Celebrating Local Heroes Making Ripples in our Communities!
Ninestone Land Trust, a 412-acre conservation land trust near Berryville, has worked tirelessly since 1994 to protect and steward Ozark native habitat for the benefit of our native species, education and scientific research, and the enjoyment of future generations. In partnership with the NWA Audubon Society, on Sunday April 13th they are hosting a birding field trip. Meet at Ninestone by 9 AM for a fun hike, birds, creek, bluffs, wildflowers, and a potluck at noon overlooking the famous waterfall! All trips are free & open to the public. You do not need to be an Audubon member or an experienced observer to participate. For directions and more information, contact: Judith Ann Griffith & Don Matt, Ninestone Land Trust, (870) 545-3559, firstname.lastname@example.org
Herbal Simplicity, located at 317 E. Huntsville Rd in Fayetteville, is an urban farm, garden and event center for concerts, weddings, movies and more. It was founded by Karyn Zaremba and Chamisa Wheeler, a mother/daughter team making their own products and growing organic veggies and herbs. Family was the main draw for them to start Herbal Simplicity to promote health and sustainability. They offer classes and workshops on organic farming, home gardening, sustainable living, plant and herbal studies, canning, food preservation, healthy cooking, natural products and much more. Call (479) 225-8130 for more information and to learn about upcoming events and classes.
Ali Williams of Pack Rat Outdoor Center is passionate about outdoor recreation and the preservation of 387 acres on Mt. Kessler. Along with local small businesses, the Fayetteville Natural Heritage Association, and many supporters, she’s helping organize a Mt. Kessler Trail Run to raise awareness and money to buy the land and protect it forever. The 10k and 20k runs will take place November 2nd beginning at 9:00am at 1725 Smokehouse Road. “Kessler is a hidden gem that has such great potential so close to town,” Ali says. “This is my chance to give back to the community and have another outdoor space to do what I love.” If interested in exploring Mt. Kessler, email Frank Sharp at email@example.com for a waiver form to enjoy access.
Pauline Thiessen learned about healthy, sustainable farming skills from her grandmother, and named her organic goat farm, Seven Mornings, in her grandmother’s honor. She grew up gardening with her mother, and was exposed to canning, quilting, composting and more from a young age – even starting to work at Ozark Natural Foods when she was just 15, where she currently works with 36 local producers as Produce Manager. She’s been dairy farming with goats for 6 years now, preferring the LaMancha, Saanen, and French Alpine breeds. It’s difficult raising goats organically because they’re susceptible to internal parasites. The key is to be constantly preventive, using herbal de-worming agents with fenugreek and other natural ingredients. Rotational, seasonal grazing also helps. It may be tough to stay organic, but Pauline is committed to these values, and despite many challenges and adventures, she continues the traditions her grandmother instilled in her life.
“An Evening for Bhutan” is a benefit dinner with entertainment and a silent auction sponsored by the Himalayan Mountain Shop owned by Lama Thinley. All proceeds will be donated to help rebuild a sacred monastery in the Himalayas of Bhutan, lost to a fire in June of 2012. The Wangdu Phodrang Dzong is a monastery built in the 17th century on top of a bluff where two rivers converge. This monastery is where Lama Thinley began his monastic studies as a child. Usually between 400 and 500 Buddhist monks live at the monastery, but no lives were lost in the fire. The structure itself was completely destroyed along with many precious murals. The benefit dinner will be held at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church on October 4th at 6pm and will consist of a delicious Bhutanese dinner including Tibetan momo’s (steamed dumplings), music from local Fayetteville artists, traditional Bhutanese dancing, and a slideshow of Bhutan.
Dr. Janet Titus has produced an edible landscaping in her backyard, where she is able to grow blackberries, peaches, plums, apples, cherries, pecans, pluots, boysenberries, raspberries, lindenberries, rhubarb, horseradish, thyme, oregano, basil, sage, lavender, cilantro, tarragon, chamomile and rosemary. Another of her gardens is producing snow peas, zucchini, red and black beans, black eyed peas, green peas, green beans, potatoes, cucumbers, okra and eggplant. She uses raised beds to grow tomatoes, a variety of peppers, garlic and sunchokes. In the shade garden, she grows lettuce, parsley, and beets. Can’t “beet” that!
Celebrate the Buffalo is a new Non-Profit Organization operating out of NWA specializing in the protection and promotion of the Buffalo National River. They aim to keep this beloved Arkansas Jewel safe for future generations. Michael Kilpatrick, Laura Wohlford, Brandy Kilpatrick, Drew Lee and Daniel Hicks were inspired to begin Celebrate the Buffalo while assisting with a boy scout camp and participating in floats on the river. “We pulled out so many tires and beer cans, and this is supposed to be one of the cleanest rivers in the nation and so many people love it, yet it’s so dirty,” said Michael. The organization wants to bring local artists and venues together with conservationists in a large 2014 event to raise money for an annual river clean up. For more information contact Laura Wohlford.
Joseph Reagan and his family have been intentionally living a sustainable lifestyle for years. They recycle, compost, and chose to live in a central, bikeable location on their urban “farmette” which includes 3 chickens, a terraced vegetable garden with delicious herbs, and an orchard with pear, apple and cherry trees. There is no dishwasher or microwave, and they believe in “slow food” cooked from scratch. To dry clothes, they use a clothesline in summer or a rack over their wood stove in winter.
Cindy & David Garmoe began Fayetteville’s Green Acre Eco Village as a way to restore an apartment complex into a sustainable urban community where people can rent for a year trial period, then own. The photo shows a “living wall” using a free recycled pallet, a recycled dog food bag, burlap, twine, screws, free composted grass clippings and a few plants. This is a way to garden in an area that doesn’t have access to ground space as well as providing insulation. Green Acre plans on installing rain barrels, window boxes, LED lights and solar panels, as well as diverting laundry room water for their ½ acre garden. Located at 1037 N Main Ave across from Drake Field, there are 7 all-electric units with 6 currently available. Applications are now being accepted! Contact Cindy at (479) 236-0046 for details.
Greg Foster is a recent arrival to NWA and has been a vegan for two years, creating animal-free recipes to share with others. “For me, one of life’s great joys is a well-crafted cucumber salad after a long, hot and exhausting dog day of summer,” says Greg. “Anyone is welcome to add or subtract as they see fit to their taste.” Organic non-GMO Tomato and Cucumber Salad: Shady Lady Tomatoes, English Cucumber, Sweet Onion, Fresh Basil, Apple Cider Vinegar, Extra Virgin Olive Oil, a dash of Sea Salt and Fresh Ground Black Pepper. Enjoy!
John Remmers, of the Fayetteville-based Himalayan Village Fund, works on issues of education and water access. Their two projects include scholarships for Nepalese children of the untouchable caste (Dalits) so they can attend private school, and water filtration systems for Tibetan refugee children in Dharamsala, India. As climate change continues to reduce available drinking water, accessible water has become both an environmental and a social justice issue. Learn more at www.HimalayanVillageFund.org
Jerry Landrum, Chair of the Eureka Springs Climate Action Progress Committee, and Gary John Carrigan Milczarek are dedicated to making solar accessible and available. Landrum brings his solar panels to power the Eureka Springs farmer’s market, and has worked on three local installations. He recently designed a simple 4-battery, 3 panel off-grid system based on electronics from Amazon.com for $1,000 – $1,500 to run LED lights, fans and a freezer. Gary has a 30 panel system producing as much power as he uses plus 50% to save for next summer’s air conditioning needs. Read a detailed account (with pictures) of this installation at his blog: johncarrigan.wordpress.com
Troy Case of Oklahoma built an earthship home utilizing rammed-earth tires, recycled bottles, passive solar design, stone flooring, water catchment (cisterns), a galvalume roof, solar panels, a heavily insulated ice chest (using far less energy than an upright refrigerator), and a compost toilet. “The more I learn, the more I can share,” Troy says of his sustainable lifestyle.
Laura Kelly and Dan Dean met at the UA School of Architecture and soon discovered they shared a common dream of building a sustainable homestead. Three years ago, they created Windberry Farm in Winslow, planted a berry patch, a vineyard and a pear orchard and built a cob (think adobe) greenhouse and a screened-in fruit processing kitchen. Dan and Laura use rain barrels, passive and active solar, bicycles, reclaimed building materials and grow good food for their community market.
Brad Volz is an avid reader, photographer, and writer living sustainably by shopping locally and bringing his own bags to the Farmer’s Market. He also grows a backyard garden, among other pursuits. He began his blog, Writing to Freedom: a Place to Connect, Inspire, and Thrive, as a way to share exciting and inspirational stories and photographs about health, sustainability, social justice, and other topics. Visit him online at: www.writingtofreedom.wordpress.com
Alena Degrado began SoilCycles, a program of Feed Fayetteville, to divert food waste generated by local restaurants and coffee shops away from landfills and turn it into nutrient rich compost for gardens. Phat Tire donated a trailer, allowing for compost pickup by bicycle. SoilCycles seeks to complete the nutrient cycle, augment existing soil, and raise awareness about food waste and a sustainable local food system. This compost is currently being used at the Hub, SNAP and Head Start garden sites.
Quinn Montana, author of Worship Your Food, loves red wigglers. She recently held an inter-generational workshop, pictured here, as part of the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Fayetteville’s Religious Education program. She has also taught workshops and classes in Fayetteville and at Heifer Ranch as Director of the Cottage Industry Program.
Mark Stanley of Rogers has built greywater filtering planters in his alternative home made of earthbags, straw bales, and earthship tire construction. The planters grow large, healthy plants such as banana trees with real bananas growing indoors, aloe, spider plants, decorative flowers and vines that stretch across the kitchen and bathroom areas. These plants filter water from the sinks and showers in the home, so the plants don’t need watering and the greywater is conserved for potential re-use.