Written by Jessie Koller, author of Adventures in the Ozarks.
About Cobblestone Project Farm
In March 2014 my boys and I started volunteering for Cobblestone Project Farm. The Cobblestone Project’s dream is to create a “community without need,” and they are the backbone of several different volunteer initiatives in the area including Present in the City, Help Portrait Northwest Arkansas, Shear Kindness, 30 Days for Change, 3 Bags in 2 Days, Our Step, Laundry Love, and of course Cobblestone Project Farm, which focuses on local hunger relief. The food they grow there is distributed to local shelters, soup kitchens, Habitat for Humanity, etc. You can spend your time there as a volunteer farmer with many different opportunities to help around the farm. Check them out at the Bentonville Farmer’s Market on Saturdays! You can also purchase a Harvest Share Subscription which follows a “buy-one-give-one” model.
I had been seeking out a volunteer opportunity that would be a good fit for the whole family and I absolutely loved what Cobblestone Project Farm stood for–what they were doing to help the community and I wanted our family to be a part of it. On top of that, as a homeschooling family I knew it would be a great opportunity for hands on learning,really valuing how and where our food comes from, and of course spending quality time together.
Because of the oddly wet weathered June we had, we were only able to visit the farm once during the month. We visited on a beautiful & sunny low 80′s Friday…perfect time to be out on the farm! The first thing I noticed was how full and green everything was! The fields were fully planted now–all ground space now being utilized. They sure had been busy since we last visited. I was great to be back on the farm!
Then I noticed these pretty new signs at the front of some of the rows. Cobblestone has a new opportunity for row sponsorship! I think this is such a great idea. Sponsorship donations go directly to benefit Cobblestone initiatives and to increase production at the Farm to aid in their hunger relief efforts. If you are interested in Row Sponsorship at the Farm, click HERE.
When we arrived and “reported for duty,” I saw Jake, the farm’s manager, putting these gorgeous red, pink, and orange Zinnias into spray painted bottles…a true “Pinterest project!” They were putting one of these into each harvest share subscription box and also selling some at the Bentonville Farmer’s Market the next day. I thought, “what a lovely addition to the CSA boxes!” I’m sure the subscribers really enjoyed them. If you’re interested in becoming a Harvest Share Subscriber, click HERE.
We surely weren’t the only volunteers at the farm that day. A large group of kids from a local church VBS camp spent the afternoon picking tons potatoes, squash and zucchini, as well as helping the boys and I wash and bundle the onions.
My boys loved watching Lowell unload the squash and zucchini from the tractor bucket, the pile getting bigger and bigger!
Brady, my youngest, thought these were “huge yellow and green pickles!” Well, he was definitely right about the huge part!
The Cobblestone Farm Team
From Left to Right: Lowell, Megan, and Jake
Don’t let this pic fool you! These guys were hard at work before I asked them for a quick pic
When we left that day, we walked through the blackberry row and admired the thumb sized blackberries! These were seriously the biggest blackberries i’d ever seen. Farmer Jake had mentioned that the Harvest Share Subscribers were coming out that day for a U-Pick afternoon…lucky ducks!
Why Arkansas is doing CSAs right
The Natural State has the second-highest rate of household food insecurity in the country (19.7 percent). Cobblestone Farm provides free fresh produce — and education about sustainable farming and healthy eating — to low-income and homeless residents in northwestern Arkansas. “You see so much about hunger relief in Third World countries without realizing there’s over 2,000 homeless people that live in [this region],” says Watts, the executive director. “And northwest Arkansas is certainly not the only place where this kind of initiative could thrive.”
Why we chose this farming project:
In addition to distributing fresh fruits and vegetables to local food banks, Cobblestone invites families and local students out to the farm to learn about organic growing. The ultimate goal: empower those without easy access to healthy food to grow their own fruits and veggies.
When Community Supported Agriculture supports the surrounding community:
The farm is partially funded by proceeds from Farm-to-Harvest shares, Cobblestone’s CSA program. The shares are purchased by families in the Fayetteville area, and half of the cost of the share represents a donation to Cobblestone. Many supporters also pay for shares, and then donate the produce to families in need.
Have you met Jessie and her sons?
Jessie and her two sons have become regular volunteers at the Cobblestone Project Farm. We appreciate her dedication and passion for helping at the farm to feed the hungry in Northwest Arkansas.
And we’re blessed by Jessie’s entertaining blog posts about her Farm visits. She makes volunteering sound fun. We have room for you to come play and help too. :)
Volunteering can be fun when you’re doing something that you care about. There were bees, boys, planting, playing and eating involved. Obviously they know how to have fun. Thanks Jessie, we appreciate you!
Read about Jessie’s latest farm adventures.
Learn more about volunteering or the Farm.
Thanks for helping to create a community without need.
The Cobblestone Project depends on the generosity of volunteers like Jessie.
There are many ways that you can support our Farm; buy produce at the Bentonville Farmer’s Market, buy a Harvest Share, sponsor a row, or volunteer.
They strive to live a simple, purposeful and sustainable life while enjoying the beauty of the Ozarks.
Jessie and her two sons started volunteering at the Farm in March of this year. They wanted to volunteer somewhere that was a good fit for their values and lifestyle. Thankfully for us, they chose our Farm for the opportunity to learn about farming and feeding the hungry in NWA.
After meeting Jake Melton, our Farm manager, they were turned loose to plant squash and dig in the dirt. Read more about Jessie’s March farming adventure in her colorful photo blog about Volunteering for Cobblestone Project Farm.
You can see our farm come to life through the help of Jessie and many other dedicated volunteers. Stay tuned for more farm adventures from Jessie and her sons!
Thanks Jessie! We appreciate your help, photos and passion for supporting our projects.
Creating a community without need in NWA.
The Laundry Love project continues to touch hearts by providing laundry services for folks in need throughout NWA.
Augusta Fields wrote a touching article about the many people who have been helped by Laundry Love in Northwest Arkansas. Please note that the laundromat in Fayetteville is Kamp Laundromat located at 549 W. 15th Street, just west of the intersection with 71 Business/ S. School Avenue.
From her article, “Laundry Love is a national initiative, but the Cobblestone Project, a nonprofit group that has a “community without need” motto, started the four northwest Arkansas projects six years ago, said Jennifer Watts, the executive director for Cobblestone. Other projects are based in Siloam Springs, Springdale and Rogers.”
To learn more about the people served by Laundry Love, read Augusta’s article called Laundry Love Helps NWA Homeless.
Beyond providing clean laundry, Laundry Love helps build relationships and community for everyone involved. Both patrons and volunteers speak of the friendships built as they give and receive services. The four local laundry locations are supported by volunteers and partners like NWAMotherlode, a blog for mothers, who continue to give generously.
If you would like to learn more, or volunteer, please visit our volunteer page.
Thanks for caring!
MomProm 2014 was a smash hit with moms around NWA.
NWA Mom Prom danced its way to another amazingly successful year on Saturday, April 26, 2014 at the Springdale Holiday Inn Ballroom. This massive girls’ night out for women and mothers age 21 and up is a fabulous night out with friends, and ticket sales help support Laundry Love. The event is hosted by nwaMotherlode.com, the largest mom-focused website in Northwest Arkansas. Presenting sponsor is Great Day Farms.
In only its second year, the NWA Mom Prom was able to DOUBLE the money raised for Laundry Love. The six thousand dollar donation will help cover operating costs for the organization for nearly 5 months.
What is a Mom Prom?
Well, it looks and sounds just like a real prom, except it’s a women-only event free from all the teenage drama and angst. It’s the perfect opportunity to dress up, go out with friends, eat, dance, laugh and have professional and photo booth pictures made to commemorate the fun. Imagine if Barbie and all her Barbie friends went to a glamorous Prom and left Ken and his buddies at home for the night to take care of the kids. Sounds fun, right?
The Mom Prom even features its own “Glam Squad,” a pack of professional makeup and hair stylists from Brieshi Salon & Spa, standing by to fluff hair and touch up make-up before ladies get their Prom pictures made.
The Mom Prom DJ plays songs requested online by the women who attend, and an on-site “Shoe Bank” keeps all the sparkly high heels safe for women who’d rather dance barefoot.
Instead of a silent auction, Mom Prom features a buffet of amazing raffle packages donated by local businesses, with raffle tickets at only $2 each. There were 8 raffle packages at this year’s event, with themes including “Date Night,” “Bling,” “Branson Getaway,” “Summer Fun,” “Retail Therapy,” and more. The star attraction in this year’s raffle was a new Maytag Bravos washer and dryer set donated by Metro Appliances & More.
There’s no other event like this one in NWA. Although Mom Proms happen across the country in various cities, this is the ONLY one in the state of Arkansas.
A Mom Prom Queen was crowned during the night, chosen at random among all ticket holders. (No annoying popularity contests here.) The Mom Prom Queen received a crown, sash, flowers and a $500 Visa shopping card, sponsored by First Security Bank.
For more information on the NWA Mom Prom, go to www.nwaMomProm.com.
Thanks ladies for a smashing success! Laundry Love appreciates your support.
The impact of Laundry Love on local communities continues to add up.
Did you know that our local Laundry Love projects provide over 3700 loads of clean laundry for about 3000 people each year, just in NWA? Laundry Love is a national initiative with projects all over the country.
And all that clean laundry is provided by volunteers and organizations who give of their time and resources. Thanks to the generous support from four local laundromats who open their doors, numerous volunteers and many organizations who fundraise and donate, Cobblestone’s local Laundry Love projects continue to serve the people in need around NWA.
To learn more about the local impact of this wonderful project, read The Arkansas Traveler article called Laundry Love Washes Clothes and Hearts.
Or, visit our Laundry Love page to learn more about the project.
“creating a community without need”.
Thanks for caring in NWA.
Come see us at the Bentonville Farmer’s Market.
Say hello to the team of Jake, Lowell and Megan! The market is held every Saturday from 7:30 am – 1:00 pm on the downtown Bentonville square from April 26 – October 25.
If you are looking for fresh produce we’ve got it. If you are looking for volunteer opportunities, we’ve got that too. Talk to Jake Melton, our Farm Manager, about all aspects of the farm. We provide educational opportunities for all ages on sustainable farming practices. You can learn more from Jessie and her family’s adventures at the Farm.
Maybe you’d like to enjoy delicious, fresh-from-the-farm, foods delivered right to your home. We’ve got that too. Learn more about our new Harvest Share program. You can have our quality, naturally grown foods delivered to you, or pick them up at Farmer’s Market or a few other locations.
Want a virtual tour of our Farm? You can see more pictures from the farm and our activities at our Facebook photo stream.
Thanks for reading, though it’s much more fun to see us in person! Come say hi at the Bentonville Farmer’s Market!
Cultivating community without need in Northwest Arkansas.
Farm to Home Harvest Share
2014 Cobblestone Project Subscription Program
You can be a part of cultivating a community without need.
Cobblestone Farm to Home Harvest Share
For the 2014 season, Cobblestone is continuing and improving the model we used for our Farm to Home Harvest Share subscriptions. We will continue to focus on adding value to you as the subscriber and improving the quality of our produce and our distribution options. As we have in the past, The Farm will continue to distribute half of our production to hunger relief in Northwest Arkansas. This enables the Cobblestone Project Farm to not only continue to build our community, but to also begin to solve issues of poverty and hunger and increase education and economic development in NWA.
In an effort to increase our hunger relief this year, we will also be increasing production. This will allow us to offer Harvest Share subscriptions as outlined below:
- Home delivery subscriptions for $1000 each (subject to delivery area)
- Bentonville Farmer’s Market Pick-up subscriptions for $800 each.
- Fayetteville Square Pick-up subscriptions for $800 each. (Optional Jammin Java Coffee 1/2 pound $8 per week or full pound $15 per week).
- Winter Subscriptions $600
What does my Cobblestone 2014 Subscription Include?
Seasonal Harvest Share Home Delivery & Pick-ups from May 3rd to the end of October:
- 24 lugs* (see below pic for example lug) over the course of 26 weeks
- Fresh, locally grown, delicious produce from the Cobblestone Project Farm like tomatoes, onions, squash, beets, kale, lettuce, cucumbers, green beans, potatoes, sweet potatoes, and peppers.
- 1 You-Pick fruit day
- Private gardening class
Winter Harvest Share (additional cost $600) Farm Pick-Up ONLY:
- Winter share is mostly greens like Kale, Swiss Chard, Lettuce, Radishes, Turnips and other cold hardy vegetables from the beginning of November to the end of January (great options for smoothie or cold pressed juice fans)
What does my Cobblestone 2014 Subscription give?
Your Cobblestone subscription gives back directly to your neighbors here in NWA. You BUY ONE and HELP MANY. Each subscription enables us to grow produce and distribute for hunger relief to area food banks, soup kitchens and shelters as well as providing local public schools with fresh produce. Half of your subscription purchase is a donation to a 501c3 for our Cobblestone Project Initiatives.
Can I choose to donate my entire subscription purchase?
Yes! Just let us know when you sign up and we will ensure that your share is directed to aid our hunger relief efforts in Northwest Arkansas.
To Subscribe: Contact Jennifer Watts, Executive Director at 479-530-8943
* Example Lug
|Buy One, Help Many: Limited Subscription Options:|
Integral part of farm team, helps with implementation of production plan. Will be involved in all aspects of farm operations: starting seeds, transplanting, gathering eggs, harvesting, and processing. Will work with Farm Manager on any other projects as required.
Position is 20 hours/week with flexible schedule
Compensation based on experience
Weekend availability preferred
Position is seasonal: 2-1-2014 to 11-30-2014
• Must be comfortable working outside in all weather
• Must have reliable transportation
• Must be physically able to engage in work that can be very physically taxing
• Must be comfortable engaging with other workers/volunteers on a regular basis and work as a member of a team
Please send resume and attached application Employment applicationto email@example.com