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By Sarah CatoU of A System Division of AgricultureOct. 19, 2018
(550 words)(Download this story in MS Word format here.)
RISON, Ark. – What began as a little dabbling at home has turned into the Arkansas
Homesteading Conference – a series of meetings that provide information and demonstrations
on sustainable living techniques.
The next event, the Arkansas Urban Homesteading Conference, returns to the St. Joseph
Center of Arkansas in North Little Rock on Saturday, Nov. 3. It’s presented by the
Arkansas Homesteaders, the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture and
the St. Joseph Center.
The conference will cover gardening, food preservation, alternative energy and other
concepts that are backyard-friendly.
The Arkansas Homesteading Conference was co-founded by Britt and Karen Talent of Rison.
The conference is in its fifth year, having held events at Rison, Mountain View, Harrison
and North Little Rock.
"This conference is a little different from our typical homesteading conferences in
that we focus more on concepts that can practiced in someone's backyard," Britt Talent
said. "There are a lot of ways people can enjoy growing their own food in a tiny backyard
or even on the balcony of an apartment, and a lot of these concepts can be scaled
up for those who have more space."
Talent said homesteading is “something we’ve dabbled in. I had a friend suggest that
we put on this conference through the newspaper, so we did.” Talent is editor and
publisher of the Cleveland County Herald in Rison.
That first conference held in their hometown of Rison drew about 150 people from 18
counties across Arkansas. “We were encouraged to hold another and, as they say, the
rest is history.” Since then, people from a dozen states have attended the conferences
to learn more about achieving a sustainable lifestyle.
Division of Agriculture Extension Horticulture Specialist Janet Carson will cover
container and raised bed gardening and Farm Hands Companions homesteader Gary “Pa
Mac” McWilliams will discuss “no cost” gardening.
Other presentations include:
The conference will consist of three tracks with four sessions in each track and lunch
will be provided with registration. The registration fees are $35 for adults, $11.25
for youth ages 7-12 and free for ages 6 and under.
To register or learn more about the Arkansas Urban Homesteading conference, visit
www.arkansashomesteader.com or contact Britt Talent at (870) 325-6412.
This will be the second year the conference has been held at the 63-acre urban farming
center located in North Little Rock next to Camp Robinson.
Originally constructed in 1908, the St. Joseph Home served as an orphanage until 1978. It
continued to operate as a daycare and kindergarten until 1997. Since then, the non-profit
St. Joseph Center of Arkansas has taken on the challenge of preserving the property
by developing it into a working farm complete with gardens, cattle, sheep, goats,
laying hens, bees and a farm stand.
To learn more about homesteading in Arkansas, contact your local Cooperative Extension
Service agent or visit www.uaex.uada.edu.
About the Division of Agriculture
The University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture’s mission is to strengthen
agriculture, communities, and families by connecting trusted research to the adoption
of best practices. Through the Agricultural Experiment Station and the Cooperative
Extension Service, the Division of Agriculture conducts research and extension work
within the nation’s historic land grant education system.
The Division of Agriculture is one of 20 entities within the University of Arkansas
System. It has offices in all 75 counties in Arkansas and faculty on five system campuses.
The University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture offers all its Extension
and Research programs to all eligible persons without regard to race, color, sex,
gender identity, sexual orientation, national origin, religion, age, disability, marital
or veteran status, genetic information, or any other legally protected status, and
is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer.
# # #
Media Contact: Mary HightowerDir. of Communication ServicesU of A System Division of AgricultureCooperative Extension Service(501) email@example.com