Sugar House Community Garden provides organic, local food for communityAug 11, 2021 12h24 ● By Anagha Rao
Garden beds containing colorful flowers, fruits, and vegetables. (Photo courtesy Sugar House Garden Instagram)
By Anagha Rao | [email protected]
The Sugar House Garden is one of Sugar House’s hidden treasures. It is located in Sugar House Park at 1330 East 2100 South. The Sugar House Garden has 56 plots available for rental that are approximately four feet by 12 feet each.
This garden is equipped with an automatic drip irrigation system that waters all the plants on the plot. In order to make it ADA accessible, the garden has raised plots and is accessible by car.
“One of my favorite things about the Sugar House Garden is that it's a very dynamic and social location,” said Giles Larsen, the Parks for Produce Manager at Wasatch Community Gardens. Located in the middle of the Sugar House Loop, there are always bikers, runners, and people with dogs spending time in this beautiful park.
The purpose of the garden is to give people of all backgrounds the opportunity to get together and experience the joy of growing their own food. Not only does the garden provide access to organic and great-tasting food, but it also helps people socialize and get to know their community.
Larsen said, “Even if you are a new gardener, it’s different than just growing something on your own because you are surrounded by people who have been growing food for decades. You really get to tap into that knowledge base.”
Initially, the land the Sugar House garden occupies was an abandoned rose garden. In the fall of 2020, the Sugar House community began a grassroots movement to establish a new garden in Sugar House Park. They partnered with the Wasatch Community Gardens to transform the old space into a functional community garden. This garden was specifically designed by the community to fit the needs of Sugar House.
Interested community members are allowed to rent a plot of land from the garden. By renting a plot, community gardeners are given a space to garden and access to gardening tools. Volunteer gardeners also have discounted access to workshops hosted by Wasatch Community Gardens.
Gardeners are responsible for weeding, pruning, and harvesting the crops in their plot. “We tell people to count on at least five hours of gardening a week,” said Larsen.
In addition, volunteers are expected to contribute at least six hours per year to tend common areas or participate in special projects that benefit the garden as a whole.
Interested community members may apply to rent a plot of land from the garden by filling out an application and paying a $37 renting fee. However, if $37 is too expensive, there are plot scholarships available for gardeners with demonstrated financial need. To apply for a plot, visit WasatchGardens.org.
The Sugar House Community Garden is a collaboration with Wasatch Community Gardens. Wasatch Community Gardens is a nonprofit organization that was founded in 1987. Its mission is to provide universal access to fresh, organic, local food. Eventually, their programs expanded to work with different communities.
“We work with homeless women, single mothers, folks receiving mental health treatment, and we seek to provide a sense of empowerment that comes from growing your own food,” said Larsen.