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Food Insecurity

Northwest Arkansas: Growing Community, One Garden at a Time

Tri Cycle Farms, Cobblestone Farms, the Apple Seeds Teaching Farm, and the Springdale Community Garden Hub are starting to come alive with opportunities to get involved.

The benefits of community gardens are seemingly without end; they increase access to fresh foods, improve food security, encourage physical activity, reduce stress, etc.—but above all, community gardens have a way of gathering people of all ages and backgrounds, planting the seeds of neighborliness, and reminding us that we are all in this together. Here are few places you can get your hands in the dirt and have an impact on food sovereignty in Northwest Arkansas.

Tri Cycle Farms

Tri Cycle Farms will be hosting a Potato and Spring Crop Planting Workday on March 23rd from 10AM-2PM. They will be planting potatoes and onions in the Main Garden and preparing beds for summer crops. They'll also be planting kale, broccoli, cauliflower, peas onions, radish, beets other spring veggies in the Market Garden!

If you do not know the story of how Tri Cycle Farms started, check out this recent profile of it's Founder and Executive Director, Don Bennett, in the Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette HERE.

The farm is located at 1705 N. Garland Ave, Fayetteville, Arkansas.


Cobblestone Farms

Join Cobblestone Farms for their Spring Brassica Planting Party on Wednesday, March 27th from 1PM-5PM. Help them plant thousands of cabbage, broccoli, and collard seedlings for their upcoming Spring season. This is one of many opportunities to lend a hand out at the farm and a chance to learn more about Cobblestone Farms.

If you can't make it on March 27th, there is a second opportunity to spend An Afternoon at the Farm on Saturday, April 20th from 2PM-5PM. They will be planting, harvesting, weeding, and prepping for their Late Spring season. This will be a huge event filled with projects big and small.

You can also support them by signing up for their Community Supported Agriculture program. Through this program you get to pick up local seasonal vegetables weekly. In return for your subscription, Cobblestone Farms is able to donate 50% of their fresh grown produce to hunger relief efforts in Northwest Arkansas. In 2018, they were able to grow over 12,000 lbs of fresh produce.

The farm is located at 1210 54th St, Fayetteville, Arkansas.

Apple Seeds Teaching Farm

In 2015, Apple Seeds found its home on 2-acres of land at Gulley Park in Fayetteville. The Teaching Farm was established at Gulley Park thanks to a collaboration with the City of Fayetteville to lease those 2 acres to Apple Seeds until the year 2035!

In just 2 short years Apple Seeds turned this field into a Teaching Farm and opened its gates to students in 2017. Home to a Teaching Kitchen, an orchard, production gardens and a variety of gardens, the Teaching Farm is a place for students to learn, cook, share healthy meals together, and be inspired to do the same in their kitchens.

Each summer, Apple Seeds hosts the The Kids' Table, a week of half day summer camps at the Teaching Farm. Campers (ages 7-15 years old) will spend the week at the farm gardening, harvesting fresh ingredients, and making a garden fresh lunch inside their Teaching Kitchen. If you are interested, they are still a few slots available this year! Check out the four upcoming sessions taking place during the month of June HERE.

Also, feel free to explore or lend a hand on the farm each Saturday from 9AM-12PM during their open garden hours. Volunteers are also invited to apply to become a regular garden volunteer HERE. Last year, more than 350 volunteers and interns spent 2,681 hours contributing to Apple Seeds' mission. Learn more about their impact in their 2018 Annual Report, which can be found HERE.

The farm is located at 2648 N. Old Wire Road, Fayetteville Arkansas.

Springdale Community Garden Hub

On the first Saturday of each month from 10AM-12PM, Feed Communities hosts Gardening 101 Demo, Gardening Q&A, and casual conversations at their Springdale Community Garden Hub. They will be doing a different gardening 101 topic each month. The events are free and open to all ages! Learn more HERE.

The garden is located at the intersection of Mill St & W Center St in Springdale (behind the American Legion building). For inquires or directions, please call (479) 966-4790 or email nevans@feedcommunities.org.

See you in the garden(s)!

Children & Youth

Local Kids On A Mission to End Homelessness

The 7Hills Youth Council is a group of kids working under the auspices of 7Hills Homeless Center to help end homelessness in Northwest Arkansas.

We recently caught up with an inspiring group of local youth (ages 5-13) working together to impact one of the toughest social problems affecting our community—homelessness. Check out the Q & A below.

Please introduce yourselves.

We're the 7 Hills Youth Council, and we want to help create functional zero in Northwest Arkansas. Reaching functional zero would mean there are no consistent populations of people who are homeless—and that when someone does find themselves out of a home due to unfortunate circumstances, there are systems in place to get them back in a home in no time.

What motivates you all?

We're dedicated because—to be honest—it feels good to help. You can walk around knowing that you helped someone in need, that you're making our community better. All of the people on the council are friends, so that helps keep us working together, even if it doesn't always help us stay on task!

Tell us about some of your recent efforts.

A few months ago, we set up a stand at the Fayetteville Farmers Market, and just walked up to random people and asked them for money to help people experiencing homelessness in our town. We expected to raise maybe $500—it turned out that after 5 Saturdays, we raised $5,000!

Recently, we did a big event to raise money to purchase sleeping bags. Our goal was 100 sleeping bags—but then we got an invitation to visit the Coleman Company. We came out to talk about functional zero—and there were 120 sleeping bags waiting in the hallway, all being donated to 7 Hills!

Excited, we continued planning for our event. We went all over asking businesses to donate for our raffle. Not only would that make our event awesome, but we were also raising awareness all over Northwest Arkansas. After weeks of pestering different places, over 20 different local businesses helped with our fundraiser. Again, being kids prevailed!

The day of the event, January 19, was kind of crazy, in that there was a huge snowstorm. Rick's Bakery had donated seven huge boxes of donuts, which we precariously balanced in our arms as we slipped and slid to the space, an awesome music hall donated by the Roots Festival. We set up tables and a "Food Room" with bagels and pizza. On the stage, Smokey and the Mirror set up their instruments, and then finally, we were ready.

Nate Walls Facebook

So, how did the event go?

We didn't know how many people would come, but then the room started flooding with people. Smokey & The Mirror was a hit, and Wood Stone donated even more pizza after we ran out of the first batch! At the end of the night, after both raffle tickets and admission, we raised thousands more to add to our haul of sleeping bags. In total, we raised $10,000 including the cash and the value of the sleeping bags combined. It was so fun to send the checks on to 7 Hills.

Nate Walls Facebook

What's next?

The future is filled with possibilities—what should we try to achieve next? Whatever it is that we're doing, we'll approach it with the goal of helping people, and a sense of joy.

The 7Hills Youth Council is made up of 14 members: Maggie, Elo, Samia, Irene, Huck, Ariana, Eva, Nikolai, Alexander, Caleb, Theo, Oliver, Mira, and Ava.

If anyone's interested in donating or taking part in the 7 Hills Youth Council, feel free to contact them at 7hillsyc@gmail.com

Charities

Compassion Fayetteville

Compassion Fayetteville is a cooperative effort by a group of citizens who are volunteering their time to increase awareness, encourage, and promote a culture of compassion through identifying, supporting and initiating new compassionate actions in Fayetteville.

mailto:reved12a@gmail.com
https://www.compassionfayetteville.org/
Food Insecurity

The Volunteers at Tri Cycle Farms Contributed Almost 10,000 Hours in 2018!

Tri Cycle Farms envisions a world with food security, sovereignty and sustainability for all.

The Tri Cyclists took to Facebook this past week, sharing a series of posts that showcase the impact they achieved in 2018—and it's nothing short of awe-inspiring. Below we've shared a few of the highlights.

1,750 Unique Volunteers Served Almost 10,000 Hours 

"This year, over 1,750 unique volunteers served almost 10,000 hours with Tri Cycle. This work is vital to the success of our organization and without support from our community members and partners, we would not exist.

Throughout 2018, we hosted volunteers from CLIF Bar, University of Arkansas Honors College, University of Arkansas Greek Life, Volunteer Action Center, Teen Action & Support Center (TASC), Hendrix College, Food Not Bombs NWA, Full Stomachs, Clean Feet, Juice Palm, Specialized Real Estate Group, Walmart, and more!

Individual and group workdays are just another way to get involved with your community at Tri Cycle Farms!"

Did You Know?

"Did you know that our 2-acre urban farm-park is 100% spray and pesticide-free? Did you know that we harvested over 3,000 lbs of produce during this year's harvest season? Did you know that from that food, over 2,500 lbs of delicious and nutritious produce was donated to those most in need in our community?

Growing food is just one of the ways we fight to alleviate food insecurity in NWA. We would not be able to do this work without the support of our hard-working volunteers and dedicated donors who have shared their time, money and resources to help keep us moving forward. The love from our community is what allows us to make our goals a reality."

Field Trips

"Field Trips to the farm are just one of the ways that we make an #impact in our community. This year we had visitors from Prism Education Center, Northwest Arkansas Children's Shelter, Saint Joseph Catholic Church, Yvonne Richardson Community Center, Cadence Academy Preschool, Fayetteville, and Washington Elementary. All of whom got a chance to experience the beauty of our 2-acre, spray and pesticide-free, urban farm-park.

Part of the Tri Cycle Farms mission is to educate our community members on how to grow their own food. We know that we alone cannot solve the major problem of hunger that Arkansas faces. However, we understand that we all have the ability to learn how to get back to the basics of growing food. This is just one way we are able to make a difference in NWA."

The City Chicks

"People who feed water and love these hens each year are Chicken Tenders. This is a program at Tri Cycle Farms sponsored by Ozark Natural Foods!"

AmeriCorps NCCC Southwest Region 

"Our second AmeriCorps NCCC Southwest Region team (Earth Team 2) hard at work in the spring. Watch this short video capturing moments in the 13 weeks where invasive species were removed, the food forest planted and other community gardens expanded. It doesn't hurt that Handmade Moments lent us their beautiful voices. Enjoy!"

What a year!!!

But let's return to those 10,000 hours...we happen to know that the Independent Sector calculates the national value of volunteer time each year so charitable organizations can place a $ value on the contributions of their volunteers. This year, it is $24.69. Based on some quick math, that means Tri Cycle Farms enlisted around $246,900 worth of community service in the fight for food security in 2018.

Inspired? Want to get involved? Here are some ways you can help.

Psst...spread the word.

Tri Cycle Farms is currently looking for three dynamic, outgoing, enthusiastic service members to join their AmeriCorps VISTA team. Serving as an AmeriCorps VISTA requires a one year commit to working full-time alongside the Director and the rest of the VISTA team to help Tri Cycle build capacity to become a sustainable organization.

If you are interested, or know someone who is interested in joining the Tri Cycle team, please follow the link below to learn more about their three available AmeriCorps VISTA Service Member positions: http://bit.ly/2FOSB4U

Donate

Donating is so easy! Just follow the link to give a monthly donation of $5, $10, or more: http://bit.ly/2DQIda8

If you would like to make a one-time donation, please follow this link: http://bit.ly/2Qxb620

CONNECT WITH TRI CYCLE

Food Insecurity

Keep A Local Food Recovery Program Rolling

Tri Cycle Farms food recovery program is raising money to purchase a truck capable of pulling this trailer and the ton of food per week it'll help them recover and distribute.

For seven years Tri Cycle Farms has be growing its gardens and programs to fulfill the organization's vision of a world with food security, sovereignty and sustainability for all. Through a partnership with Whole Foods, their food recovery program has been able to divert tens of thousands of pounds of food each year from the landfill and help hundreds of families each week by getting wholesome, highly nutritious food into hungry bellies.

In fact, at the halfway point of 2018, Tri Cycle Farms had already harvested, recovered and shared over 60,000 pounds of high-quality, nutritious food with those who would otherwise not have access to it. That said, the Tri Cyclist's are looking to take their efforts to the next level and purchase or find a truck that can pull a brand new trailer they received with support from Fayetteville Roots Festival, Specialized Real Estate, and Whole Cities Foundation.


The request from Don Bennett, founder of Tri Cycle Farms:

"Isn't this an awesome trailer? Isn't she beautiful? I'm sure you've heard what the problem is though. No? Well... we don't have a truck capable of pulling over ton of food per week in this baby. Yep. You understand now. We're a cart before the horse organization. Here's what you can do to help right now and it's as simple as 1,2,3! Please share share share this sustainer campaign on your feeds. Please consider writing a testimonial of how Tri Cycle Farms has impacted you or someone you know. Then please please please become a monthly sustaining member today. Follow the Network For Good link and give safely, securely and simply. $5 (1 coffee/tip) or $10 (1 lunch/tip) or $25 (1 dinner/tip) Your membership will keep the gates open and food recovery rolling."

From a fellow Tri Cyclist:

"Hey you guys!!! Please consider helping my friend Don. You know anyone who has a truck to give? Every day he and several faithful volunteers pack their cars to the gills, with tons of leftover food from our local Whole Foods, then distribute it to those in need. Not only is this a laborious task, but it's quite tough on the vehicles too! A truck is meant for this line of work, and more so- it can pull the huge trailer that was donated to them! With the trailer, they can more than triple their efforts. The only thing holding them back is something to pull it with. So, if you know someone who can help, give me or Don a shout!" - Zac Trout

Become a sustainer here: http://bit.ly/2OlfX0M

CONNECT WITH TRI CYCLE

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