Moab Happenings Archive
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Moab’s Bee Inspired Gardens Expands to Residential Sites
by Stephanie Hamborsky and Rosemarie Russo

Sustainablemoab websiteSituated in the heart of the Colorado Plateau, Moab’s Bee Inspired Gardens (BIG) initiative seeks “to inspire locals and visitors using gardens, workshops and classes in a way that demonstrates and supports efforts toward pollinator health, community food systems, water conservation, and an economy that provides for our people and benefits our ecology.” BIG’s formation in 2014 stemmed from a collaborative effort among numerous community groups with a vested interest in developing water conscious, pollinator-friendly garden spaces throughout Moab. Current community partners include USU Extension Sustainability, TerraSophia, Grand Conservation District, Wildland Scapes, Rim to Rim Restoration, the City of Moab’s Sustainability Office, and In Transition Permaculture.

Numerous public Bee Inspired Gardens thrive in and around Moab, including BIG’s first project at Rotary Park, USU Moab’s Rain Gardens project focusing on rainwater catchment and sustainable water management, and the CommuniTea Garden, which serves as a welcoming community space and demonstration of the potential for utilizing reclaimed materials. Several private garden spaces also exist, such as the Grand County Middle School’s pavilion garden space used for educational purposes. A full list of public and private BIG projects can be found online at

For several years, BIG focused on developing gardens associated with institutions, public spaces, and community organizations. Beginning in early 2018, the BIG team decided to expand their outreach to include residential sites with gardens featuring three flowering plants in bloom during the growing season spanning from spring to fall. Residents can easily apply online by visiting and filling out an online questionnaire. Selected applicants will receive an aluminum yard sign to display their commitment to sustainable, pollinator-friendly, and water-wise gardening. Residents may also qualify for additional BIG badges, including Water Steward, Plant Steward, Chemical-Free, Pollinator Housing Provider, and Educator, by uploading photos to illustrate their efforts . BIG also encourages anyone regardless of gardening experience to consider developing a Bee Inspired Garden by consulting the numerous resources on BIG’s website ( If your yard does not qualify yet, some of BIG’s collaborators and organizers may offer consultation or advice for your particular space.

The Colorado Plateau boasts one of the most biodiverse, sensitive, and unique ecosystems in the United States, and over 900 bee species exist in the state of Utah alone. BIG’s efforts in southeastern Utah carry tremendous significance for the preservation of native plant and pollinator species and continuing education for residents and tourists about the importance of promoting sustainability and ecological resilience at the community level. BIG encourages Moab residents to learn more about how to establish pollinator-friendly gardens, join the BIG network, and offer resounding support for more conscientious land and water management in Moab Valley and beyond.

Farmers Market with Castle Valley Farms

Happy Holidays to our local Moab residents and to all our visitors! Here at Castle Valley Farms we are continuing to put seeds in the ground and are planning on growing through the winter season. We will also continue to operate our farm stand on Tuesdays at the Youth Garden Project November 6, 13 and 27 with a full range of winter greens and veggies; salad mix, kale, arugula, spinach, micro-greens, rainbow chard, minutina, radish, beets, sweet potatoes, purple, golden and red potatoes, and we will bring tomatoes, peppers and eggplant until the first serious hard freeze. We will also be serving our infamous Carrot Hot Dog with all the trimmings; vegan chili, sauerkraut and grilled onions on a homemade bun. Our gluten-free option will be served in a baked acorn squash. Come on down each Tuesday from 3:30 to 6:30pm and support a local farm, dedicated to bringing you fresh, nutrient dense produce. We hope to see you there!

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