Harvest Party Fun with Cobblestone Farm

***FTC Disclosure*** This is a sponsored post, which means I’ve received some compensation, but the views and opinions are my own. Please read on, because Cobblestone Farm is an amazing organization.

Cobblestone Farm – Fayetteville, Arkansas

Nearly two years ago, my husband and I made one of those big, life changing decisions. We moved to a small 50 acre farm so he could pursue his dream of raising animals and healing and sustaining the land.

Although I grew up in Oklahoma and dreamed of having a horse, I wasn’t a farm girl in any other way. I grew up in the suburbs of Tulsa, played soccer through college and then pursued international travel before settling down to teach and write in Northwest Arkansas. Farming was outside my field of vision.

But that’s what spouses are for. They stretch you, challenge you, and you learn to take on their dreams as they take on yours.

So here we are on the farm. And in two years, I’ve learned A LOT about how most food is grown in the U.S. and how most of our meat is raised, and it’s been a shock to the system. I won’t write about it here, but suddenly, local farming and knowing your food sources became much more important to me.

That’s where this week and Cobblestone Farm comes in. Cobblestone is a local, non-profit farm committed to hunger relief. They donate over half of the produce they raise to local food banks, shelters and projects. How amazing is that?

In Northwest Arkansas alone, 130,000 people are “hunger challenged” every day. They go without meals because they don’t have the resources to secure them, and if they do, those meals are often nutritionally deficient. Food banks are amazing places, but they rely on foods with long shelf lives. Cobblestone brings fresh, locally grown food into the lives of the people who need it the most. That’s a project I can get behind.

You can, too? Great! Here’s more information and ways to help.

Cobblestone Harvest Party

THIS FRIDAY, September 15th, 2017, Cobblestone is holding its 4th annual harvest party. This is a food to table fundraiser that promises to be awesome. The party is being held at Morter Farm (8412 Morter Drive,Rogers, AR 72756) from 6 pm-11 pm. Enjoy cocktails and a great farm to table meal provided by chef Luke Wetzel of Oven and Tap. Good food, live music, open bar and country casual attire all promise a great evening of food and fun. Plus, I’ve always wanted to go to a farm to table dinner, haven’t you? So please, check out harvestpartynwa.org and put that in your plans for Friday night.

CSA Subscriptions – Cobblestone has Harvest Shares, community supported agriculture subscriptions that allow people to purchase their produce for an entire season. When you buy a harvest share, you’ll receive a box of fresh, in season produce, eggs and flowers each week from May through October. How fun to see what arrives in your box each week!

Volunteer or Donate – Cobblestone is a non-profit organization and accepts donations to help support its work in hunger relief throughout Northwest Arkansas. You can also volunteer at the farm! Take some time to dig in the dirt and give back to the community in a tangible way.

So join us this Friday night and meet some local farmers raising fresh, naturally grown food in Northwest Arkansas, and consider ways to support Cobblestone and other local food producers. Knowing where your food comes from and how it’s grown is rewarding and a more healthful approach to eating. You will love the difference!

Happy, healthy fall and see you at the harvest party!

 

Photos courtesy of Cobblestone Farm.

 

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Summer Reading 2017!

Reading has always been one of the joys of summer. As a kid, I relished the long days of swimming and reading, two of my favorite things. My reading time is shorter these days as I chase around an increasingly mobile kiddo of my own, but I still make time to do some summer reading. Here’s what’s on my list for the rest of the summer.

I just finished Madeleine L’Engle’s first book in the Crosswicks Journal series, A Circle of Quiet. The four books in this series were written mostly from her journal entries she kept while living at her farmhouse in Connecticut and apartment in New York. They cover the time period in her life I now find myself in, raising young children, trying to write and publish, and running headlong into the challenges and joys of both. I’ll probably pick up the other three journals throughout the rest of 2017. L’Engle always inspires and comforts me at the same time.

Next up is the middle grade adventure The Mysterious Benedict Society. I’ve read fellow Arkansas author Trenton Lee Stewart’s series before, but this time I’ll do a close read to see how he’s brought his multiple characters to life. One of my current stories juggles multiple characters on a similar adventure. The best way to figure out how to write your story? Learn from those who have already done it.

Then it’s on to a few non-fiction books for a little inspiration. I received Elizabeth Gilbert’s Big Magic for Christmas, along with Hidden Figures: The American Dream and the Untold Story of the Black Women Who Helped Win the Space Race by Margot Lee Shetterly. I’m hoping one will inspire me to write and the other to dream big. You decide which is which! I just ordered Anne Morrow Lindbergh’s (yes, that Lindbergh) 50th anniversary edition of Gift from the Sea on the recommendation from my cousin that every woman should read this book. I’m sure it won’t disappoint!

Finally, I hope to get to a few books that have been on my list for awhile. Ta-nehisi Coates’ book Between the World and Me as well as Kwame Alexander’s Newbery winner The Crossover (basketball playing twins, yes!) and the follow up, Booked (this one’s about soccer. Woot!) Hopefully I’ll close the summer with Sherman Alexie’s new memoir You Don’t Have to Say You Love Me.

I’ll be happy if I get halfway through this list and continue reading on it in the fall. What’s on your summer reading list?

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5 Great Reasons to Attend the Arkansas SCBWI Conference this June

Although Arkansas is the proud host of quite a few writing conferences, the Society for Children’s Books Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI) conference is the only major conference in the state focused specifically on writing for children. Here are my top 5 reasons for attending the conference!

#1 – Editors and Agents

 

The conference will host two editors and one agent from New York publisher Arthur A. Levine/Scholastic and Waxman Leavell Literary Agency. This is an easy way to get your work in front of editors and agents. That’s a BIG deal, and it’s not easy to accomplish.

 

 

#2 – Connect

 

This is a great opportunity to meet other writers from around the state. Writing can be a hard, lonely business. Use this conference to connect with other children’s writers in Arkansas and stay in touch throughout the year.

 

 

#3 – Downtown River Market

 

The conference is being held in the Butler Center in downtown Little Rock right in the River Market District. Spend a weekend in the capital and enjoy what downtown Little Rock has to offer.

 

 

#4 – Friendly Faces

The Arkansas SCBWI conference is NOT intimidating. This isn’t your overcrowded, get lost in the shuffle kind of conference. We’re a small, friendly group of writers looking to support one another. You will have the chance to speak with other writers, and you’ll get to chat with the industry professionals speaking at the conference as well.

Other conferences can be so full of writers that it’s hard to meet anyone, let alone talk personally with the editors and agents. Not so at the Arkansas conference.

#5 – Write Well

 

Become a better writer. In the end, that’s what we’re all looking for, and the conference sessions will help every writer get better at every aspect of writing, from working on that book to pursuing publication and everything in between.

 

 

The Society for Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI) Arkansas will hold its annual conference June 16-17 in Little Rock. Find out more information at scbwi.org or on Facebook SCBWI Arkansas.

I’ll see you there!

 

 

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