Real Food Rising brings together teens from diverse geographical, economic, cultural, and racial backgrounds to grow healthy food for their community, engage in meaningful work and develop essential skills to succeed and thrive in the future, all while earning a stipend.
We offer two main programs: Summer Youth Program and Academic Year Program. We hire 18 youth crew workers to work during the Summer Youth Program (June-Aug) and 12 youth for the Academic Year Program ((Autumn & Spring). Youth gain the following skills from Real Food Rising’s program:
Approximately 50% of the youths’ time is spent doing physically demanding farm work and 50% participating in educational workshops, team-building activities, and community service. Applicants must be between the ages of 14 and 17 by the start date of the program.
We grow our produce on 1.25 acres of restored urban land that we lease from Neighborhood House, a nonprofit center that has been providing quality, affordable day care and support services to children and adults for over 100 years. In 2016, through the enthusiastic work of the youth in our program, we provided over 15,000 pounds of fresh, organically grown produce to the local community.
We grow a diversity of vegetables, fruits, and herbs, including: tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, beans, sweet potatoes, kale, cucumbers, melons, squash, beets, carrots, cilantro, onions, and garlic. As our fruit orchard and berry bushes mature, we will also have strawberries, raspberries, gooseberries, currants, apples, cherries, pears, apricots, and peaches available.
We practice sustainable agriculture on the farm. Techniques include natural forms of pest control to avoid the use of harsh chemicals; drip irrigation to conserve water; beekeeping for pollination; composting, crop rotation, and cover cropping to improve soil structure and naturally fertilize the soil.
Applications for the 2017 Summer Youth Program are now closed.
The Summer Youth Program (SYP) is the entry point for most youth and runs from the third week in June through the first week of August. During this 7-week program, typically 18 crew workers work together to grow and donate thousands of pounds of fresh produce. Youth are split into three crews of 6, each led by a college crew leader. This program is four days a week, seven hours a day; youth earn a biweekly stipend of $280.
Crew workers spend the mornings growing food and maintaining the farm. In the afternoons, youth participate in workshops and hands-on activities that address a variety of issues (sustainable agriculture, personal finance, identity, cooking, and communication). Crew workers also spend time volunteering at local hunger relief organizations and participating in food preparation classes.
This program is open to all teens ages 14-17 who can reliably get to and from the farm site on time.
The Academic Year Program (AYP) builds upon the Summer Youth Program and emphasizes leadership and public speaking skills while also deepening agriculture knowledge. This program runs for 15 weeks in the autumn and 15 weeks in the spring. Crew workers work two days a week after school (4-6 PM) and on Saturdays (9 AM-3 PM). Youth earn a biweekly wage of $145. Students who commit to the entire academic year season are eligible for wage increases.
During the week, crew workers spend time participating in public speaking workshops and working on the farm. On Saturday mornings they lead community volunteers through field work and activities. Saturday afternoons are spent deepening knowledge of food systems, participating in cooking classes, and selling produce at farm stands.
This Academic Year Program is open to alumni of the RFR Summer Youth Program.
Please fill out the form below for more information or to request an application.
Office E-Mail Address
764 S. 200 W.
SLC, Utah, 84101
Farm Address & Directions
We’re located just west of Neighborhood House and just east of the Jordan River Parkway. There is parking on 500 S in front of the farm or in the parking lot east of the front gate.
Real Food Rising Farm
1122 W 500 S
W of Neighborhood House
E of Jordan River Parkway
The nearest high-traffic roads are 400 South and 900 West. If driving from the east side of I-80/I-15, please note that the interstate blocks access to the farm via most streets. You must use 400 South or 800 South to pass under the freeway.
Bus fare is $2.50 for a 2.5-hour pass, and you can pay on the bus. If riding Frontrunner or TRAX, check individual bus info for train/bus transfer points (click here to use the UTA Route Finder). You can use your TRAX pass as a transfer on the bus.
The following UTA bus routes run within 2 blocks of the farm:
The Real Food Rising farm is located right next to the Jordan River Parkway. Click one of the links below to find a route.
After working for the Food Project in Boston, Mass., and founding Urban Roots in Austin, Texas, our founding director, Mike Evans, moved to Salt Lake City with a big idea for our community. Under Mike’s leadership, Real Food Rising was created in 2012 under the umbrella of Utahns Against Hunger. Real Food Rising started out with a handful of youth growing a few hundred pounds of food on a quarter acre of land. As of 2015, we’ve expanded onto an additional acre of land and hired more than 30 youth crew workers.
We joined Utah Community Action in 2015. Since that first year, we’ve grown and donated over 25,000 pounds of produce to over 10 food pantries and have helped 65 teens from different socio-economic backgrounds gain valuable skills in job readiness, healthy living, leadership, communication, and positive relationships.