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The Farm hosting first planting celebration

By: 16 April 2011 No Comment

As it enters its second growing season, The Cobblestone Project Farm is increasing its efforts to cultivate a community without need.

The Cobblestone Project Farm is a program that grows food designed to use sustainable agriculture methods to help the under-resourced in Northwest Arkansas by focusing on hunger relief, education, economic development, community, food production, and sustainability.

The Farm’s First Planting Celebration on May 7 will be an opportunity for the community to hear more about what’s happening at The Farm, as well as learn how they can become more involved. The event is 10 a.m. to noon at The Cobblestone Project Farm’s new location, 5298-5526 W. Wedington Drive in Fayetteville.

The Cobblestone Project Farm encourages everyone to “Be the Farmer.” The idea of “being the farmer” can be literal, by volunteering to plant seeds or harvest food. But the phrase is designed to encourage everyone to plant seeds of care and compassion in our community. Those who volunteer also leave having their lives enriched, said Stephanie Bryant, Marketing Coordinator for The Farm.

New programs this year include partnering with Asbell Elementary School for education and hunger relief, a workshare program, and an opportunity to purchase a subscription to The Farm’s produce.

The Farm’s First Planting Celebration will feature information about new offerings The Farm will provide, including a subscription of produce to the public, an introduction of various program partners, and ideas of how the community can become involved. There will also be some planting done that day and opportunities to volunteer on future work days. The program will end with a dedication of the new location.

“When people come out to The Farm they understand the bigger goal of making a difference in our regional community and want to be a part of it,” Bryant said.

The Farm is an initiative of the Cobblestone Project. For more information, visit TheFarm.CobblestoneProject.org.

What’s new at The Farm?

New Home

The new location will be the first change people see with The Farm. It started on 2 ½ acres in Bentonville last year and is moving to 10 acres in Fayetteville. The land is being leased from New Heights Church. While The Farm is moving to Fayetteville, it will very much remain a Northwest Arkansas effort, Bryant said. A booth will remain at the Bentonville Farmers Market on Saturday mornings and volunteers come from all over the region. The new, larger location will provide more growing opportunities for The Farm including having chicken coops for eggs, fruit trees and more fresh vegetables.

New Partnerships

New community partnerships are creating new possibilities at The Farm. The University of Arkansas is working with The Farm to perform economic development studies on how to make The Farm more sustainable. CCF Brands, a national egg producer, is constructing chicken coops so The Farm can start offering fresh eggs. Williams Tractor is also partnering with The Farm by donating a tractor. The leasing agreement with New Heights is the result of a new partnership. The Farm continues to partner with Downtown Bentonville Inc. for the Bentonville Farmers Market and area restaurants for recipes for the yearly Farm subscriptions.

New Programs

The Farm will be introducing its new subscription program, called Harvest Share, which will give subscribers the opportunity to buy an annual subscription for $500, half of which will go to provide the subscriber with fresh produce and half will go towards providing a similar supply of fresh produce to an area family in need through local non profits like Samaritan’s House, Seven Hills Homeless Shelter & Potter’s House. Recipes from local chefs will be provided with the produce to give recipients ideas on how to use the food.

The Farm will also be introducing its expanded Gift Card Program, which will provide vouchers for qualifying families at selected local schools. The vouchers provide the families the opportunity to receive free produce for their families. The Farm will also be introducing future education programs into the partnering elementary schools.

About: Ethan C. Nobles:
Benton resident. Rogue journalist. Recovering attorney. Email = Ethan@FirstArkansasNews.net.

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