Local Family Brings Farm Sharing, Farm-to-Table Dinners and Kids’ Events to Community
There aren’t many things that taste better than a vine-ripe tomato just picked, or the crunch of a carrot pulled from the ground, or the crispness of that first bite into an apple that just fell from the tree. Unfortunately, when you live in the city, finding this kind of freshness isn’t always the easiest. Urban Farm & Feed to the rescue! Draper residents will be able to enjoy the freshest tastes of the seasons at Urban Farm & Feed’s new farm stand, opening in June, located at 310 East and 13800 South.
The owners of Urban Farm & Feed, Marty and Maryann Alston, are excited to be sharing their farmland, food, experiences and knowledge with residents of Draper. When their farm stand opens in June, residents will be able to buy fruits and vegetables straight from the farmland they are standing on. The farm stand isn’t about the monotonous task of buying your weekly groceries, it’s about the community atmosphere and learning opportunity you will experience.
In addition to their homegrown produce, they will also be selling their local grass-fed beef and lamb, farm-fresh eggs and cheeses, and fresh homemade pies. You will also be able to find artisan packaged foods from other local producers including raw honey, jams, hummus, salsa, and breads.
The Alston’s are leasing 17 acres of this Draper location, made possible through the Salt Lake County Urban Farming Program and Utah Open Lands. They are excited to be farming in Draper because “Draper is one of the cities committed to saving some farmland,” they say. In addition to Draper, Urban Farm & Feed maintains 30+ acres throughout Salt Lake County. This helps provide additional produce for the two farm stands they are now operating. There will be a Farm Share pickup each Tuesday at the Draper farm stand for their spring and summer shares. The Farm Share Program includes seasonal produce and recipes each week, and helps fund the early stages of farming including buying seeds, planting, and harvesting.
All of Urban Farm & Feed’s fruits and vegetables are grown organically. They operate under strict sustainable farming methods and are committed to feeding our community produce that has not been treated with chemicals. Additionally, all their cattle are raised in Torrey, Utah, where they graze on pasture grass and are not given any supplemental feed, hormones, or antibiotics. The eggs and cheeses sold at the farm stands come from free-range chickens and goats that forage on pasture, organic feed, and produce, and are raised in Holladay, Utah.
The Alston’s are a local couple, busy raising two young boys and trying to figure out this farming thing. As first-generation farmers who “started with no land, no equipment, no nothing,” as Marty puts it, has built their business “from the relationships and connections we have established, and now have been able to obtain pieces of ground and acquired the equipment.” Having farmland in an urban setting is important to the Alstons. Maryann adds, “Our commitment is to future generations. I feel strong about laying out the framework for future people to become farmers and to know they can make a sustainable living off farming.”
The farm stand won’t be the only excitement from Urban Farm & Feed; the Alstons also plan to host a few farm-to-table dinners at this Draper location. They are excited to have the grove of trees as their backdrop for this event which includes meals that are prepared with food on-site and involves other local producers.
Urban Farm & Feed will also be hosting Farm Kid Activities every Tuesday. Kids 12 and under are welcome to join fellow little farmers for activities including crafts, meeting animals, farm tasks, and making butters and jams. Many children who live in urban settings think their food just comes from the grocery store. “If you want your kids to know where food comes from it’s a place you can come and show them in an urban setting. How likely is it that you will take your kids hours away to a rural setting to show them a farm and teach them where a carrot comes from,” Says Marty.
The Alstons encourage supporting all types of local producers. Maryann is very passionate when she says “If you want to see farming in an urban setting, you need to support your local producers or else it will be gone. You are making a choice and voting with your dollars. It adds so much authenticity and character to our community.”