A new community cookbook will be available for sale at the Youth Garden Project’s June Jubilee celebration on June 4. [Courtesy Youth Garden Project]


What: Youth Garden Project June Jubilee Celebration

Where: Youth Garden Project (530 South, 400 East, Moab)

When: Friday, June 4 from 5 to 7 p.m.

Cost: Free

Info: www.youthgardenproject.org or 435-259-2326

The Youth Garden Project has been providing agricultural education, youth programs, and food for the community for 25 years. [See “Youth Garden Project” on page XX of this edition. -ed.] Celebrate with the local nonprofit on the evening of June 4 by stopping by the garden for food, music, and camaraderie.

The star of the party will be a new community cookbook called “Celebrating Past & Cultivating Future: 25 Years of the Youth Garden Project.” The 108-page book contains 41 recipes contributed by past and present YGP staff, board members, and volunteers, as well as community partner organizations like the Moab Valley Multicultural Center. The recipes range from meals for kids to desserts to garden-produce inspired dishes. A special section focuses on seasonal recipes that use ingredients found in YGP Community Supported Agriculture shares. The book was compiled and edited by YGP Garden-based Curriculum Specialist Jessie Shalvey.

“I did really enjoy it, it was something I cared a lot about,” Shalvey said of gathering information and community contributions for the cookbook. Paperback copies of the cookbook will be available at the June Jubilee for $35; people can also pre-order hardcover copies for $55.

YGP staff will prepare a few recipes from the cookbook, using YGP produce, for Jubilee attendees to sample. For example, local nonprofit Resiliency Hub contributed a recipe for Mulberry Mint Iced Tea, which garden staff will prepare for the event.

In addition, there will be cake and “non-alcoholic, sparkly beverages” infused with teas and herbs from the garden, said Emily Roberson, outreach and development coordinator for YGP. A video-message booth will be set up where attendees can record memories or offer thanks for how the nonprofit has impacted their lives, whether by sparking an interest in gardening, serving as a place to meet new friends, or just offering a way to be active in the community.

Throughout the month of June, YGP is encouraging community members to donate to the organization in honor of anyone who has inspired them in gardening, farming, or cooking. They’ve set a goal of raising $12,500 in the month of June, and hope that half of that amount will be pledged by matching donors; so far, one anonymous donor has promised to match up to $4,000 in smaller donations. The funds will go toward the organization’s general operations and for youth and community programs.

“It’s really important for functioning and us achieving our mission,” explained Roberson. “We’re always working towards how we can better serve the community. This year some of our goals have been to increase production, especially in the shoulder seasons, and be able to donate more to our CareShares.” CareShares are YGP CSA packages donated to service organizations like Seekhaven Family Crisis and Resource Center and the Moab Valley Multicultural Center.

Roberson described the Jubilee as a “low-key” event.

“Really we just want to invite people out to come celebrate with us,” she said. “Just come by and say ‘hi’ and hang out and enjoy this beautiful time of year in the garden—gather and celebrate and share stories.”