Spotlight on: FoodCorps Arkansas
By Jenn Warren, FoodCorps Arkansas Fellow
Bayarri Elementary students embrace their inner bunnies as they snack on fresh spinach. Photo: Courtesy of Rachel Kraus.
FoodCorps Arkansas kicked off spring with a state training that included a Regional Farm to School Forum and the Dig In! Food & Farming Festival. Our service members had very active roles in these events by facilitating discussions, leading sessions, and being the backbone of the volunteer force. We all united at the end of March for a Host Site Visit with three members of FoodCorps' National staff.
Taste test success stories in the garden have been plentiful, particularly with the spinach in Springdale, Ark. Rachel Kraus, service member at Bayarri Elementary school, recalls, "The spinach we have growing in the garden was a real hit on Earth Day. During one class, one of the kids had his arms in his jacket because it was pretty chilly outside. We all went over to the spinach bed to try some fresh spinach and since he didn't want to take his arms out, he just bent down and ate a leaf right off the plant. The other kids started mimicking him because they wanted to eat like rabbits, too. In another class, some kids liked the spinach so much that they wouldn't stop eating it. When I asked them to follow me to another part of the garden, they stuffed as much spinach as they could into their mouths. They couldn't talk because their mouths were so full of spinach."
Our Arkansas team has focused on garden expansion and building infrastructure this season. With the recent award of half a dozen grants, our service members will build four greenhouses, 24 raised beds, two shade structures, two compost systems, and one rain garden! For more information and updates on our progress, check our FoodCorps Arkansas blog or follow FoodCorps Arkansas on Facebook.
New ATTRA Publication Series Released
Sheep and goat producers: do you need information on internal parasites? Linda Coffey, livestock specialist and NCAT Southeast staff member, wrote a series of short publications designed to help you deal with these dangerous pests:
Linda also wrote the new publication Tips for: Working with a Veterinarian. All five of these publications were produced with support from the USDA, NIFA Organic Research and Education Initiative (Project No. 2010-51300-21641).
Energy Corps Update
Arkansas Energy Corps members have been busy this spring! Their outreach efforts have included distributing home energy and weatherization kits to Fayetteville residents; creating a social media campaign to raise awareness about home energy efficiency; educating students —from elementary-to college-aged— about Earth Day; and advocating for bicycling as a viable mode of transportation. Read more about their activities on the Energy Corps blog. You can also follow Arkansas Energy Corps on Facebook.
NCAT Southeast Out and About
Guy Ames traveled to the third annual Climate Adaptation Conference in Pittsboro, North Carolina, Feb. 5-6. Guy presented a session titled Climate Change & Perennial Fruit and Nut Production. The conference was presented by the nonprofit Abundance North Carolina. For more information click here.
Margo Hale traveled to Castroville, Texas, to lead a week-long Armed to Farm workshop April 13-17. The Texas Armed to Farm training was a collaborative effort that included staff members from NCAT's Northeast, Southeast, and Southwest regional offices. Guy Ames also traveled to Texas for the training and taught sessions on fruit production and pest management. For a detailed recap of this event, click here.
Twenty-five veterans from across Texas participated in the Armed to Farm training.
Keep up-to-date on all the news and events from NCAT Southeast by visiting our webpage: www.ncat.org/ncat-southeast-regional-office.
Connect with NCAT's Southeast Office:
207 West Center Street
PO Box 3657
Fayetteville, AR 72701
NCAT Southeast staff members will participate in the following events:
Organic Fruit Production & Orcharding
May 26-27, 2015
More info »
Event listings are added regularly to the ATTRA Workshops page
Newly released ATTRA publications:
If you have questions about sustainable agriculture production or marketing, using renewable energy on your farm, or how to become certified organic, call ATTRA. We're here to help! 1-800-346-9140 or 1-800-411-3222 en Español.
ATTRA is a program of the National Center for Appropriate Technology.
National FoodCorps Page »
Arkansas FoodCorps Blog »
Arkansas FoodCorps Facebook »
National EnergyCorps Page »
AR EnergyCorps Facebook »