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UALR’s secret garden by Edward Taylor

Submitted by Morgan Drish on October 14, 2015 – 1:04 pmNo Comment

Hidden under lock and key in the corner of the University of Arkansas at Little Rock across the street from US Pizza sits the school’s Campus Garden, which first focused on growing native plants but has now started to grow vegetables.

It began as a partnership between the Anthropology Club, the Nonprofit Leadership Student Association, and the Central Arkansas New Agrarian Society in 2012.

The vegetable gardens change periodically throughout the seasons based on student and faculty interest, and involvement. Native plants the garden grows include witch hazel, spicebush, and the prairie lead plant.

In addition, the organization grew heritage vegetables for an Arkansas Heritage Month event with the Center for Arkansas History and Culture last year, according to Dr. Krista Lewis, associate professor of anthropology.

This project familiarized the community with local eating habits, culinary practices of a region, and the capacity of food in the growth of Arkansas culture and traditions.

“We aim to create an educational and cooperative community space that will allow students and community members to better understand the relationship of humans to our landscape and the sustainable possibilities it holds, beginning with our local situation right here in Central Arkansas,” Lewis said. “We can use the UALR native garden to grow species of plants that can be used in this house construction and other future experimental archaeology projects and to teach students and the community about prehistoric technology and food ways in Central Arkansas.”

CANAS is a network of farmers and community-caring citizens who work to accentuate the importance of food to common humanity.

“CANAS has committed to taking lead responsibility for organizing the initial installation and maintenance of the garden with labor and input form the campus partners,” Lewis said. This organization has helped tremendously with maintaining the garden year round.

Anyone interested in visiting the garden must schedule an appointment or attend an upcoming event. Student can also participate in volunteer workdays and open house days.


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