From April, 2012

It’s Spring Harvest Time!

This week we will begin the work of harvesting the first spring crops & begin food distribution.

It’s a busy and exciting time at The Farm & the fruits of everyone’s labor is finally being seen.

We could use a little rain, but there is some in the forecast for this week. We have a lot of seeds in the ground that just need a little water to get them moving.

Our Amazing Community

Special thanks to everyone who helped at The Farm this week.  It’s so great to see so many familiar faces & meet new ones.

The World Gym of Northwest Arkansas Volunteer Squad & their families came out on Saturday to help & they were so much fun!

I even think a few of the kids at The Farm even were lucky enough to get some tractor rides!  The New Holland tractor from William’s Tractor continues to make The Farm a better place.

The Farm team took a break on Thursday to join our friends at the Central United Methodist Church in Fayetteville Community Meal (somewhere we donate food to during the season), and were reminded just how incredible they truly are.  Glenn Miller took some time to give us an update on the needs they are seeing every week & then the following day he brought a group out to The Farm to help cultivate the crops.  It’s so amazing to being able to help each other & we are truly grateful for our friends at CUMC.

Our friends at Walmart continue to humble us as so many groups from so many different divisions continue to invest their time in The Farm showing us that they truly are committed to “Fighting Hunger Together.”  We were thankful to have friends within Walmart ISD come out to The Farm again on Friday!  Amazing company and amazing people!

Production Update

We started initial preparation to plant the blueberries we’ll be receiving as a part of the Project 7 Earth Day Celebration partnership.  We have 150 blueberry bushes on the way that will benefit the Northwest Arkansas community and our Hunger Relief Efforts.  We love the direct impact that Project 7 is making in Northwest Arkansas.

The blackberries are starting to come in very well & we hope to be able to have enough to include in our Hunger Relief and Harvest Share Subscriptions!

We are planting a whole lot of flowers this season!  Not only do they make The Farm looking amazing, but they really help to keep the bees in the field for pollination and erosion control between rows.  We had some little fingers help us get them ready for planting!

Sustainability

We were thankful to have a number of students from Dr. Jennie Popp’sFundamental’s of Sustainability” class at The Farm on Saturday.  They help with cultivation and also were able to see how The Farm serves as a “managed system for agriculture.”

Farm Operations

Well…it’s not always great at The Farm & this Saturday it looks like our Farmer’s Market “Freedom” Van has finally died.  We’ll be in need of another transportation and delivery vehicle, but until them we will just be thankful that it lasted as long as it did.

Visit The Farm

We are so encouraged every week and the number of people that come to add their hands and hearts to the vision of The Farm.  We know that without our Northwest Arkansas community, none of this would be happening.  You’re an incredible inspiration & you’re making an incredible difference in the lives of so many.

Thank you & upcoming farm service opportunities can be found online or we can coordinate times during the week via emailing us at TheFarm@CobblestonProject.org

 

 

30 Days for Change

The “30 days 4 Change” student groups from Bentonville High School have been hard at work with their local nonprofit partners (Samaritan Community Center, 99 Balloons, Life Source, Saving Grace, and 7 Hills)!

The month of April has been busy as the groups  continue to implement their impact campaigns.

The group partnered with SAMCC is planning a can food drive to stock the food pantry at the center. They will be hosting it through Bentonville High School, and local Bentonville Neighborhoods. The Rogers Samaritan Center serves 100-150 families/week through their food pantry, and are in need of canned goods.

99 Balloons helps others engage children with special needs along with their families, locally and globally.  The BHS student group is volunteering with rEcess, and raising funds to send equipment to children to Ukraine.

Life Source International and the BHS Students are building raised garden beds on location at LifeSource. LifeSource desires to help families in need in Northwest Arkansas, and will be able to provide good, healthy options through raised garden beds.

The Saving Grace Group has planned to help with new marketing materials, and promotion for their Butterflies & Blooms Event. The students are also polling those in their school to collect data for Saving Grace, as they plan for a new campaign.

The 7 Hills team will be hosting an event to raise awareness about homelessness in NWA. The group plans to spend the night outside to raise awareness and money for 7 Hills.

This is the full last week for the students participating in 30 Days for Change, and there is still plenty to be done.

Our next in school meeting will be April 26th, followed by the finale day on April 30th. The judges panel will take place on May 7th and the winners will be announced that night.

Don’t forget to check back to see the latest updates,pictures and stories.

Spring Harvest Approaches

The Farm is quickly approaching our spring harvest period & with another great week of weather forecasted we plan to begin harvesting the middle of next week!

We have been a flurry of activity as April & May are truly some of our busiest months of the season.  We’ve been sharing our story, planting, installing final pieces for harvest and produce processing, building new buildings, and dodging the rain. However, you can see the hope and joy in the Farm team’s eyes even if there are a bit dirty.

Thank you for all of the encouragement and help that have been given.  We have some beautiful stories to share this week.

Community

Energy Corps

We had the privilege of having the Arkansas Energy Corps at The Farm to establish a composting system that will hopefully serve as a West Fayetteville site for the community to drop off organic materials.  It should be a great service to the community and a great service to The Farm.  Truly thankful for the Energy Corps and especially for Gary and Hannah who also serve as Arkansas Energy Corps members.

Fayetteville Public Library “Green Series”

Last week the Fayetteville Public Library hosted an informational series on home gardening & canning at Hannah Campbell was asked to participate.

(photo credit:  Grace Gude)

Hannah spoke about efficient & sustainable ways to create a healthy garden at home.  This included suggestions of composting leftover food and debris from mowing/weeding to help enrich their soil,  to recycle rain water to water their plants thus reducing water usage, and easy tips, like tilling the area thoroughly to bring up untouched nutrients from the earth to enrich their soil.  And, of course, encouraged everyone to come and volunteer at the Farm to not only get helpful  gardening experience and see how a large scale farm works, but to be a part of our movement and help out our neighbors in NW Arkansas who don’t have access to grow their own food.

Churches & Families

Huge thank you for the continued support of so many from Central United Methodist Church in Fayetteville.  Central United Methodist is an incredible faith community who have invested a lot of energy into The Farm and it allows us to significantly increase the amount of food that we are able to then return to them for their Community Meals Program that takes place every Tuesday and Thursday for the hunger, homeless, poor and beautiful people in our community.

Production Update

Over the past two weeks, we have continued to plant more and more and ensure that all the proper maintenance is being done to produce a great spring crop.

The high tunnel is producing some incredible salads mixes for our spring harvest & we are ready to begin harvesting in the coming days.

We have also planted over 400 tomato plants & with the incredible weather we’ve been having we are beginning to see fruit on the vines.  Let’s hope it holds and we have a great season of tomatoes (especially after last year’s challenges).

We are very thankful to finally have the produce cooler installed at The Farm to help us improve the quality of the produce that we will be distributing this season.  This is a huge step from last year & we are thankful to Greg Primm for making it possible!

Harvest Share Subscribers

Spring has been good to us and we are looking at Saturday, May 7th as the first lug distribution for Harvest Share subscribers.  The first week’s harvest is looking like it will be delicious fresh salad of lettuces, spring mix, radishes, kale, various herbs & working to have farm fresh eggs as well.

Thank you to all of our subscribers as we are sold out for the second season in a row!  The income from the selling of share allows us to fund the operational costs of The Farm & provide a whole lot of food away to our our community.

More information will be send out directly to Harvest Share subscribers next week in prep for 1st distribution.

Thank You

As always, we are incredibly thankful to our community for your support.  The Farm does not work without out!  It’s a beautiful time of the year to be at The Farm, so we invite you to come join us on an upcoming Saturday or send us an email (TheFarm@CobblestoneProject.org) to coordinate a time during the week!

 

Art in the Park…3 Bags in 2 Days

This past Saturday was the launch of 3 Bags in 2 Days new “Art in the Park” initiative!

We had been saying for a few months that if 1 person paints, then we will count it as a success….well, after a week of hitting up multiple community meals, churches, and other events with hundreds of flyers and announcements, the moment of truth was about to happen.

We had the main pavilion of Walker Park in Fayetteville reserved from 2-6 pm with dinner being served around 4:30. Come 1:30 as we were loading up to head out, I got an incredibly excited feeling. We pulled up to the park around 1:45 and much to my surprise…there were about 15-20 people waiting there for us to start painting!

It was beautiful before it had even begun.

Within 30 seconds everyone was at our cars unloading all the tubs and boxes. Tons of canvases, paint brushes, hygiene packs, resource flyers, clothing, household items and so much more was being carried to be laid out in the pavilion. When everything was laid out, organized and ready to go…we started!

Words cannot describe what joy filled my heart as the “Art in the Park” mixed CD I had made starting playing and the paint started flowing.

Within minutes, tons of people were sitting down and entering the world of their emotions. People were soon taken away to a different place of healing and restoration while letting the paintbrush be the tool that tells their story.


I looked to my left and there was a group of about 4 little kiddos painting away with the most joyful smiles I have ever seen. Paint all over their clothes and faces but not a care in the world. For just a few minutes…all was well.

As the day progressed onward with the same peaceful and beautiful momentum as the second that it had started, we saw about 60 people take time to paint.

The stories were simply beautiful.

They were stories of giving up life-long addictions, memories of their families, motivations through hardships, joy, pain and sorrow, and so much more.

Each had such emotion and life poured into it that it could not have been anything but a masterpiece. Everyone signed their work to validate it and give ownership. So many smiles and so many stories.

Art in the Park is something that we have been dreaming of for a long time coming and to see it manifested was humbling. I can’t stop thinking about it and the beauty and healing that it entailed. I am already ready for the next Art in the Park. I truly see the value in art and story-telling, more now than ever.

With restoration and healing on my mind,

Chloe

PS- We have some BIGGGGG thank yous to send! Thanks to the U of A’s Alpha Phi Omega service fraternity for cooking and serving the yummy dinner! Also, huge thanks to Philip Thomas, of Novo Studio, for documenting the day with beautiful images that truly capture beauty and joy that was present.

Art in the Park

This past Saturday was the launch of our new “Art in the Park” initiative! We had been saying for a few months that if 1 person paints, then we will count it as a success….well, after a week of hitting up multiple community meals, churches, and other events with hundreds of flyers and announcements, the [...]

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Celebrating Earth Day with Project 7

Thursday, April 19th is Earth Day & the Cobblestone Project is partnering with Project 7 to “Save the Earth” by planting fruit trees that will provide food for families in Northwest Arkansas.

Project 7 has teamed up with Walmart, Caribou Coffee, and other retailers to plant 2 million fruit trees back into the earth through the sale of their “Save the Earth” products.

2 million trees that will combat deforestation, fight erosion, provide oxygen, add moisture to the air, and provide food for families.

The great news is that some of those fruit “trees” will be donated to the Cobblestone Project Farm in Fayetteville to help in our Northwest Arkansas Community!

This week for every new “like” on Project 7′s Facebook page and every new follower on Project 7′s Twitter account, they will donate additional funds to one of their “Save the Earth” partners and plant more trees.

The Impact

The great news is that some of those fruit “trees” will be donated to the Cobblestone Project Farm in Fayetteville to help in our Northwest Arkansas Community!

Project 7 will be providing approximately 150 blueberry bushes or two 300 foot rows of blueberries to The Farm.  That’s a whole lot of blueberries!!!

These blueberries will provide much needed fruit that will be directed towards feeding families at risk for food insecurity in our community for years to come.

And as an added bonus, blueberries have many nutritional benefits that include being packed with Vitamin C, high in dietary fiber, and leading fruit in antioxidant.

How You Can Help

To help provide those blueberry bushes to The Farm, we would ask that you “like” Project 7 on Facebook and/or follow Project 7 on Twitter.

We will be working with Project 7 over the next few weeks to plant those blueberry bushes at The Farm, so there are also opportunities to come out to The Farm to help put them in the ground (more info coming).

You can also share this with your friends with a simple post like…

Twitter:  In honor of #EarthDay, @Project7 will plant a tree back into the earth for every new twitter follower & facebook like. Let’s #SaveTheEarth!

Facebook: Our friends at Project 7 will plant a tree back into the earth for every new twitter “follower” and Facebook “like.” Go like and share!

About Project 7

Project 7 exists to do good around the globe. They make everyday products like bottled water, gum, mints and coffee that give back to seven areas of good.

Purchases Feed the HungryHeal the SickHope for PeaceHouse the HomelessQuench the ThirstyTeach them Well and Save the Earth.

Check them out at Project7.com.

Summer Planting Starting!

Activities at The Farm are right on schedule & with the incredible weather we have been experiencing we are expecting a great harvest in the coming weeks.  We’ve starting planting some of our summer crops to include tomatoes, okra, bush beans, and peas. Our Spring crops are doing great to include lots of potatoes, broccoli, cabbage, salad greens, spinach, and lots of herbs.

We are preparing for the first Bentonville Farmer’s Market of the year (last week of April) & hope you’ll plan on coming out to see us on opening day.

Our current production schedule is working towards May 5th as first distribution of Harvest Share Subscriptions (still a few available), and we will have more info out to subscribers as that time comes.

Weekly Farm Update

Our Community

Nothing happens at The Farm without the hands & feet of our community.  So many people continue to give their time & energy to seeing The Farm move forward, and we wanted to share a few of those many faces with you.

Anita Rausch

Diane, Emma & Nora

Our Farm Operations Team (Welcome Baldwin!)

Nick & Brad

Helene, Megan & Leslie

Will aka “The Deer Handler”

 

Harvest Share Subscriptions Still Available

There are a few remaining Harvest Share subscriptions that will be available until first harvest (expected to be May 5th).

One Farm subscription purchase simultaneously provides a season’s worth of healthy food for your family and for your neighbors in need – the people in your own back yard, the ones you may never have met but care for deeply.

By simply buying fresh, homegrown goodness for your family from The Farm, you can plant seeds of compassion and grow positive change in Northwest Arkansas.

Harvest Shares are available for $500 (prepaid) or via 6 monthly installments of $90 each (total $540).

For more information, please visit our Harvest Share Subscription page or email TheFarm@CobblestoneProject.org.

Volunteering at The Farm

There are opportunities every Saturday from 9am to 1pm to come out to The Farm and put your hands into the dirt.

It’s a great time of the year to be outside & it promises to be an opportunity for your family to serve together, play in the dirt & contribute towards helping those at risk for food insecurity in our community.

Our calendar page shows all the available dates & we can schedule groups during the week.

“30 Days 4 Change” Student Teams are on their way…

April 1st was the kick off of the 2012 Campaign for “30 Days 4 Change” an initiative designed to engage students ideas with new approaches to addressing community needs.

The 5 student groups are paired with 5 Northwest Arkansas Nonprofits that include Samaritan Community Center, 7 Hills Homeless Center, Lifesource International, Saving Grace & 99 Balloons.  Each student group is charged with developing an action plan to address some of the organizational needs.

Today was the regroup of week 1 for 30D4C, and we had an opportunity to get a quick look at the work that is underway.

We’ll be posting periodic updates over the next 3 weeks, and you can also follow along with 30D4C at

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30 Days 4 Change 2012 Campaign Begins Now!

On April 1st, Bentonville High School Students Kick off the first “30 Days 4 Change” campaign targeted at making a positive difference in our community!

30 Days 4 Change is designed to…

  • Engage students to inspire new ideas and new approaches to community needs.
  • Expose nonprofit organizations to a new generation who desire to make positive change.
  • Provide opportunities for ideas to be replicated by other nonprofit organizations.

Groups have been paired with a Northwest Arkansas Nonprofit Organization addressing poverty related issues and have from April 1st to April 30th to work towards tangible change, awareness, advocacy, and solutions.

At the end of 30 days, the student groups will be evaluated by a panel of regional poverty and educational experts to determine which organizations campaign was moved furthest forward.  As a result of the students efforts, that organization will be awarded a $1,000 “30 Days 4 Change” capacity building grant.

Students will be evaluated based on…

  • Alignment: Initiative Alignment to NonProfit Organizational Mission.
  • Measured Impact: Initiative Measured Impact to original Initiative Scope.
  • Replication: Initiative’s Ability to be Replicated by other Organizations & Student Groups
  • NonProfit Evaluation: Evaluation of Students Ability to Work Together as a Team.

You may follow the progress of the “30 Days 4 Change Campaign” at…

2012 Partner Organizations & Campaign Scope

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30D4C Group 1

Partner Organization: 99 Balloons

Team Members:

Organizations stated need for 30 Days 4 Change: Recruit volunteers to serve at rEcess & raising funds to pay for shipping wheelchairs to Ukraine for special needs children.

Students Mission: To raise money for shipping wheelchairs to Urkaine & recruiting volunteers for rEcess.

How does 30D4C support organizations mission? Volunteers are backbone of rEcess & as the program grows, more volunteers will be needed to support special needs families in Northwest Arkansas. Additionally, there is a need for wheelchairs to support a 99 Balloons Ukraine project.

Desired end results of 30D4C: Raise minimum $750 to cover cost of shipping & recruit volunteers.

How will 30D4C effort/impact be measured? By raising the required money and having volunteers sign up to serve.

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30D4C Group 2

Partner Organization: Samaritan Community Center

Team Name: Minoriteam

Team Members:

  • Ashley Worthey*
  • Mallory Cibulka
  • Lindsey Martin
  • Mason Jones
  • Diane Wang
  • Blake Basham
  • Matt Phelan

Organizations stated need for 30 Days 4 Change: Collection of food to support Samaritan Community Center’s Food Pantry operations.

Students Mission: OCFD aka “Operation Canned Food Drive”

How does 30D4C support organizations mission? Help to provide food for those at risk for hunger in our community.

Desired end results of 30D4C: A pantry loaded with food

How will 30D4C effort/impact be measured? Students will construct a thermometer chart to keep progress of collected food to the goal.

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30D4C Group 3

Partner Organization: 7 Hills Homeless Center

Team Name: HTH

Team Members:

Organizations stated need for 30 Days 4 Change: Awareness of homelessness in Bentonville

Students Mission: We plan on organizing an event and gather people to be “homeless for a night” (sleep outside) and maybe raise money as we do.

How does 30D4C support organizations mission? This can hopefully bring awareness because it is not what you would usually see in Bentonville.

Desired end results of 30D4C: To bring awareness to Bentonville that homelessness is an issue because many 7 Hills clients are from Bentonville.

How will 30D4C effort/impact be measured? Amount of people that end up hearing about the event (awareness).

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30D4C Group 4

Partner Organization: Saving Grace

Team Members:

  • Morgan Drish*
  • Hannah Amerson
  • Morgan Jones
  • Lindsey Martin

Organizations stated need for 30 Days 4 Change: Communications & Marketing of Saving Grace’s mission in Northwest Arkansas to include: 1) Improved communication materials (i.e. brochures), 2) Marketing and spread the word , and 3) collection basic needs items for Saving Grace

Students Mission: To improve brochures and to let the women of NW Arkansas be aware of the Saving Grace home

How does 30D4C support organizations mission? Raising awareness to broaden their ministry

Desired end results of 30D4C: To distribute as may brochures as possible.

How will 30D4C effort/impact be measured? The feedback received and the number of brochures distributed.

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30D4C Group 5

Partner Organization: Lifesource International

Team Members:

  • Kelly Xia*
  • Emily Sellers
  • Shelby Thompson
  • Alex Piceror
  • Marisa Piceror

Organizations stated need for 30 Days 4 Change: Fresh foods (non canned foods) & Non perishable food such as rice or beans.

Students Mission: Our group would like to build four raised garden beds for Lifesource. We would also like to get pipes to redirect gutter water into a 55 gallon bucket.

How does 30D4C support organizations mission? By building these raised garden beds we are providing Lifesource with a source of fresh foods and vegetables. We also wanted to redirect the gutter water in a way so all the rain water would go into a bucket and that’s how they would water their plants. That way they wouldn’t have to pay for the water or the sewage afterward.

Desired end results of 30D4C: By the end of this project we want the garden beds up and running. We also would like to inform children how to grow and produce their own raised garden beds at home. So they can have fresh food at home. By the end of the project we would like to have made a great impact for Lifesource.

How will 30D4C effort/impact be measured? 1) measure our results by how much effort we have put into our project. Already we have informed our friends and family about our project and asking for donation. I have also been to Lowe’s multiple times to find the most efficient way to build our raised garden beds. We our also going to do a fundraiser at Jonny Bursco, 2) you could measure our results by how many garden beds we are able to build, 3) measure our result how much our garden beds will benefit Lifesource.

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For more information on 30 Days 4 Change, please email 30D4C@CobblestoneProject.org