Crochet and knitting skill share at the McElroy House last month.
Since I first started writing this column back in 2011 I have tried to use this space as both a place to share stories related to local and regional history and location to share information that can help us explore the past with the goal of moving into a more loving future. And by loving I don’t mean just loving other people, but rather taking care of the land and the resources we need to keep our communities healthy. I understand that some people believe (and are quick to tell me) it is endlessly idealistic to think it’s possible for people to come together across divides. But it never hurts to share information that might be of use to people, and I strive to make this column a space that does just that. So, with that thought in mind, here are a few things I wanted to pass on to readers that might be useful. Maybe along the way we can find increased commonalities.
Many people in the area are looking for ways to both buy local produce and meat as well as support small-scale farmers who are operating out of a deep respect for the land. Those interested should check out a new CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) venture from Bright Moon Ranch. They offer locally, humane raised meats and GMO-free veggies grown right outside of Russellville and they do so without big agricultural subsidies. I recently had a chance to meet with owners Kendall and Brittany and wrote a feature piece for ABOUT the River Valley magazine. If you’d like to learn more about Bright Moon, please check out the links listed at the bottom of the page where you can find links to that piece and contact information for Bright Moon Ranch.
The McElroy House: Organization for Cultural Resources is moving forward with our partnership with ARVAC and Freedom House and we’ll be having a groundbreaking for the Seeds of Change garden on Friday the 20th from 1:00-2:00 pm at Freedom House in Russellville. The Seeds of Change garden is a community-wide effort led by Freedom House residents to reinvigorate ARVAC’s Garden Project, a free garden seed program for people in their nine service county region. To help build a sustainable garden that helps spread gardening skills, we will begin with a small healing/grief/and hope garden on site at Freedom House in Russellville which will include mixed use gardens that utilize preexisting garden beds on site at Freedom House. As part of the program, the McElroy House is offering community wide workshops and interactive media resources for residents of Freedom House and the larger community alike. To read all about it visit us at www.mcelroyhouse.wordpress.com. We hope you’ll make an effort to attend the groundbreaking and learn how you can support this wonderful partnership.
Free range hogs at Bright Moon Ranch.
On a related note, the McElroy House is now able to offer once a month skill shares where people come together to share information that can be of use to the community. So far we’ve hosted a baby wearing workshop, a knitting and crocheting skill share, and, coming up on the 21st of this month, we’re hosting a free “Yoga for Caregivers” workshop hosted by Rachel Townsend of Your Body, Your Yoga. She’ll help attendees put together some stretches they can do at home focusing on muscles used in caregiving, such as lifting and bending. We’ll also learn more about the importance of something called “Ella’s Song,” a call for caregivers to come together for a more loving world. This is open to all caregivers whether you are caring for young children or aging relatives. Space is limited, so we ask that folks please sign up in advance.
Also, as part of the Garden Project with ARVAC and Freedom House, we’ll be hosting a workshop on pecan tree growing on Friday the 27th beginning at 10:00 a.m. Josh Hardin of Hardin Farms (Arkansas pecan tree experts) will provide information on how to better take care of our pecan trees to increase yearly yields.
Thanks so much for reading! I hope you found something useful in this list of information. If there are things you think I should be covering here, please don’t hesitate to let me know!
Read more! Check out these links:
Bright Moon Ranch featured in ABOUT the River Valley Magazine
Join the Bright Moon Ranch CSA
More information on the ARVAC Seeds of Change Garden
Yoga for Caregivers Workshop
“Ella’s Song: The Importance of Coming Together as Caregivers.”
The Seed and the Story is a partnership with the Courier newspaper serving Pope and Yell County, Arkansas. This weekly column explores folklife, oral history, and community in central Arkansas, particularly the Yell County area where the column originates. Columns are often written in partnership with the McElroy House: Organization for Cultural Resources and Community Action and humbly attempt to bridge intergenerational themes in the region.