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Eating Local: Convenience Of Community Gardens

Katie Peikes
Cache County Extension Horticulture Educator Helen Muntz (right) and Extension Horticulture Intern Betsey York plant some seeds in a salsa garden near Bridger Park.

Just like the Homer Dale Community Farm in southern Utah, many other Utah communities are establishing community gardens, but they're not living in a "food desert" like the Navajo Nation. Some cities are initiating these gardens simply because of the health benefits and togetherness it brings to a community. 

The City of Logan’s community garden at Bridger Park is just coming into fruition with over 30 plots of land leased to the public so far. Cache County Extension Horticulture Educator Helen Muntz said the benefit of a community garden is it improves health as people can plant and eat their own fresh produce. 

It also plays a part in uplifting the community.

“The gardeners get to know each other is one thing, so they know what’s going on, but it also sort of beautifies unused space,” Muntz said.

The community garden occupies a space behind Bridger Park adjacent to Bridger Elementary.  The garden provides an ecological benefit to the area substituting groups of rocks and weeds that used to be there, Muntz said.

“Now this is going to be really great for the soil, really great for the bugs, the animals and just in general weed control," Muntz said. "A space like this, turned from weeds to a garden and, in turn, being able to feed the community is, I would say, that’s probably one of the long-term impacts.”

Logan’s community garden was launched near the end of May. Some residents have already planted tomatoes, peppers, squash and corn.

“You can grow pretty much anything out here,” Muntz said.