|Jul 28, 2011 --
Outline of Need:
The cost of running electric power to the greenhouse that supplies produce to Boulder’s Hell’s Backbone Grill was prohibitive. Providing power to the greenhouse was necessary to extend the useful growing season for the restaurant whose reliance on locally produced food is essential to the economy of the isolated community of Boulder, Utah.
How Rural Development Helped:
When it became apparent that installing photo voltaic panels was the most cost effective means for delivering power to the greenhouse Rural Development provided grant funds to assist with the purchase and installation of the solar panels. Rural Development recognized the important role the restaurant plays in Boulder’s economy. The extensive use of locally produced food has been a benefit to local farmers and ranchers and it helps retain more dollars in the Boulder economy. By contrast, restaurants and other businesses in small isolated communities generally buy supplies and energy from out-of-town vendors thereby sending precious dollars out of the local economy.
In addition to relying extensively on local farmers and ranchers, the greenhouse and small farm run by Hell’s Backbone Grill is providing internships for young people interested in learning more about local food production and organic farming techniques. The restaurant and farm support a mix of 30 full time and part time jobs in Boulder.
Blake Spaulding and Jennifer Castle operate Hell’s Backbone Grill, a restaurant that derives its name from a nearby geologic feature. Hell’s Backbone Grill has made a practice of buying most of its food supplies from local farmers and ranchers. By utilizing local food producers Hell’s Backbone is offering high quality, fresh menu items while retaining and recirculating more dollars in the local economy.