Monday, August 23, 2010

Heirloom Tomatoes & TRACES GARDENS, an Oasis in the City

Today I found out why I feel almost transformed when I visit Traces Garden, a wonderful local spot where you can find special and unique gifts, flowers year round, organic seeds, and in the summer season organic vegetables growing beautifully along side flowers and heirloom tomatoes. This garden has been a garden since the time Salt Lake City was first settled. Tanya Chatterton, the owner, was kind enough to give me the lowdown on the history of how she came to be caretaker and gardener of this beautiful oasis in the middle of Sugar House. The land had always been owned by some family member of no other than Brigham Young and when the last of that particular line died off, Tanya presented her plan to keep the property as a garden while other options came into turn the space into a variety of other uses including multiple family units. The garden option won even though it was not the most lucrative. Hallelujah!

A beautiful 1910ish bungalow sits on the front of the property and the gardens are in the back.This is a place where you can come and see where your food comes from, who planted it and cared for it. As you walk the beautiful rows you can even choose which of the several varieties of heirloom tomatoes or organic vegetables you want and Natalie, or Johnnie or if you’re very lucky Tanya will pick them for you.

My last two runs to Traces Gardens have produced two large gallon size bags of basil to make my favorite pesto, which is on my friend Bonnie's blog. The basil was a bargain at $7 a bag and it’s 100% organic and delicious. The heirloom tomatoes I got over the weekend are being enjoyed one at a time. These are real tomatoes. They actually have flavor, like the kind we use to have before the tomatoes were fixed and changed into something that we have been told are tomatoes but are really just masquerading as tomatoes.

This Saturday, August 28, Traces Garden is holding it’s annual “Art in the Garden” from 10 AM to 5 PM. There will be local artists, jewelry, metal sculptures, glass, ceramics, weaving and best of all light refreshments featuring organic garden produce and heirloom tomato samples. Really, what more could you want on a Saturday than to be in a charming garden filled with music, art and something tasty to eat? Bring a friend and come see a beautiful garden growing in the middle of the city!


  1. this sounds like a fantastic place! Wish I were local so I could check it out.

  2. What a wonderful place. I'm so happy to see organically grown produce become more and more widespread. Those tomatoes are awesome!

  3. What a wonderful place. I'm glad you blogged about it because I have never heard of it.

    Thank goodness for Tanya...can you imagine if it had been turned into development? Such history should always be preserved!

  4. It sounds like a fun event. I'll try to stop by. I've been wanting to make Bonnie's pesto too.

  5. First of all, I miss you! Second, I am loving the heirloom tomatoes right now. We have been eating them every night for dinner, well, when we are not having cereal:) I can't wait for the remodel to be done! I hope all is well!

  6. This looks like a very interesting place!The tomatoes look awesome!

  7. It's so wonderful that places like Traces exist and thrive in our cities--reminding everyone of their history, and their connection to the natural world.


    I'd love to visit this some day!

  8. There is certainly something to be said about how we transform for the better in certain places more than others. Markets put a big smile on my existence.
    Gorgeous photo for such scrumptious looking tomatoes.

    BTW...I was very pleased that you introduced yourself at my culinary journey...and now I can enjoy yours too ;o)

    Flavourful wishes,

    P.S. My hands also happen to be in one cake [pie] too many ;o))...and I also drive my close ones nuts. LOL

  9. Your tomatoes look beautiful! I love all the colors!

  10. thanks for sharing your precious tomatoes mom!

  11. Sounds like its going to be a fun event.
    That is a beautiful selection of tomatoes, I wish I had access to all of those colours here in the UK, but those unusual colours are a bit hard to find here.
    *kisses* HH

  12. Hi Cristie - where do you get your pine nuts for pesto? I've heard horror stories about Asian pine nuts causing permanent taste bud damage (nobody seems to know why) and I haven't been able to find any domestic ones. Even the Asian ones are horrendously expensive. I used cashews for my last batch of pesto but it just isn't the same... Alison

  13. Alison, You are so right about the cost of pine nuts this season, it is out of sight! Have you tried the Hispanic markets in the south valley? I think the prices are less there. You could also use toasted walnuts or pistachios but it would change the flavor. I was crazy and just bought mine and have the bag in the freezer so they stay good until I need them. Good luck, let me know if you find a deal on them.


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