From May, 2011

The Farm Weekly Update (Week of May 28th)

It was a big week for The Farm as this marked the first Harvest week and first distribution of Harvest Share subscriptions.  After months and months of hard work and managing through less that ideal weather conditions, The Farm is producing food!

It’s still early in the season and while the Broccoli was more abundant that we’ve ever seen it, the potatoes and lettuce weren’t quite ready.  As a result, it will be a few more weeks before we are able to maximize the produce being given to local feeding programs. However, we should see some amazing progress over the coming weeks as the summer weather pattern begins to set it.

Friday, May 27th was first Harvest and we are thankful for all of those who came out to be a part such an incredible time.

On Saturday, we caught up with Gary at The Farm in Fayetteville & Rachel at our Bentonville Farmer’s Market Booth

Rachel at The Farm’s Bentonville Farmer’s Market Booth

So very thankful for everyone that came out on Saturday as well to help with cultivating, maintenance and planting.  It’s been an incredible season so far and it looks like we are well on our way to keep that momentum going.

Farm Gift Card Thank You

A simple note of thanks…

As part of The Farm initiative we have partnered with some of the area schools to provide their families who have food needs with Gift Cards to our booth for redemption of produce.

This morning we had our first family stop by to redeem their card.

As the mother was leaving she slipped me this note, adding

“It’s not much but a simple thank you.  Cobblestone has helped our family a lot through your programs – my son gets his haircut with you guys too and you always make us feel special.”

She then walked away and I opened up the red envelope that contained this letter:

“(name omitted) is a recipient of the weekly snack packs, and when he got this (Farm Gift Card) yesterday, I found the letter and card for “The Farm.”  You can’t imagine how surprised and thankful I am by this!  (name omitted) and his brother have grown up going to the Farmer’s Market with me for fruits and veggies; they always have fun helping me pick up items.

When (name omitted) was about 2.5-3 years old, he’d get baby cucumbers from any farmer and eat them before we even left the market!  Both (name omitted) and his siblings have been on WIC.  When I take him in for blood work, etc, the nurses also ask what vitamins they are on because their iron count is always good; the boys have never taken vitamins because I make sure they eat well and this card will be a real blessing for us.

Thank you for blessing our family,
“A Mom”

It is people like this that reaffirm for us that God has us where He wants us.  Your help allows us to extend these weekly offerings to families such as these.  Your help changes lives, and helps to “Cultivate a Community Without Need.”

Appreciate getting to be a small part of it,
Rachel

Joplin. Susie’s Story. Renewal and Hope.

Susie, pictured at right in the camo shirt, tugged at my heart today. Her and her husband have been long time Missouri residents, currently living in Carthage, but calling Joplin home. It is where they grew up and spent many years with the family business. It is home for Susie, and her father still resides [...]

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Joplin Lovin’

Hey friends! We just wanted to share with you guys the latest happenings with us and the Joplin relief efforts! We have a way into Joplin on Wednesday with another group from NWA! Just a note:: this is just the beginning of the efforts, we know this is a long process and needs will be [...]

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UA Community Development Belize Program at The Farm

Today we had the honor of having students from the University of Arkansas Community Development Belize Program, led by Dr. Jennie Popp, come and serve at The Farm in preparation for their trip to Belize this summer.

This was a unique opportunity for these students to come and see first hand how a community garden can work & how they can work together as a team in this capacity while in Belize.  During their program, University of Arkansas faculty project leaders will instruct these students in a practicum in their specific fields of study where they have the opportunity to consult with community partners to prepare and develop the projects that will take place each summer in Dangriga and throughout the year.   They will them implement service learning projects during the first UA summer session in the community of Dangriga, a city of about 10,000 on the Caribbean coast.

We will be anxious to hear how their program develops and we are honored that The Farm could be of service to help not only Northwest Arkansas but also the people of Belize.

About the University of Arkansas Community Development Belize Program:

In February 2006, representatives of the University visited Belize to become more familiar with the social, economic, and cultural environment of the country. Afterward, the University of Arkansas entered into a partnership with the community of Dangriga and Peacework for education, service, and economic development involving seven colleges and departments of the University.

University of Arkansas faculty project leaders will instruct students in a practicum in their specific fields of study where they have the opportunity to consult with community partners to prepare and develop the projects that will take place each summer in Dangriga and throughout the year. and implement service learning projects during the first UA summer session in the community of Dangriga, a city of about 10,000 on the Caribbean coast.

Culturally and linguistically, the city is a fascinating mixture of Creoles, Mestizos, and Mayans, though it is dominated by the Garifunas, a Caribbean people descended from African slaves and indigenous groups, with English being the official language.

Leadership for the program comes from the Sam M. Walton College of Business; the Dale Bumpers College of Agriculture, Food, and Life Sciences; the J. William Fulbright College of Arts and Sciences; the College of Education and Health Professions; the Honors College; the Office of Study Abroad; the School of Social Work; and the College of Engineering.

 

Initiative logo: Laundry Love

Laundry Love Springdale Update & Thank You to the Powers

After a year and a half leading Laundry Love Springdale, Jeff and Jennifer Powers will be following their calling in life to serve our community through the Samaritan House Fellowship.  We could never thank the Powers enough for their contribution to the Laundry Love effort & the impact that they have made in the lives of so many will be reflected in eternity.  They took the responsibility of beginning the Springdale Laundry Love efforts from the ground up and they have seen some incredible stories of life change take place over the past year and a half.

They will obviously be missed  at Laundry Love, but we are glad they aren’t going far.  We asked Jennifer to share a few thoughts on Laundry Love and their role over the past 18 months.

…written by Jennifer Powers

 

It’s been nearly 2 years since I first volunteered at the Laundry Love Project (LLP) in Rogers. That night a seed was planted and four months later, Jeff and I were launching LLP in Springdale.

 

At that time we were earnestly seeking God’s will for our lives and were preparing to sell our house and move away to where we felt God was calling us to do mission work.  As we prepared for this transition in our lives, we sensed God close the door and reassure us that it was merely a test of our obedience to Him.  Instead He opened our eyes to see the need in our own community; and thus, LLP Springdale was born.

 

We began LLP thinking we had something to offer.  Our mission was to bring hope and love to the under-resourced in our community; people who have to choose between having enough money to wash their clothes or enough money to put food on the table. What we didn’t realize is how much LLP would change us.

 

Through LLP, we had opportunities to meet and relate to people who might otherwise go unnoticed. We learned how to truly see people – to look past appearances, to learn the context of a person’s life, to offer hope, encouragement, and a helping hand. Through LLP God taught us lessons about unconditional love and demonstrated His promises to provide and equip.  After 1 ½ years with LLP, God has lead us to join Him in His work at Samaritan House Fellowship in Rogers. We are blessed to, now, be part of their youth ministries where we are leading Jr. High and High School students.

 

We are happy that LLP Springdale will continue under the leadership of Patrick and Lindsey Kelley through the Grove Church.

Again, we have been blessed by their contribution and our community is truly a better place because of them.  We can’t wait to hear the stories that will emerge in this new chapter of their life.

If you would like to learn more about Laundry Love and how you can serve through this incredible initiative, we invite you to visit the Laundry Love initiative page  or email LLP@CobblestoneProject.org.  Laundry Love is an initiative of Just One a non profit organization that was formed to stimulate greater global awareness about extreme poverty, and to provoke compassionate ideas and intelligent giving in order to provide sustainable relief.

 

 

asbell_day4-1

Asbell Elementary School’s Farm Education Week

I was thrilled that the Cobblestone Project Farm was able to participate in Asbell Elementary School’s intersession week. We had 8 students sign up through Asbell to take The Farm Class which was 5 days long from 8am-11am for the students learned about the principles of farming, healthy eating & how things grow.  This was a great opportunity as most of the students that attend Asbell Elementary have spent very little time farming or gardening.

We kicked off the week with Mrs. Susan Poole (chef at The Cafe, and former teacher) teaching the students about seeds, where they come from, and how to plant them. She showed them different types of seeds, and taught them the four essentials for planting: Water, Soil, Solar, Space.

Next Dr. Adam Maass talked to the students about healthy eating, and taught them all about vitamin A, B, C, D, E and K. He showed them the amount of sugar that a regular coke has, and challenged them to choose healthy options to eat and drink.

We ended the day with Emily Kaler coloring food pyramids and reviewing what we had learned that day.

On Tuesday and Wednesday the students went out to the Cobblestone Project Farm to learn first hand how to grow fresh produce. We started by touring The Farm, and learning about each row of produce that is currently growning. Gary (the Farm manager) showed the students how to properly care for the plants, and pick the weeds surrounding the plant. The students were able to plant squash and potatoes, and Gary showed them how to take care of the plants once they are planted. The kids loved being on the Farm and learning new things about agriculture.

Thursday and Friday we were back in the classroom at Asbell Elementary. The students spent Thursday preparing their school garden and planting different vegetables to grow in their own backyard. They took what the learned at the Cobblestone Farm and were able to apply it in their school garden. The students planted basil, potatoes, tomatoes, squash, onions, and okra. The Asbell Farm Team will partner with the Asbell Green Team to care for the school garden. Cobblestone is partnering with the students to take care of the garden and when the time comes, help harvest the plants!

The Asbell intersession week was a beautiful one. We were able to engage with students and help them learn life-long lessons they will be able to share with others. We are excited to continue our partnership with Asbell, and will continue to post updates on the Asbell Garden!

For more information on how you can get involved in The Farm or have The Farm team conduct a similar educational program, please send an email to Farm@CobblestoneProject.org & we will be in touch soon.

Serving Together as a Family.

Something we as the 3B2D team is incredibly passionate is serving as a family. We have heard awesome stories and seen families changed because they serve together. It doesn’t matter how old, young, youthful, goofy, shy someone is….serving with people who surround them with love and compassion can make the biggest difference. Personally, an example [...]

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First Planting Celebration at The Farm

The chickens were nesting and laying eggs in their new homes. Children were running free in what soon will be corn fields. Some were learning how to plant a potato. Neighbors were meeting for the first time. The day felt good.

(special thanks to BeGoodHumans.org for video production)

The sun came out and the winds died down. Almost 130 folks gathered under a large white tent on Saturday, May 7th for the First Planting Celebration at The Farm.

Sitting on hay bales, sipping sweet tea and lemonade, each family heard the heart and vision behind The Farm from Mike Rusch, one of the founding members of the Cobblestone Project.

The elders of New Heights Church were on hand to pray for this large endeavor and dedicate the land to the needs in Northwest Arkansas.


Families purchased Harvest Share subscriptions and 30 more volunteers signed up to add to the over 200 that have volunteered at The Farm since March.


A special thank you to our partners & sponsors who made this dream become a reality!

 

Amazing things are growing at The Farm – cabbage, sunflowers, and real community.

Won’t you ‘Be the Farmer’ and take part in this beautiful place? You can volunteer and share in the harvest.

(special thanks to Novo Studio for photographing the day)

 

For more information about how you can be involved in supporting the community through The Farm initiative, we invite you to visit TheFarm.CobblestoneProject.org for more information