Salt Lake County's Urban Farming
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|We're now hiring for an Open Space and Urban Farming Intern. This is a great opportunity for the right individual who wants to learn about the development and implementation of programs that are models for land conservation and preservation, alternative urban land use, and strengthening local food value chains.|
Please email cover letter and resume by April 3, 2015.
Interested in starting an Urban Orchard?
Urban Farming wants to know the interest in our community for an Urban Orchard program. One option of this program would be to lease vacant parcels to local farmers to create an urban orchard. If you are an existing farmer or a new farmer interested in leasing land from Salt Lake County to start an orchard, fill out this survey about your interest and needs.
ABOUT URBAN FARMING
The vision of Salt Lake County’s Urban Farming is to create and promote a sustainable food system in the region by increasing the amount of nutritious, healthy food that is produced locally. Our Urban Farming initiatives provide resources and technical assistance to local producers as well as programs to increase local food production, food access to disadvantaged populations, and opportunities for our residents’ to understand where their food comes from.
With our vital agricultural lands vanishing at an alarming rate, SLCO Urban Farming integrates ecological, biological, economic, and social concerns by providing opportunities for our community to successfully create solutions for sustainable food production in an urban landscape. Our programs are models for alternative urban land use, connecting people to their food, their environment, and each other.
Our purpose is to:
Preserve agricultural land to meet the nutritional needs of present and future generations and support local farmers
Protect our local food supply
Better utilize County lands
Promote the use of biofuel production on non-traditional agronomic lands
Provide agricultural-based economic development opportunities
Preserve vistas and landscapes
Promote a healthy lifestyle and improved nutrition along the Wasatch Front
- The Risk of Avian Influenza to Backyard Chickens - What Every Chicken Owner Should Know
- 2013 Urban Farming Annual Report
- 2013 Urban Farming Implementation Handbook Addendum 1: Commercial Farming RFP Example
- USU Extension
Addendum 2: Wasatch Community Gardens Contract Example
Addendum 3: Community Garden Application Example
URBAN FARMING ASSESSMENT ACT
If agricultural property were taxed at market value, farming would be economically prohibitive for most producers because property taxes would increase several fold. Voters approved this constitutional amendment to encourage retention of land in agriculture and to protect productive farm lands.
To qualify for UFA, your plot must be:
- 2-4.99 acres
- Planted in irrigated food crops on all acreage that you are applying for UFA from 2 acres to 4.99 acres.
- Food crops are produce only. Field crops such as wheat and barley do not count, nor do hay or corn grown for animals.
- In agricultural use for at least two (2) successive years immediately preceding the tax year in which application is made
- If land has already been assessed as Greenbelt (Farmland Assessment Act) for 2 years, and the use is irrigated food crops, those 2 years will count as the qualifying period.
- Land under agricultural buildings and facilities will count towards acreage if they are used for storage of the irrigated food crops or to store equipment used for the production of the irrigated food corps. Land under agricultural buildings used for any other purpose such as barns for animals will not count.
Changing the use of the parcel from irrigated food crops will trigger a rollback of taxes for up to ten years. Rollback taxes will equal the Fair Market tax on that property minus UFA tax (the reduced tax you paid under the Urban Farming tax).
If the property is sold to someone who wants to continue the irrigated food crops, they can sign an affidavit and continue under UFA without paying back taxes at this time. However, they need to understand they will be assuming the rollback taxes for up to 10 years if they change the use even though they did not own the property for the entire 10 years.
Is there an element of the Urban Farming Assessment Act that keeps you (a landowner with between 2-4.99 acres) from applying? Do you have other questions about the act?
PROGRAM HISTORY - MEET THE FARMERS
Commercial Farming on underutilized County Lands.
In 2010, Salt Lake County leased land to local farmers. This land will someday be used for parks, but at the time was literally growing weeds. Under the Urban Farming program, the land is being put to a better use, until revenues improve and the parcels can be developed.
To buy the produce, contact:
Email Bell Organic to participate in their CSA.
Go to the Downtown Farmers Market to purchase Cottage Greens produce, grown by Diane and Jerry Jones.
Stop by Cottage Greens leased property on Thursdays from 8 to 3 to purchase fresh from the garden. The address is 13800 South 323 East in Draper.
Go to one of Thayne Tagge's road side stands or participate in their CSA.
Tagges Famous Fruit leased approximately 7 acres north and east of the Holladay Lion's Recreation Center.
Thayne and Cari Tagge have been farming along Utah's Fruit Row in Perry for several years (one of their orchards is pictured above). They are excited to have property close to their home in Holladay and to provide residents with fresh locally grown produce.
Wheadon Farm in Draper as the site of farming for Bell Organic Gardens.
Contact Julie Peck-Dabling 385-468-1811, or email