Gardening in Fayetteville

Gardening in Fayetteville
Photo by Elizabeth Armstrong

Photo by Elizabeth Armstrong

Are you ready for some… gardening? Growing food is one of the best ways to strengthen your food security, embrace a wholesome social environment, lower your carbon footprint, and drop your cost of living. Warming temperatures and singing birds beacon you to step outside and enjoy what the green has to offer. Robust delicacies are designed as a result of nurturing a diversity of food crops.

One of my favorite snacks is to top a freshly picked, sliced tomato with some diced parsley. I add some olive oil, salt, and pepper to enjoy a rich source of vitamins A, C, with a tad of iron. We are creating an Edible Garden Challenge equipped with its own Facebook page where I hope to read your favorite recipes.

The people of our community have been busy over the years supporting our citizens to be self-reliant and improving our well-being. We are incredibly blessed to have the City of Fayetteville pass the Urban Agricultural Ordinance in March of 2014. People have the opportunity to nurture hens, ducks, and dwarf or pygmy goats in their yards. In addition, two bee hives are allowed on a residential lot.

Know that any over-abundance of food may be sold, up to four times per year at a home produce stand. A Home Occupation Permit may be required so make sure you review all the rules set forth in the Urban Agriculture in Fayetteville ordinance from the Fayetteville City Planning department (479-575-8267).

As I travel through Fayetteville, it puts a large smile on my face to discover the many residential and community gardens that dot the landscape. This time-honored activity is urgently needed during this time of climate change weather disruptions. California has been the top food producing state in our nation for over 50 years. However, this rather large state has been experiencing many years of drought that limits the amount of available water needed to irrigate the food crops. University of California Berkeley paleoclimatologist B. Lynn Ingram reports that 2014 was California’s driest year since 1580.

Although Arkansas produces a diversity of food crops, only 0.1 percent of Arkansas food in sold in state to our people according to the Fayetteville Food Ordinance Review. The ordinance also mentioned where 15 percent of the population found in Washington County is food insecure and Arkansas is No. 9 in the nation with children’s food insecurity.

We benefit tremendously by taking responsibility with producing our own food stocks. An abundance of social activities ensue around green spaces. Elders are invited in with a welcoming seat to share their knowledge and wisdom through storytelling. People of all ages are able to learn how to nurture, culture, harvest, and love one of the very resources needed for survival, food, while breathing in oxygen-rich air.

We are able to lower our carbon foot print while reducing greenhouse gases generated through the food transportation industry. A large portion of the grocery list may be gleaned with a short walk to the garden. Humongous trucks are no longer burdened with the relocation of rich treasures found in organic wastes that are added to compost piles.

Transferring leaves, wood chips and kitchen wastes to the compost pile takes away a large load of the over 30 percent of organic wastes discovered in landfills. The landfill ecosystem is an origin of the hazardous greenhouse gas, methane, that is released into our breathing space. Cherishing the compost pile yields a rich source of valuable soil additives to support plant growth and ward off insect pests.

The nutritious delectables improve health and well-being as health and living costs are reduced and your productivity is increased. Automobile fuel and maintenance costs are cut when food is available within walking distance. Valuable time spent shopping, in medical environments, as well as, time lost from work and school while attending to healing activities is gleaned with the addition of a diet enriched with a wholesome source of organic or close-to-organically grown food sources.

There are many chances to be involved with growing food even if you do not have the space, knowledge, or other resources needed to garden. Community gardens are sprouting up throughout Fayetteville or you may want to start a garden in your community. Simply email or call 479-444-3467 to gain empowering information on how you can join the growing number of people enjoying the game of gardening.

Join us on Facebook by contacting me through my website, I will add you to our Facebook Edible Garden Challenge community so we can document the number of square feet of garden space that we, as a community, foster. We may collaborate on best gardening challenges, benefits, and practices.

Elizabeth Armstrong, PhD is an environmental expert, author, business owner. Blog: Website:

Categories: Commentary