Salt Lake gardeners, bikers to celebrate local food, farms
Published: June 13, 2012 07:37AM
Updated: June 13, 2012 06:32PM

The Utah Department of Agriculture and Food is challenging 10,000 Utahns to document their gardens during the 10,000 Garden Challenge, scheduled to be launched on Saturday.

Also on Saturday, the Edible Wasatch Annual Treasure Hunt for Local Food will begin at 11 a.m. in Salt Lake City.

Both events will kick off at Reservoir Park, 42 S. University St.

At 11 a.m., bikers will begin their hunt for clues and food samples throughout the city. Riders preregister for one of three routes: the Avenues and Marmalade; the 9th & 9th Sugarhouse neighborhood; or downtown and Trolley. After riders have checked off all their route stops, they’ll return to Reservoir Park by 3:30 p.m. to submit their clue cards for a prize. The drawing will be conducted at 4 p.m.

The cost is $20 per person. Participants must preregister at Edible Wasatch magazine, www.ediblewasatch.com.

At 3 p.m., the Utah Garden Challenge will be launched with prize drawings, live music and food trucks.

During the growing season, Garden Challenge will be giving out more prizes and information to encourage people to take pride in agriculture and document the strength of the gardening community, officials say.

Eligibility ranges from growing a single tomato plant in a pot to operating a farm.

“The Utah Department of Agriculture and Food recognizes the self-sufficiency and sustainability of our Utah citizens and we want to acknowledge that quality by issuing this challenge,” said Commissioner Leonard Blackham. “It is our hope that all of our food growers and communities will participate in this fun and worthwhile event.”

To celebrate the growth of gardens, IFA Country Stores has partnered with the state to provide gift certificates as a small incentive to sign up.

For each 1,000 gardens enlisted, a $500 gift certificate will be awarded to a participant, selected at random. In addition, awards will be given out for communities signing up the largest number of gardens.

For more information, visit www.utahgardenchallenge.com or www.ag.utah.gov.

A Saturday full of events

Where • Reservoir Park, 42 S. University St., Salt Lake City

Garden challenge • Participants growing a single vegetable plant to operating a farm are asked to register their gardens.

Bicycle ride • A self-guided tour will feature clues and food samples. Cost is $20 per person.

When • Tour starts at 11 a.m., prize drawings and live music begins at 3:30 p.m. Garden Challenge unveiled at 3 p.m.

Sign up • For Garden Challenge, visit www.utahgardenchallenge.com; for bike tour, participants must reregister at www.ediblewasatch.com.