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Hyde Park: Fall veggies up for grabs as farmers ‘Share the Bounty’

October 4th, 2015 Posted in Arts and Life

By Mekenna Malan

HYDE PARK — After 10 minutes of pushing and shoving, Brooke and Lauren Harris realized they could not fit the two 15-pound pumpkins they had picked out for carving into their backpacks.

File photo

File photo

“We rode our bikes 30 minutes from our house to pick out these pumpkins,” said Brooke, 12. “We want these big ones, but they are way too heavy for us to take back on our bikes!”

Brooke and her 10-year-old sister Lauren picked their pumpkins from the side of 250 East in Hyde Park, where varieties of pumpkins are stacked in boxes from Green Canyon Farms.

“We grow our own pumpkins, but we come here every year to pick ones to carve because there are so many different kinds,” Brooke said. “I love the tiny white ones, the pink ones, and the warty ones for witches.”

The road-side boxes from Green Canyon Farms are only one of several pumpkin patch “stands” scattered on nearly every busy street in Hyde Park, making the town a premiere pumpkin-picking destination for Halloween decorators or pumpkin-carving artists this fall.

“We always scoop out the seeds and roast them,” Lauren said. “It’s one of my favorite Halloween treats.”

Nancy Jensen, part-owner of Green Canyon Farms, said the fall season is a particularly busy time to have a garden.

“We have a dozen or so varieties of pumpkins, and I couldn’t tell you even a roundabout estimate of how many pumpkins we pick each year,” she said. “It’s a lot. Maintaining the business takes a lot of sacrifices, but it makes it worth it when people stop by and benefit from what we grow.”

In addition to selling their pumpkins on the side of the road, Green Canyon Farms produce is sold at the Cache Valley Gardeners’ Market, while other Hyde Park residents make use of their gardens by donating their fall fruits and vegetables to the “Share the Bounty” shed just north of the Hyde Park City Offices on East Center Street.

“We live on the other side of town, but nearly every time we pass by, we stop at the Share the Bounty shed,” said Brent Kelly, a member of the Hyde Park City Council. “It was a [Boy Scout] Eagle project completed about five years ago that we agreed to have on city office property. It seems to always be full and we clean it out when the food goes bad.”

The Share the Bounty shed is currently stocked with Hyde Park-grown tomatoes, zucchini squash and jalapenos. Residents are free to take and leave produce as they please.

“People seem to really benefit from it,” Kelly said. “We have a lot of local gardeners and farmers that contribute.”

With all the Hyde Park vendors of pumpkins and other fresh vegetables this fall, Hyde Park residents have no excuse to not buy local, Jensen said.

“Fall is a great time of year for sharing fresh food,” she said. “There is plenty to go around.”

TP

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