From fresh corn to hearty bread, from tender lamb to golden peaches: farms and ranches you may never have heard of within 100 miles of Moab produce beautiful local food. The folks behind Moab Grown want to make sure that every resident and restaurant feels connected with our locally available food and with the people who produce it.
The Moab Grown Local Food Guide has been revamped for 2022 with a clean new design, new information and a new program helping local restaurants and stores identify locally produced food. Utah State University’s Roslyn McCann teamed up with Shiree Duncan to reenergize the program with support from Utah State University Extension Sustainability and the Grand Conservation District.
“Our efforts were on hold during the pandemic, unsurprisingly,” said McCann, who also runs Utah Farm-Chef-Fork, which connects farmers across Utah with chefs. “So we decided this year since things have changed over the last few years with who’s growing food in our community and where to access food, we decided to update the Moab Local Food Guide for 2022.”
Shiree Duncan functions as Moab Grown’s boots on the ground, making connections and building relationships with food producers and restaurants.
“This is something I really enjoy doing. It sparks me!” Duncan said. Many of the farmers that Duncan works with are “old school,” she said, and aren’t able to do marketing or social media to reach consumers.
“Farming is a hard gig,” Duncan said, “and any way that we can make that easier is something that I’m interested in doing.”
Not only that, but local restaurants are appreciative of the information as well.
“Most of the chefs really value good quality ingredients and they’re totally on board,” she said.
“I think my interest in all of this is like economic diversification,” Duncan said. “This is a way of really propping up the people that are doing different things other than tourism.”
Duncan pointed out that the 2022 Local Food Guide has also expanded to include information on free forage sites, free food resources, and grow-your-own-food resources to promote access to fresh food regardless of economic class.
Moab residents can spot the new Moab Grown logo, designed by Karissa DeDecker of Issa Designs, at participating restaurants.
“I’m kind of hoping that over time, that little Moab Grown logo will be something you look for on a menu, just like a sign for vegan or gluten-free dishes,” Duncan said.
“I love the new design,” McCann said. “It suits Moab’s style; I mean, everyone in Moab can grow garlic.”
“Next time you’re at a local restaurant in Moab, ask if they’re part of Moab Grown and look for the decal on the window!” McCann said.
The 2022 Moab Local Food Guide and more information on the program can be found at https://extension.usu.edu/sustainability/utah-farm-chef-fork/.