Welcome, Spring

Two requests for use of County property as Victory Gardens, County Commission meeting minutes, April 26, 1943.

(Click on images to enlarge)

To celebrate the first day of Spring (and all of the budding trees and flowers out there), we focus on the history of Salt Lake County Government’s support of citizen gardens.

Salt Lake County has a history of making County-owned land available to citizens for gardening.   During World War II, the County Commission granted permission to a number of residents to use government land for the purpose of creating Victory Gardens.

Victory Gardens were planted behind houses, on city rooftops, in empty lots, in public parks, and even in streets (see record below) as a way to involve citizens in the war effort.  By individuals or neighborhoods growing their own food, they helped to relieve any food shortages caused by rationing and the war effort.  Along with recycling metal, resource rationing, and buying war bonds, people supported the troops overseas and the war effort in general.

Victory Garden entry, Commission meeting minutes, March 1, 1943.

Request from Hester Ames for garden space, Commission meeting minutes, April 7, 1943.

Today,  self-reliance and “eating local” are major issues being discussed and practiced.  Many County residents are growing their own food or buying vegetables, fruits, and meat from local farmers and ranchers.

A new Urban Farming Initiative was started by Salt Lake County in 2009.  Publicly owned lands that are currently lying fallow will be considered for lease for the purposes of growing fruits and vegetables.  This initiative involves individuals claiming vegetable plots in community gardens in Salt Lake County parks (the latest garden will be in Magna’s Copper Park), and also farmers who sell their produce to the community.  The Urban Farming Initiative’s website contains information about how to get your own gardening spot, or if you don’t have a green thumb, where you can buy the produce grown on County leased land.

Victory Garden poster from World War II.

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