Youth Garden Project Harvest Festival 2019

Youth Garden Project interns and AmeriCorps VISTA members hold signs made for the upcoming YGP Harvest Festival. From left-right: Rachel Lerner, Andie Mitchell, Mary Langworthy, Abby Meyer, and Kate Glynn. [Photo courtesy Youth Garden Project]

Enjoy a slice of “harvest pizza” made from fresh vegetables grown just feet from your table. Or perhaps you make fabulous jam or pickles? Maybe, even, you’ve grown a huge rutabaga in your garden this year?

Enjoy yourself and show off your green thumb at the Youth Garden Project’s inaugural Harvest Festival, celebrating the season with live music, a mini plant sale, great food and much more on Saturday, Sept. 21, from 3 to 7 p.m.

“We’re planning to make this an annual event,” YGP Executive Director Kaitlin Thomas said.

Community members are invited to enter their contests for best local homemade jam or fruit preserves, as well as pickled or fermented veggies. One pint of jam and one to two pickled items will be accepted per person.

Each food submission must include a list of ingredients, title of the product and the submitter’s name. These homemade goodies can be delivered to the Youth Garden Project until the day of the festival.

Contests will be judged by an expert panel of community members: all those who’ve purchased pizza or green chili during the Harvest Festival.

“We have a new cob wood-fired pizza oven, built by former Community Rebuilds interns,” Thomas said.

Castle Valley Farms is bringing its apple cider press to the festival so people can try their hand at pressing cider and tasting the fruits of the season.

Those with a green thumb are encouraged to enter their “garden beauties” in the Blue-Ribbon Produce Exhibition. The competition will include several categories such as largest, weirdest, best flower arrangement and most “anatomically correct.”

“If you just grow weeds, you can enter your biggest tumbleweed or longest bindweed,” Thomas said. No kidding: that’s a category, too.

One Best in Show award will be given, as well as prizes for first place winners and a special People’s Choice award. Produce submissions will be accepted on Friday, Sept. 20, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

If you grew an amazing piece of produce that won’t last until the day of the festival, take a photo and email it to community@youthgardenproject.org by Sept. 16 to be included in the digital contest. Include the submission category, measurements and a description within your email.

On the day of the festival, three different musical acts will perform starting at 3:15 p.m. – Jon O Radio, billed as a “multi-genre solo show with groovy loop accompaniment;” Meander Cat, a local trio performing all-original music; and Sand and Sunnie Sheff, a husband-and-wife duo who perform mostly original music with a country flair.

“We love the Youth Garden Project,” Sand Sheff said. “It’s a great cause and it does wonderful things for the kids of the community.”

Other Harvest Festival activities include bobbing for apples, playing cornhole, face-painting and making flower crowns.

Members of the Moab Festival of Science committee will also be at the festival sharing agricultural information.

If you’d like to volunteer for the Harvest Festival, email community@youthgardenproject.org or call 435-259-2326