The Faulkner County Urban Farming Project is a collaborative effort of students and community members demonstrating sustainable, collective home food production.
Our Story - Beginning in the spring of 2010 as a gardening competition between Conway's three colleges, students and professors turned the grassy yard behind the Faulkner County Library into a blossoming vegetable garden. It soon became apparent that this was no competition, but a collaborative effort toward a common goal of fostering sustainable food production and community in Faulkner County. Since 2010, our garden has expanded to include a greenhouse and tool shed, compost bins, and fruit trees from the support of Friends of the Faulkner County Library, the UCA Foundation, and us. Our produce is donated to local food banks and during the during the Fall of 2011 and 2012, we held a successful 1st and 2nd Annual Urban Farming Festival.
Water Collection and Irrigation System - We are well established, but we want to expand, and we need your help! To move toward more sustainably based model, the next logical step is water conservation. By collecting and storing rainwater during rainy periods, we can use we can use these reserves during our hot and dry Arkansas summers rather than relying on municipal water sources. This addition will drastically reduce our yearly water usage. Further, the installment of a timed irrigation system will allow our garden project to be more manageable during the summer since much of our workforce leaves during this part of the year.
Our proposed addition to the Urban Farming Project includes a 2000 gallon water tank with a timed, drip irrigation system. The water tank will be placed below the 6 inch downspout on the northwest corner of the Faulkner County Library. The $5000 will encompass the 2000 gallon water tank ($2000), 750 feet of irrigation lines with irrigation outlets, all plumbing fittings, and timers ($2500), and a decorative wooden enclosure and concrete foundation ($500). Any additional contributions will help us purchase seeds and equipment for the upcoming seasons.
So far we have the project layout, a go-ahead from the Faulkner County Library, a trained constructor, and many eager workers. Our plan is to begin construction in Spring 2013. Anyone interested in participating in the process and learning a bit more about sustainably designed food systems is welcome! After all, this project is a community initiative, and can give community members a starting point for their own water conservation projects. Besides the perks of being a part of a thriving garden, a truly rewarding part of the Urban Farming Project is seeing others walk away from a workday or event inspired to use something they learned in their own backyard. Help us continue to grow and inspire by Kickstarting our Water Collection and Irrigation System project!
Risks and challenges
The principal challenges for our proposed rainwater collection and irrigation system were, are, and will be:
- Permission from the landowner - Faulkner County Library - to install the system.
- Lack of funding to acquire the equipment that will be installed.
- Lack of public awareness when the system is built.
The library has reviewed our plan and granted permission the installment and operation of our rainwater catchment system if we are able to secure financial support. This project is not fundable through their budget.
We are relying on contributions made through Kickstarter to overcome our financial limitations. The FC Urban Farm project is a purely volunteer-based organization, and donates the food produced to local food banks instead of selling for profit.
The objective of the Urban Farm Project is to share food production information with a broad range of people in the community. The final risk will be that people may be unaware of the Project and how it works. This obstacle will be overcome by educational instruction during our biweekly workdays throughout the year, in addition to a spotlight of the Project at our 3rd Annual Urban Farm Festival next fall, after the Project's completion.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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