ASN E-Newsletter Oct 15

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Arkansas Sustainability Network (ASN)

October 15, 2009

Email News

Developing sustainable communities through education, innovation and collaboration.

ASN

1419 South Main

Little Rock, AR 72202

501.372.6996

501.837.7959

EmailASN@gmail.com

www.arnetwork.org

www.littlerock.locallygrown.net

 

THANK YOU to September and October Members, Volunteers and Donors!

Epoch Church

Unitarian Universalist Church

Kids Cook

Bob Watt

Juli and John Brandenberger

Bill and Susan Marak

Jan Dean

Alison Hall

Helen Austin

Megan Serbus

Dorothy and Ken Goss

Maggie Smith

Amie Lein

Tamara Robinson

Laurie Harrison

Judy Rudd

Dwayne McFarlan

Rebecca Norris

Danielle de Preux

Jessica Clendenning

Cheri Martinka

Alexandra Leavelle

Judi Cassavechia

Matthew McClure

Lucy Towbin

Betty Ruth Davis

Ellen Engler

Rhonda Atwood

Helen Baldridge

Kathy Strauss

Rebecca Krukowski

Kate Matthews

Ellen Fischer

Diane Rose

Janice Panella

Laura Fiser

Porter Puckett

Gwen Heard

Maggie McKinney

Camille Williams

Kimberly Morton

Wendy Backus

Misty Mounce

Gini Freemeyer

Frankie Harrison

Lynn Senn

Rebecca Rainwater

Mary Ann Critz

Louise Miller

Sandy Haden

Shirley Pine

Stephanie Nielson

Jonathan Buford

Tess Hardin

Scott McGhehee

Robin and Emma Pearson

Stephie Gold

Shelby Baker

Mark Alderfer

Sam Lu

Catherine Snyder

Sioban Bartley

Lisette Christiansen

Cindy Franklin

Rodney Collins

Carrie Scott

Ragan Sutterfield

Nathanael Wills

 

And all members, volunteers, and donors since our inception in May of 2006!

Felder Farm, Educational Workshops, Natural State Expo, School Programs, Documentaries, Food Club, and More!

All of this has been accomplished through the energy, dedication, and time of volunteers without any full-time staff

We are proud of all we've done and we want to do more to expand our network, impact, and influence.

We would like to hire a full-time director and bring our work to more schools and communities and we want your help.

You can now make your tax-deductible contribution to ASN with a simple, automatic draft from your bank account--an easy way to make sustainable giving to Sustain the Network!

Donate Now!

 

ASN UPDATES

In this newsletter, you’ll find updates on ASN’s partnership with Felder Farm, upcoming community events, and multiple ways to support and partner with ASN.  Our most exciting announcement is that we have received a Community Food Project Grant from the USDA. These federal grants are very competitive and ASN’s success in obtaining one demonstrates just how far we’ve come in only three years.  It is even more amazing considering that all our work so far has been done entirely with volunteers! We are very excited to continue our outstanding programs and to take advantage of new opportunities and partners like the Felder Farm project that will contribute to our goal of sustainability in our community.

In order to do this, we need your help.  The USDA grant is tightly allocated to the expenses for the Felder Farm project, so we find ourselves on the verge of exciting growth with little in the coffers to pay rent and regular operating expenses. We are cutting back on overhead by increasing efficiency and looking for a tenant to sublet some office space, but we have an immediate need to raise $15,000 to match the grant funding and to secure and continue our other programs. 

If you are in a position to make a contribution of any size, please take the time to do so now by mailing your check to ASN at 1419 Main Street, Little Rock, AR 72202, or visiting our website at www.arnetwork.org to make a contribution on-line.  You can rest assured that we will continue to carefully manage our resources to make the biggest impact on sustainability in our community.  If you have an interest in serving ASN by helping us grow our membership, please call our director, Katy Elliott at 501-837-7959 or email EmailASN@gmail.com for more information.

We are thrilled to report that ASN has been chosen to receive a USDA Community Food Project Grant for our work at Felder Farm!

Throughout the year we'll be working with teachers and students to integrate the farm into Felder Alternative Learning Academy’s daily educational activities.  The students will not only learn to grow their own food, but they will also have an opportunity to learn entrepreneurial skills and financial literacy.  The grant will pay for a greenhouse and curriculum development so that all teachers across the curriculum can use the hands-on learning activities garden to augment lessons taught in the classroom.

We are especially excited to be able to offer students summer employment opportunities.  A select number of students will be offered a six-week summer job, where they will be paid to develop a value-added product line and expand the farm business operation. The program will teach students the financial and entrepreneurial skills needed to run the business.

We want to extend a hearty thanks to our partners for this program, including Felder Alternative Learning Academy and School Farm, the Winthrop Rockefeller Institute, the Little Rock Workforce Investment Board, City of Little Rock Parks and Recreation, the Little Rock School District, and the University of Central Arkansas.

Announcing Garden and Food-Themed Summer Camp Toolkit

ASN has developed a working document that serves as a toolkit for organizations and individuals implementing summer garden and food-themed programs. The toolkit features resources and tips for successful programming as well as easy-to-adapt templates for essential camp documents such as registration forms, camp schedules, community newsletters and more! For a small donation, agencies can receive electronic and print copies of the toolkit. Special thanks to the Arkansas Community Foundation for providing summer program funding for the 2009 From the Ground Up Felder Farm Summer Day Camp, which initiated development of the toolkit. We are officially looking for agencies to utilize and help improve this new resource, so contact us.

Felder Farm Workday this Saturday

October 17th, 10am to 3pm. Join St. Michaels Episcopal Church's youth to weed, rake, plant, make compost and much, much more. To RSVP email FelderFarm@gmail.com. For directions visit www.felderfarm.wordpress.com/map or call 501-208-7915 for directions.

Website Updates

The ASN Website has recently been updated to include on-line donation capabilities, a listing of Little Rock Area community gardens, and information about our new toolkit. We’ll add pictures from the Cold Frame Workshop soon, so please visit the page at www.arnetwork.org.

Increase Felder’s Carbon Footprint?!

Felder Farm is looking for a large amount of free and easily available sources of carbon.  This could be leaves, woodchips, sawdust, shredded paper, rice hulls, etc.  If you know of a good source like a rice processing facility or saw mill that is close by let us know.  We have lots of nitrogen sources for our compost but not enough carbon.  If you have a good source email us at Felderfarm@gmail.com with the appropriate contact information.  ALSO – if your business or church is throwing a hayride or utilizing hay bales for fall decorations, and you’d love to have Felder pick up your hay bales after the event let us know!

ASN Office Space for Rent!

We would like to welcome a community agency to share our office with us. Rent negotiable. Office features include wireless internet, phone service, utilities, ground level entry, storefront window space, tall ceilings, track lighting, and flexible space arrangements.  Please contact us at 501-837-7959 to schedule an appointment to discuss details.

Office Equipment for Sale

Copier, color printer, and flatbed scanner – yours for best offer. 501-837-7959 for info.

Felder Program Assistant Needed

Limited Hours, Grant-funded, Compensation depending on experience. Contact us for details by calling 501-837-7959 or emailing EmailASN@gmail.com.

 

 

 

Executive Director:

Katy Elliott

 

Intern:

Jenny Diaz, Hendrix College

(Welcome Jenny, and

Thanks for interning with ASN!)

 

Board of Directors:

Jill Bayles

Juli Brandenberger

Nancy Dockter

Tera Easter

Erika Gee

Alison Hall

Dwayne McFarlan

Scott McGhehee

Ann Owen

Julie de Preux

Penny Rudder

 

Community Happenings

It’s our pleasure to keep you informed of community events, info, and announcements…

Arkansas Roots Cook-off!

(featuring carrots, sweet potatoes, turnips, radishes, parsnips, beets, leeks, garlic, ginger, onions, rutabaga, and about 420 others!) Wildwood Park for the Arts, 1 pm, Saturday, October 24, 2009 @ the Second Annual HARVEST! Festival.  Winning recipes will be published at wildwoodpark.org. Enter your prize-winning root vegetable recipe in the following categories: Appetizers ($50 prize), Casserole/Main Dish ($50 prize), Miscellaneous ($50 prize), $100 Prize for Most Memorable Root Recipe! Entry Fee of $5 per recipe/dish is used toward your $10 (adult) gate admission. For info or entry forms contact Jeff Roper:

Root Café and Arkansas Earth Institute Fall Fest

Thursday, Oct 29 from 6 - 9 pm. at the Bernice Sculpture Garden at the corners of 14th and Main Street in downtown Little Rock. Featuring live music by Woody Pines and dancing with the Arkansas Country Dance Society. Delicious soups made with local ingredients and hot apple cider will be served. Bring a sweet or savory bread or dessert to share. $10 suggested donation ($25 for family). This is a zero waste event so please bring your own mug and spoon. For info: therootcafe@yahoo.com, or shelley@arkansasearth.org.

Gleaning Arkansas Farm Fields with the Hunger Relief Alliance

The next gleaning is scheduled for October 24th in Wynne, AR. BUT – this is a weather-permitting activity. Please contact the Hunger Relief Alliance for up-to-date information and details by emailing Michelle Shope (mshope@Arhungeralliance.org), or Temeka Douglas (Tdouglas@Arhungeralliance.org).  

UALR 2nd Annual Green Jobs Fair

Wednesday, October 21st, 9am to 11:30am in the student union.  Part of Campus Sustainability Day. Visit http://ualr.edu/sustainability/index.php/home/campus-sustainability-day/ for more info.

2009 Family Economic Security Conference

On November 2nd and 3rd, in Little Rock, a consortium of agencies will be hosting this upcoming conference.  Two workshop tracks (The Necessities of Life: Nutritious Food, Healthcare, Housing and Energy, and Sustaining Economic Security through Education, Asset Development and Available Resources) will be offered.  Conference hosts include: Arkansas Advocates for Children & Families; Arkansas Coalition for Economic Security; Arkansas Community Action Agencies Association; Arkansas Hunger Relief Alliance; Arkansas Interfaith Alliance; Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, Little Rock Branch; and Southern Good Faith Fund.  For more information contact Terry Bearden at (501)372-0807 or tbearden@acaaa.org.

Conway.locallygrown.net Farm Tour

Conway Locally Grown Farm Tour of Falling Sky Farm, Ratchford Farm, and Serenity Farm Bakery on Saturday October 17th will include transportation and lunch. The tour is limited to 15 people and the cost will be $40 per person. The shuttle will leave Little Rock early Saturday morning and return in the late afternoon.  This is sure to be an educational and tasty trip. Contact Cody Hopkins for more info - cody@fallingskyfarm.com.

Argenta Foodie Fest

Support local farmers at Certified Arkansas Farmers' Market Fall Foodie Fest in Argenta at 6th & Main Street, North Little Rock. Enjoy locally grown fall foods prepared by Arkansas' favorite chefs, restaurants and catering companies plus live music, arts and crafts. Free admission. For info: www.arkansasfood.net.

Sustainable Business Network of Central Arkansas Charter Members

SBNCA is now accepting applications for Charter Members and Charter Supporters through December 31, 2009. Visit www.sbnca.org for more information.

UCA Week of Events to Highlight Local Food Systems

The UCA Honors College will explore America's food system and the growing issue of obesity in the U.S. as part of Challenge Week 2009.  This year's theme is " Just Food: Farm-to-Fork Food Systems for 21st Century Communities.” The movement calls for ecologically responsible and economically sound agriculture, better food safety, anti-hunger policy, and programs that address obesity and other aspects of healthy eating.  Challenge Week begins Nov. 5 and will run through Nov. 12, and will feature film screenings and speakers (Joel Salatin, Marion Nestle, and other notable people). Visit http://www.uca.edu/web/weblog/index.php?itemid=2233&catid=10 for info.

Village Commons Fall Gardening Workshops

In October and November, Village Commons will host 4 gardening workshops. Topics include the Benefits of Gardening, Cultivating Tomatoes, Cultivating Potatoes, and Fall and Winter Gardening.  For more information, contact Nancy Dockter at (501) 749-2062 or email new19doc@msn.com.

Sustainable Systems at Work Study Course

Sustainable Systems at Work is designed to engage employees in shifting organizations toward a more sustainable operation and work culture.  For an overview of topics covered throughout this five session guide, go to http://www.nwei.org/discussion_courses/course-offerings/sustainable-systems-at-work-2

A Little Rock pilot group "Lead by Example - Sustainable Practices for your Business" will meet in downtown Little Rock on Tuesday mornings from 7 am - 9 am October 27 - Nov 17 and Dec. 1. Registration:  $ 95 ($80 by Monday, Oct 12) includes study guide and continental breakfast at each session.  To register, email HeiferVillage-Registration@heifer.org or call 501-907-COWS (2697). Payable by cash, check or charge.  Mail checks to Heifer Village, One World Avenue, Little Rock, AR 72202.