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NON-PROFIT HAPPENINGS - June 2006

Moab Farmer's Market

Moab Farmers Market

Are you looking for a more social and community oriented shopping experience? The Moab Farmer’s Market is now in full swing, with all the latest seasonal fruits and vegetables as well as arts and crafts. The market is held every Saturday morning through October at Swanny City Park, located one block east of Main Street on 400 North 100 West.

Grab a cup of coffee at the Farmers Market Alliance booth where proceeds go to support the market. Next, stop at the Youth Garden Project both and pick-up their featured product of the week. O’ Susanna’s Bakery will cover your sweet tooth cravings or visit Son and Otter’s Fry Bread stand for a regional favorite. Looking for a special gift or souvenir? Browse through the many artisan booths for hand-made jewelry, soaps and specialty crafts or pick up a cut flower bouquet for your sweetheart. Rees Native Gardens, featuring plants salvaged from construction sites or grown from seed, can also help with that bare spot in the landscape. Each week will feature entertainment for all ages, from face painting and live music to cooking and art demonstrations.

Get your weekly supply of produce from Moab’s local farms, Karuna Farm or Manzana Spring Farm. Both farms describe themselves as ‘beyond organic’ in that they incorporate substantial community involvement in their farming, and focus on local distribution methods. This creates an economy of sustainable practices that promotes stewardship of the land and local community. Chris Kauffman, co-owner of Manzana Spring Farm noted, “While supermarkets can bring you organic produce, it is often shipped from great distances. Where we compete is in focusing on quality, freshness and flavor.”

The Youth Garden Project, a local non-profit that cultivates personal growth, self responsibility and community awareness in youth through organic gardening, is using their new community kitchen to take their produce to the next step by making “value-added” products, like muffins, pesto and salsa. Ten high school AmeriCorps Apprentices handle every aspect of production, from preparing the soil and sowing the seeds to harvesting and bringing the produce and prepared products to market. According to Jen Sadoff, the executive director of the Youth Garden Project, “We teach the students to consider the impact of every step in the process to produce a value-added product, and to make choices and look for solutions to minimize impact. It is a holistic approach to entrepreneurship, where cost and income is not measured strictly in terms of monetary profit. Ultimately, we hope they learn to take this awareness and use it to make thoughtful decisions in their own lives, and for their communities.” Proceeds from sales of the value-added products and produce are used to support the Youth Garden Project programs.

Moab Farmers MarketThe weekly market is sponsored by the Youth Garden Project, and organized by the Moab Farmers Market Alliance, a small group of vendors and supporters that volunteer their time to make sure this great event continues to grow and thrive. The Farmers Market focuses on supporting local agriculture by ensuring that all the vendors originate from the local region creating a direct connection between local farmers and local consumers. Shoppers benefit from the fresh supply of locally grown seasonal fruits and vegetables and have the opportunity to directly support their community farms and local artisans. The Farmers Market does accept food stamps, and several of the farmers distribute unsold produce to the area food bank and senior center. So mix up your shopping routine and support local agriculture by bringing the family out to enjoy the arts, crafts, entertainment and of course, the great food each Saturday morning from 8-12 at Swanny City Park.

Swanny City Park is located on the corner of 100 West and 400 North, one block west of Main Street.

The Youth Garden Project can be reached at 259-BEAN (259-2326).

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