Bountiful Harvest: Campus garden group hauls in fall crop

Thanks to a bountiful harvest on Sept. 29, the UA Little Rock Campus Garden Alliance will once again be able to supply the UA Little Rock’s food pantry with tomatoes, sweet potatoes, basil, greens, peppers, and egg plants for distribution to students facing financial hardships.

Several dozen UA Little Rock community members gathered that day to pull in the harvest planted earlier this year.

“The campus garden promotes the concept of local food production,” said Stephen Grace, managing director of the Campus Garden Alliance and an associate professor of biology. The campus garden is an effort to promote local farming and food production as a way to reduce environmental footprints.

Community gardens are becoming increasingly more popular in the United States.  A 2014 study from the National Gardening Association found that more than 2 million new households began a garden between 2008 and 2014.  They have been show to have a lasting impact on public health. A separate study from The National Institutes of Health showed that people who participate in community gardens are less likely to experience food insecurity and more likely to include vegetables in their diet.

The UA Little Rock Campus Garden Alliance has begun selling some of the produce to help fund expansion efforts as well as sustaining their current plot. It is located on Fair Park Blvd. near the intersection with Archer Ave. Only half of the three acres under the groups control is currently being gardened.

For more information about the Campus Garden Alliance, contact Grace at scgrace@ualr.edu.