My husband Mike and I started a garden last year, and my mom bought our boys some baby chicks. While I grew up on a farm and have plenty of experience with vegetable gardening and egg gathering, I truly forgot just how wonderful it is to have your own food source in your backyard. I suppose part of that is due to the fact that I’m now the parent and look upon the experience in a different light since I’m the one cooking, shopping, and meal planning.
I’m thankful to be able to pass on to my own children the lessons of gardening and hard work as well as the rewards of good food and satisfaction from a doing a job well.
We decided to create the garden, and chicken coop because we were interested in fresh healthy food, and saving some money at the grocery store. We also love walking out the back door to harvest food for the evening meal. It has changed the way we cook and what we eat. Because of a few health issues I’ve had recently, we’ve also started juicing (the pulp is great for our compost). My breakfast now often consists of the juice of carrots, beets, celery, and maybe a little ginger, or something like that. I do love carrot juice, so just guess what I’m focusing on in the garden this year. I also love picking fresh broccoli for the kids, priceless.
And while it’s not something we thought about, I guess we are part of something bigger. “The local food movement with backyard gardening and farming is sweeping the nation as a way of living healthier and more sustainably on the land we have available,” according to the website for Dig In! Food & Farming Festival set for March 2-3 in Fayetteville.
I’m so excited for this festival, which opens to the public at 6:30 p.m. on Friday, March 2 at the University of Arkansas Global Campus with the first film of the event. A ticketed opening reception begins at 5 p.m. at the Fayetteville Town Center and features the creations of Chef David Lewis of BHK Kafe. It starts at 9 a.m. Saturday, March 3 with a panel discussion led by the local non-profit organization, Feed Fayetteville. The Fayetteville Community Garden Coalition will hold its annual Seed Swap from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m.
The event as a whole consists of films, many of which are documentaries that will be shown for the first time in Arkansas, and classes by local farmers, gardeners, and chefs. Dig In! is a not-for-profit community endeavor funded by donations. Weekend passes for supporters are available on the website and at the door. Classes and films are offered by donation ($5 suggested per event). Accompanied children under 12 are free, as are the information fair, seed swap and panel discussion.