separated into the pieces you lay on your dehydrator screen. You can also cut, peel and core your apples with a paring knife,and make thin slices that way.

Once you have your slices, just arrange them on the trays of your food dehydrator, and in 5 to 10 days you will have delicious dried apples ready to store for the winter. That is if you don’t eat them all up! They are so good that it is easy to eat a lot of them. Kids love them and they make good gifts in small jars. Try sending some to school with the kids for lunch or snacks.

Dirt2Table: Simple Practices to Enhance Plant Growth

dirt2tableAt last! The growing season is here! Although we had an extra early start for cold hardy crops like lettuce, spinach, peas, carrots, onions and more, the safe time to put out tender annuals like tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, squash and cucumbers started about the first of May for most of us here in Fairpark Community.

I wanted to focus on a simple practice that increases the size and yield of some of our garden plants. If you are a gardener in this area you probably grow a lot of tomatoes, peppers and eggplant. These three types of plants, which each have an enormous range of varieties, along with a lots of other agricultural plants including potato and tobacco, are all in the large plant family of Solanaceae or the Nightshade family. The practice that helps speed growth and increase yields consists of removing the side branches that form above each leaf. Not on the whole plant or all season long, but during the first month to six weeks it is a good idea to remove any branches from the stem as they form.

For tomato plants, it helps to keep the plant branch free for the first 18 to 24 inches of stem, and allow the plant to keep the branches above that. For peppers it is 6 to 18 inches depending on the variety. For eggplant keeping the plant branch free to a height of 12 to 18 inches seems about right. Continue reading