Backyard Bizs Find Niche Market

The Salt Lake Tribune:

Adam de Havenos didn’t know much about gardening when he moved to Utah from New York City, but it seemed a shame to let the small plot in the backyard of his Sugar House dwelling become weed infested.

The 31-year-old neurology resident didn’t have much time to spare, so this summer he hired a company to plant and care for his 5-by-10-foot garden. These days when de Havenos gets home from his job at the University of Utah Hospital, he finds a basket of harvested vegetables on his doorstep.

“It’s amazing how much is coming from that little plot,” he said. “It feeds me and a lot of other residents here.”

Jessica Durham, a partner with D&L Urban Farms, did all the gardening and harvesting. She even made up a batch

of pesto for de Havenos, using basil she picked from his garden. The price for all her work is $30 to $35 an hour.

The rising popularity of urban and community gardens has given birth to a variety of niche businesses such as D&L, from firms that specialize in making fine furniture but also build chicken coops on the side to beekeeping enterprises such as Annette and Aaron Hansen’s Hansen Hives, one of five such operations in Salt Lake County that manage backyard hives or provide consulting services to hobbyists who want to start their own colonies.

“We’ve seen a big resurgence in people wanting to grow their own food,” said Claire Uno, executive director of Wasatch Community Gardens. “The economy has something to do with it, but there’s more of an awareness of the environmental movement. It used to be a fringe thing but now people want to lessen their carbon footprint.”

Photo by The Salt Lake Tribune.

Featured Opportunities

Related Stories