Monthly Harvest- February 2021

Hello Farm to Fork Friends,

The ground may be covered in snow, but I know many of us are paging through seed catalogs and planning our gardens for the not-too-distant future. If you work with elementary students, KidsGardening has a great lesson plan on creating a school garden planting calendar. What will you be planting this year? Let us know your garden dreams @utfarm2fork.

What to Harvest This Month

It’s time to revisit Utah’s state fruit—cherries! Wait, cherries in February? Yes! While we’re all about fresh fruit in the summer, using preservation techniques like freezing, dehydrating, and canning can help us enjoy local produce throughout the season. Frozen cherries add a pop of pink to your breakfast smoothie or parfait (perfect for Valentine’s Day), while dried cherries are delicious in baked goods or as a snack. Remember that just ¼ cup of dried fruit credits as a ½ cup serving for school meals.

Get Involved

USDA Urban Agriculture Advisory Committee USDA is seeking members for a new committee that will advise the Secretary of Agriculture on the development of policies and outreach relating to urban, indoor, and other emerging agricultural production practices. This is a fantastic opportunity to have your voice (and Utah agriculture) represented at the Federal level! Nominations are due March 5, 2021. Learn more here.

Webinars and Trainings

Building Community Interest & Investment in Your School Garden Programs Summer presents a unique challenge for school gardens. This virtual gathering from the School Garden Support Organization Network will be a discussion of strategies that increase community around school gardens, especially during the summer months. The webinar is on February 3, at 12:00 pm MT. Find details and registration here.

Improving Equity

Race and Food are Intertwined The current US food system was built on land stolen from indigenous Americans and labor stolen through slavery. And we continue to rely on undervalued immigrant farm labor to keep our food cheap. Ricardo Salvador from the Union of Concerned Scientists offers some concrete action steps for how we can create a food system free from exploitation. One step that school districts can take is to sign on to the Good Food Purchasing Program, a framework that helps institutions direct their buying power toward local economies, environmental sustainability, a valued workforce, animal welfare, and nutrition. Read the full article here.

Job Opportunities

Bilingual Curriculum Developer, Wasatch Community Gardens, Salt Lake City This is a 900-hour AmeriCorps position averaging 24 hours/week from March-November. The AmeriCorps Bilingual Curriculum Developer is primarily responsible for (1) developing curriculum for remote garden and cooking education programs both in Spanish and English and (2) assembling and distributing educational kits. The UCC AmeriCorps will also assist in maintaining teaching/production gardens, work with community partners, and assist at WCG events. Applications are due 9:00 am February 1, 2021. Learn more here. Garden Coordinator, Wasatch Community Gardens, Salt Lake City This is a 900-hour AmeriCorps position averaging 24 hours/week from March-November. The AmeriCorps Garden Coordinator is primarily responsible for (1) growing fruits/vegetables to be distributed through our educational programs and (2) maintaining our garden sites using organic practices. The Garden Coordinator will also assist in developing and assembling materials for remote youth garden education programs, work with community partners, and assist at WCG events. Applications are due 9:00 am February 1, 2021. Learn more here. Diversity Assistant, Utah Farmers Market Network, anywhere in Utah The Utah Farmers Market Network/USDA FMPP grant team is seeking a Diversity Assistant-Environment and Society to spend 10-15 hours per week working with our coordinator to create a diversity, equity and inclusion initiative with farmers markets in Utah. This position pays $14-$18/hour and can be based anywhere in the state of Utah. Learn more and apply here. If you are hiring on either the farm or fork side of farm to fork, let us know and we’ll share the job posting here!

Funding Opportunities

Gro More Good Grassroots Grant The 2021 Gro More Good Grassroots Grant provides funding for new and existing youth garden programs and greenspaces serving 15 or more youth. Winners will be selected based on their commitment to the maintenance and sustainability of their garden program including plans for growth and future fiscal stability. This grant is open to all nonprofit and tax-exempt organizations (including schools) in the United States and US Territories. Applications are due February 5, 2021. Learn more and apply here. Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program The Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program (BFRDP) provides funds to support education, mentoring, and technical assistance initiatives for beginning farmers and ranchers. Grantees may receive between $50,000-$600,000 over a three-year period. The application deadline is March 25, 2021. Learn more and apply here. McCarthey Dressman Academic Enrichment Grants The McCarthey Dressman Education Foundation offers Academic Enrichment Grants designed to develop in-class and extra-curricular programs that improve student learning. The Foundation considers proposals that foster understanding, deepen students’ knowledge, and provide opportunities to expand awareness of the world around them. Grantees may receive up to $30,000 over three years. Applications are due April 15, 2021, but don’t wait to apply—the system will close once 200 applications have been submitted. Learn more and apply here. Specialty Crop Block Grants The Specialty Crop Block Grant Program (SCBGP) is now accepting applications. The grant is open to producers, schools, trade associations, non-profits, farmers markets, farming and ranching co-ops, etc. headquartered in Utah. Potential projects may include a broad range of focus such as improving marketing, research, training, certifications, food safety, pest control, plant health and beyond for specialty crops. Candidates must demonstrate the ability to enhance the competitiveness of Utah grown specialty crops and benefit more than one producer or organization. Applications are due April 27, 2021. Learn more and apply here. Community Food Projects Grant Program The USDA NIFA Community Food Projects Competitive Grant Program RFA is now open. Awards of up to $400,000 are available for projects designed to increase food security in communities by bringing the whole food system together to assess strengths, establish linkages, and create sustainable systems that improve the self-reliance of community members over their food needs. Applications must be submitted through grants.gov no later than May 4, 2021.

You'll hear from us again next month. In the meantime, we'd love to hear from you!

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