Steam powered sawmill in Harkey Valley. Image donated by Freda Martin Cossey.

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.

Columns typically run ever other Sunday in the Courier and are also published here on the Boiled Down Juice. Below is a list of columns published over the years.


Columns by Date:

February 15, 2015: A New CSA, Garden Project Update, Pecan Workshop, Caregiver Workshop, and More. 

February 2, 2015: Kabat-Zinn and the Importance of Caregiving and Intergenerational Connections 

January 20, 2105: Muzzled Oxen Part 4: Malaria and Tornados

December 23, 2014: Something for the Kids: Simple Salt Dough Ornaments 

December 14, 2014: “Ella’s Song: The Importance of Coming Together as Caregivers

October 27, 2014: McElroy House Pie Stories: A Tale from Two Sisters

October 14, 2014: McElroy House Harvest Run Family Stories 

September 28, 2014: Community Sings and Square Dances: Muzzled Oxen Part 3

September 14, 2014: Prayer Shawls and Homemade Quilts

August 31, 2014: Muzzled Oxen:Reaping Cotton and Sowing Hope inn 19201 Arkansas, Part 2

No columns for the month of August. Column returns August 31st!

July 20, 2014: American Revolutionary: Grace Lee Boggs

July 6, 2014: Muzzled Oxen: Reaping Cotton and Sowing Hope in 1920s Arkansas, Part 1

May 18, 2014: Decoration Days in Yell County, 2014

May 4, 2014: McElroy House to Partner with CAAH (Conserving Arkansas’ Agricultural Heritage) 

April 20, 2014: Rachel Carson’s Birthday, Butterfly Resources, New Column Dates 

April 6, 2014: Meet the Growers: Violet Bullock (Partnership with the McElroy House)

March 30, 2014: Trail of Tears 175th Anniversary

March 23, 2014: Created Equal Film Series

March 16, 2014: Rosemary Recipe to Welcome Spring

March 9, 2014: Stone Songs on the Trail of Tears 

March 2, 2014: 50 Years After the War on Poverty: ARVAC and Local Stories 

February 23, 2014: Ina May, Anna Mary Sykes and Midwifery Stories

February 16, 2014: Remembering Pete Seeger 

February 1, 2014 (Column no longer running on Wednesdays): Visiting Pine Ridge Gardens (Partnership with the McElroy House)

January 22, 2014: Wildflowers and the Discernment of Weeds

January 15, 2014: Meeting the Gardeners: The Sigles (Partnership with the McElroy House)

January 8, 2014: Beautiful Souls: The Courage and Conscience of Ordinary People in Extraordinary Times

December 25, 2013: An Update on LID Workshop (partnership with McElroy House)

December 18, 2013: A Mighty Pecan

December 11, 2013: No column

December 4, 2013:Learning from Leaves

November 27: Midwife’s Tale and Oral Histories

November 20, 2013: Yonder Mountain: An Ozarks Anthology

November 13, 2013: Creation of Hot Sprigs Public Lands 

November 6, 2013: Meet the Growers: James Obie Wood (Partnership with McElroy House Garden Book)

October 30. 2013: The Beauty of Mustard Greens

October 23, 2013:   Economy, Democracy, and Enlarging Ideas of Localism. 

October  16, 2013:   “What Could Be the Meaning or Use of Such Love?”

October 2, 2013: Meet the McElroy House Pie Makers

September 25th: Arkansas’s First All Female Local Government 

September September 18, 2013: The United People’s Co-Op

September 11, 2013: Growing Wild Mint

September 4, 2013: Singing Schools: Encyclopedia of Arkansas Music Part 2

August 28th 2013: Composers, Harmonica Players and Meditation Music: Encyclopedia of Arkansas Music Part 1

August 22, 2013: Pies for Pavement and the Creation of the McElroy House Community Center

August 15th, 2013: “Single Pens, Saddlebags, and Dogtrots: An Online Exhibit from the Shiloh Museum

August 9th, 2013: The Seed of Sally Good’n: A Black Family of Arkansas 1833-1953

July 31st, 2013: Industry in Arkansas: Harvey Couch Part 2

July 25, 2013: Trains, Phones, Electricity: Harvey Couch, Part 1

July 17, 2013: Low Impact Design and Why It Matters

July 10, 2013: “No One Here Should Ever Go Hungry:” The Work of Harmony Gardens 

July 3, 2013: Summer Reading Series: Arkansas Butterflies and Moths by Lori A. Spencer 

June 26, 2013: Equality, Hoover’s Ideas for Land Reform, and the Flood of 1927

June 19, 2013: Summer Reading Series: Right to DREAM

June 12, 2013: Fallen Limbs and Fighting Drought: Using Hugelkultur in the Garden

June 5, 2013: High Waters and Social Change: The Flood of 1927 (partnership with the Encyclopedia of Arkansas History and Culture). 

May 29, 2013: Arkansas Toad Season

May 22, 2013: Summer Reading Series: An Arkansas Folklore Sourcebook 

May 15, 2013: From Here to California: What’s Your Family’s Migration Story? 

May 8, 2013: Mother’s Day Corsages and the Peace Movement

May 1, 2013: Seeking Meaning in Decoration Days

April 24, 2013: Living Out the Land Ethic: The Campbells in Pope County

April 17, 2013: Community News Columns and Harmony Gardens

April 10, 2013: Online Resources for Mayflower Oil Spill

April 3, 2013: Turkey Buzzards, Groundhogs, and Other Signs of a Late Thawing Spring

March 19, 2013: In the Logging Woods of Yell County: Stories from the region’s timber boom.

March 6, 2013: Don’t Forget This Song: A History of the Carter Family in Graphic Novel Form

February 27, 2013: Community Event: Farm to Table: “Southern Foodways as Cultural Memory and Everyday Resistance.” 

February 20, 2013: Democracy, Dialogue, and Community Action: Truth and Reconciliation in Greensboro, by Spoma Jovanovic. 

February 13, 2o13: Russellville CAAH Seed Swap

February 6, 2013: Dardanelle, Ola and Southern by Clifton Hull

January 30, 2013: River Oaks Press and the Mount Magazine Rural Record

January 23, 2013: FRESH guide to Local Food in Little Rock

January 16, 2013: Intergenerational Gardening

January 2, 2013: A Student’s Story of Green Tomato Pie (partnership with ATU)

December 29, 2012: Humans, Land, and Animals: An Intergenerational Connection in Birdtown, Arkansas (Partnership with ATU students)

December 12, 2012: Medgar Evers: Mississippi Martyr. 

December 5, 2012: Arkansas Master Naturalists

November 28, 2012: Town of Ola (Partnership with the Encyclopedia of Arkansas History and Culture)

November 21, 2012: Birta and Highway 10

November 21, 2012: Thanksgiving Traditions and Food

November 15, 2012: Early Documentation from Sulphur Springs

November 8, 2012: Sustainable Growing in the Region/McElroy House Update. 

October 31, 2012: Rerun of column from 2011: Coming of Autumn 

October 24: Dwight Mission (Partnership with Encyclopedia of Arkansas History and Culture)

October 17, 2012: Meeting the Chickens, an Update on the McElroy House Garden Book Project

October 10, 2012: A Changing Landscape and the Creation of Lake Dardanelle 

October 3, 2012: Studs Terkel, Will the Circle Be Unbroken

September 27, 2012: Spider Lilies, Signs of Fall

September 19, 2012: Samuel S. Taylor and the Federal Writers Project Slave Narratives (FWP Part 5)

September 12, 2012: Federal Writers Project Part 4: Bernie Babcock (Partnership with Encyclopedia of Arkansas History and Culture)

September 5, 2012: Federal Writers Project Part 3: Slave Narratives from Arkansas

August 29, 2012: WPA Guide to 1930s Arkansas and the Federal Writers Project (Part 2)

August 22, 2012: WPA Guide to 1930s Arkansas (Part 1)

August 15, 2012: Bodark Trees (Partnership with the Encyclopedia of Arkansas History and Culture)

August 8, 2012: Controversy and the Forest (A Review of Trees Part 2)

August 1, 2012: Photography and the Creation of the Ozark-St. Francis National Forests

July 25, 2012: Violet Sory and the ARVAC Crafts Co-Op.

July 18, 2012: The Ghost of the Ozarks by Brooks Blevins

Reader Submission: Photos from 1920s Sorghum Harvest in Harkey’s Valley

July 4, 2012: Sweet Sorghum

June 27, 2012: Daddy’s Money: A Memoir of Farm and Family by Jo McDougall 

June 20, 2012: Bringing Nature Home Part 2: Butterfly Gardening 

June 13, 2012: Bringing Nature Home Part 1

June 6, 2012: Imagining Phytoremediation in Our Backyards

May 30, 2012: Meadowcreek Roundtable

Bob and-Ocie Alexander Gravesite, Needmore Cemetery Decoration-Day-5-13-12. Image submitted by Karen Alexander-Stoeckel.

May 33, 2012: Locally Grown in Pope County

May 16, 2012: The Familiar is Fascinating

May 9, 2012: Channelling the Tradition of Gleaning

A Reader’s Pilgramidge to Needmore Cemetery: An Update

May 2, 2012: Visiting Decoration Days: A Pilgrimage from California to Arkansas 

April 25, 2012: Alive Inside Documentary and What Can Be Done Where Your Are?

April 18, 2012: Paths of Tradition Bearing

April 11, 2012: ARVAC and VISTA, Folk Arts, and the War on Poverty in Arkansas

April 4, 2012: Tatum, Wild Foods, and Medicine in Our Own Backyards

March 28, 2012: Garden Stories Book and McElroy House

March 21, 2012: Learning From Students and Folkstreams Films

March 7, 2012: Sulphur Springs