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On November 28, we’re joining the national day of generosity, #GivingTuesday. It’s a day when you can make a big impact on Tri Cycle Farms and your neighbors and friends who experience food insecurity every day.

With your help we’re raising $50,000 to expand our Food Recovery and Distribution Hub, and acquire a sorely needed farm truck and refrigerated trailer. These actions will enable us to provide food to a larger number of people immediately, as well as expand operations on the Farm.

How can you be part of it? Here are a few simple steps:

  • Make a gift on #GivingTuesday


  • Join us at the Farm or on Facebook Live for our first Food Recovery Day with St. James Baptist Church!​
  • Get the word out on social media using #GivingTuesday and #TriCycleFarms
  • Post an UNselfie* while holding up a card telling why you give to Tri Cycle Farms
  • Do something kind for another person

Tri Cycle Farms is a nonprofit that depends on support from individuals like you to deliver our mission to end food waste and feed those who are hungry. We appreciate your generosity!

*UNselfies are pictures posted of yourself while committing generosity or an unselfish act ​

Student volunteers from the University of Arkansas worked to improve the lives of others as a part of Make a Difference Day.

Source: College Students Initiate Make a Difference Day in NWA

Food security is defined as “…all people at all times having enough food for an active, healthy life.”[1] For the past few years, we have watched as the prevalence of food INsecurity in Arkansas has climbed to 19.2 percent – higher than the national average and the second highest in the United States.[2] As you know, Tri Cycle Farms works daily to end the threat of hunger for our neighbors. Today we are launching our #GivingTuesday campaign and are asking you to join us in our efforts to grow community through soil as we steward food awareness, education, and empowerment. We envision a world with food security, sovereignty, and sustainability for all.

Click here to skip the rest and get right to it:

So, who in your community is likely going hungry? The overall food insecurity rate of students at the University of Arkansas is 60%;[3] about 40% of Arkansans aged 60 or older are living with food insecurity;[4] and approximately 23% of children in Washington County are at risk.[5] YOU probably know someone in one or more of these groups and YOU CAN HELP!

In our Food Recovery project, we pick up healthy, edible food otherwise destined for the landfill and distribute it to those at greatest risk for food insecurity. This year alone, we’ve delivered food to provide more than 74,000 meals! To achieve this, we partner with community grocers, pantries and farmers.

Support Tri Cycle Farms’ Food Recovery Project. We are raising $50,000 to renovate our Food Recovery and Distribution Hub, and purchase a truck and refrigerated trailer. These items are necessary to both expand our effort to reach more people and to better ensure the safety of the food we deliver.

Click here to donate and share this campaign with others:

Help us feed more of your friends and neighbors! Support us as we work toward ending food insecurity in Northwest Arkansas.


Don Bennett

Executive Director

Tri Cycle Farms






On Tuesday morning, June 20th, 75 volunteers from the community, the Fruit Tree Planting Foundation, Vitafusion, Church and Dwight, the Mars Agency, Brightwater Culinary at NWACC, and AmeriCorps NCCC and VISTA established Tri Cycle Farms' Community Food Forest. The Fruit Tree Planting Foundation recently granted Tri Cycle 44 trees.

The ribbon-cutting ceremony for Tri Cycle's Community Food Forest began with greetings from Amy at Vitafusion, Lizzie from the Fruit Tree Planting Foundation, and Don Bennett, Director of Tri Cycle Farms. After the ceremony was complete, volunteers were eager to get their hands in the soil. Rico Montenegro from the Fruit Tree Planting Foundation taught a class on fruit tree care following the event.

In just an hour and a half, all of the fruit trees were in the ground. Volunteers planted cherry, apple, pear, and persimmon trees. These trees will come into full production of fruit within 3 years. Tri Cycle Farms welcome the years of productivity of safe, chemical free fruit to share with the community. According to 2014 US Census data, over 7,000, or 37.5%, of residents who live within a mile in each direction of Tri Cycle Farms live below the poverty level. Through this act of community cooperation, we have all taken a large step toward building a secure, accessible, and chemical-free local food system.




More Information about The Fruit Tree Planting Foundation:

The Fruit Tree Planting Foundation (FTPF) is an award-winning international nonprofit charity dedicated to planting fruitful trees and plants to alleviate world hunger, combat global warming, and improve the surrounding air, soil, and water. We strategically donate orchards where the harvest will best serve communities for generations, at places such as public schools, city parks, community gardens, low-income neighborhoods, Native American reservations, international hunger relief sites, and animal sanctuaries. Our programs help communities help themselves through the provision of orchards as long-term community assets along with training in how to care for them over time.


On Friday morning, June 16th, approximately 60 volunteers from the Walmart Realty Portfolio Management Group celebrated Live United Day by serving their community at Tri Cycle Farms. Volunteers learned about the mission of Tri Cycle Farms before splitting into five different work zones: weeding garden beds near our community house, mulching in the parking zone, weeding and harvesting in the Children's Garden, mulching and weeding in the Diversity Garden, and removing brush and trees in the Compost Zone.

This group came prepared! Volunteers brought an ATV with a trailer, which really helped in transporting the leaf piles to the new compost area as well as with hauling brush and the roots of trees that volunteers removed. A few unnecessary, non-native trees were felled by volunteers who brought a chainsaw and worked together to guide the trees to the ground, cut them into sections, and relocate the pieces. Other volunteers harvested Malabar spinach and Egyptian walking onions to free up bed space for upcoming plantings. Yet another group of volunteers contributed to our water run-off management system in the garden by filling the recently restructured walkways in the main garden with wood chips, which help to control the movement of rainwater runoff.

These 60 hard-working volunteers served alongside AmeriCorps NCCC team members, AmeriCorps VISTA service members, and Arkansas GardenCorps service members. Tri Cycle Farms appreciates all of our volunteers' efforts and that this group took the time out of their busy schedules to help us Grow Community Through Soil!

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Live United Day with the Walmart Audit Group

On Thursday, June 22nd, 40 volunteers from the Walmart Audit Group volunteered at Tri Cycle Farms in celebration of the United Way's Live United Day. The original April date for Live United Day was thoroughly rained out, but June 22nd was sunny with moments of shade. Walmart Audit Group volunteers served their community alongside Tri Cycle Farms staff, AmeriCorps VISTA members, and our AmeriCorps NCCC team.

Walmart Audit Group volunteers planted six rows of healthy, chemical free vegetables, including melons, squash, herbs, and a long bed of trenched tomatoes. Volunteers also mulched areas around our new fruit trees and in newly restructured garden pathways. Helpful interns harvested and processed Egyptian walking onions as well as Malabar spinach. After weeding and planting, volunteers covered the beds in straw to protect the soil and seedlings.

Tri Cycle Farms thanks all of its Walmart Audit group volunteers! It was a humid afternoon, but you all worked diligently and stayed hydrated! We are looking forward to next year's Live United Day! Thanks again!

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Tri Cycle Farms is so pleased to introduce these impressive members of the AmeriCorps NCCC Earth Team 5, who have joined us for a twelve-week period of service.  The National Civilian Community Corps is a full-time, team-based residential national service program for young adults, 18 to 24 years of age, who commit to ten months of service, benefiting communities in need at different locations across the country.

NCCC Earth Team 5 is providing essential, and very valuable labor and service in a variety of project areas at Tri Cycle Farms. These include preparing and redesigning garden beds for planting and harvest season, and to address and prevent flooding issues.  The implemented redesign and use of garden acreage is also incorporating the most efficient use of Tri Cycle's new irrigation system, and preparing area that will be dedicated to the planting of a new orchard in late June.

We can all be proud of these eight NCCC service members, and everyone at Tri Cycle welcomes and thanks them for their teamwork, their sense of community, and the true enjoyment of meeting and working with them all!

NCCC Earth Team 5 Profiles in Service: Ryan Aitken
AmeriCorps NCCC (National Civilian Community Corps)

Earth Team 5, Tri Cycle Farms, Fayetteville, Arkansas

Previous Service: Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, and Topeka, Kansas

Hometown: Alexandria, VA

“This service year has helped me to gain a lot of experience and to grow as a person. I think it has enabled me to experience a lot of different types of work, cultures and regions of the country that in turn have given me a broader view of the United States. On top of that the program has helped me along the way towards finishing my education. 

 Service to me is giving to people without expecting anything in return. It's helping those who are in need because you can. To me, that ability for someone or the potential for someone to help people is something everyone should realize at some point in their lives.

One story that particular sticks with me was from when I was working last round in Topeka, KS. I had spent some of my time there helping at an organization called Let's Help. The organization's main functions included providing a meal, education and care packages for those who are in need. Most of their clientele consisted of individuals suffering from homelessness. One of my particular tasks one day was to fill used pill bottles with shampoo and labeling them so that different clients could have soap as part of a hygiene package. While I was doing the work it was a bit repetitive and I remember finding it very hard to focus as I filled bottle after bottle. On top of this I also remember thinking that this was a side job that I was given to keep me busy while the really important jobs were being done behind some magical curtain elsewhere. The work I was doing didn't quite hit me until a week or so later as I was taking a shower at the YMCA. When I entered the stall I saw on the ground an empty pill bottle with the very same label I had written on it. This really resonated with me and made me realize that the repetitive task I had been doing just a few weeks earlier really did matter to someone. Not only did it matter to someone but it mattered to someone that I very possibly ran into on a daily basis. For me this was very impactful and helped me to appreciate all the work I was doing no matter how small it might have seemed to me.”

NCCC Earth Team 5 Profiles in Service: Taylor Maximus Meidinger
Service Description: AmeriCorps NCCC (National Civilian Community Corps.)

Earth Team 5, Tri Cycle Farms, Fayetteville, Arkansas

Previous Service: Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and Topeka, Kansas

Hometown: Packwood, Washington

"I see my year of service in NCCC affecting my future by giving me the extensive training on how to work as a team efficiently. But also that service is and always will be a big thing in my life.  To me service means trying to help communities in any way possible, it’s a connection that is deeper than the surface because you know you are helping someone even if it doesn’t seem like that big of a deal.

One of the most transformational experiences this year during my time in AmeriCorps NCCC was hearing the story of a family whose house was flooded during the great flooding of the Greater Baton Rouge area. Despite all they had lost they still fed us lunch, and went on to invite us to a late lunch with them at their store later that week.”

NCCC Earth Team 5 Profiles in Service: Logan Pace
Service Description: AmeriCorps NCCC (National Civilian Community Corps.)

Earth Team 5, Tri Cycle Farms, Fayetteville, Arkansas

Previous Service:  Maysville, Oklahoma, and Topeka, Kansas

Hometown: Greensboro, North Carolina

“I have the opportunity to return next year to be a Team Leader, and this service year will help me in my understanding of the program as well as strengthening my leadership abilities. Service, to me, is a way to act upon my desire to make the world a better place.  "Service is love made visible." 


NCCC Earth Team 5 Profiles in Service: Taylor Kibble
Service Description: AmeriCorps NCCC (National Civilian Community Corps.)

Earth 5 Team Leader, Tri Cycle Farms, Fayetteville, Arkansas

Previous Service: Maysville, Oklahoma with Oklahoma United Methodist Church Disaster Response, and Topeka, Kansas, with the Boys & Girls Club Teen Center.  I served as a Corps member for NCCC for 10 months in 2013-14 in Genesee, Colorado, Phoenix, Arizona, St. Louis, Missouri, and Lyons, Colorado, working on various environmental stewardship and disaster relief projects. I also served with the Corps Network in St. Louis in 2015-16 promoting outdoor volunteerism and recreation with local non-profits and parks departments.

Hometown: Portage, Indiana

“The personal and professional development gained during this service term has expanded my experience working directly with and for others.  Learning to work and collaborate with others, to make the world a little bit better for someone, is an opportunity unlike any other. With this growth I hope to continue collaborating with diverse minds, explore this world, learn new things from new people, and give all I can for others.

Service means providing assistance to others according to their needs and methods.  It is not up to us to assume what others are in need of, but important to collaborate with others to reach a more comprehensive understanding and further our knowledge regarding the diversity of our communities and cultures.      

I have had the most incredible opportunity to leads teams of dedicated, hardworking, and thoughtful young adults that I could not be more grateful for.  The times I have been most amazed are when I observe my team working hard and working together in high spirits in a variety of environments.  Watching my team work well together for the greater good of others is an awe-inspiring experience that gives me hope in others and the future of service.”

NCCC Earth Team 5 Profiles in Service: Cara Felts
Service Description: AmeriCorps NCCC (National Civilian Community Corps.) Earth Team 5, Tri Cycle Farms, Fayetteville, Arkansas

Previous Service: Boys & Girls Club Teen Center in Topeka, Kansas, and Oklahoma First United Methodist Church Disaster Response in Maysville, Oklahoma.           

Hometown: Catonsville, Maryland

“I'm still unsure what I want to do as a future career, but my service year has allowed me to gain skills in a variety of areas and has opened my eyes to many different service opportunities.  To me, service is a learning experience and a way to connect with  members of a community and provide assistance to those who are in need.  One of the first experiences I had as an AmeriCorps member in the field made me confident that the service year was the right path for me. It happened during my first project round in Maysville, Oklahoma where my team was working to help restore a home that had been hit by a flood in June 2016. One of the first weeks we were there, I got to speak with the owner of the house we were working on. This woman showed tremendous appreciation and was very welcoming to my team. She told about her life which heavily involved her serving her community, and when she mentioned that her community showed little support to her after the flood I was beyond grateful to be one of people helping make her home livable once again.”

NCCC Earth Team 5 Profiles in Service: Heather Mooney
Service Description: AmeriCorps NCCC (National Civilian Community Corps.)

Earth Team 5, Tri Cycle Farms, Fayetteville, Arkansas

Previous Service:  Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and Topeka, Kansas

Hometown: Kent, Washington

“This service year has helped me develop an idea of what I want to do after AmeriCorps, and has given me the experience I need to continue in my desired career. To me, service means assisting others in any possible way that I can. I now know not to go off-roading two hours after it rains in Louisiana.”



NCCC Earth Team 5 Profiles in Service:  Brandy Stone
Service Description: AmeriCorps NCCC (National Civilian Community Corps.)

Earth Team 5, Tri Cycle Farms, Fayetteville, Arkansas

Previous Service: Brazoria, Texas, and Topeka, Kansas 

Hometown: “This year has really helped me grow as a person, and it has allowed me to open up and see the things that I really want to do.

Service is the most important part of my life. I think that if I have the time, energy, and means to do so, then I should put every effort I have into helping people.

This program has allowed me to become very close with people who I might not have met otherwise.  I have been shaped greatly by the people I have been able to work with in all capacities of this service.”

NCCC Earth Team 5 Profiles in Service: Mallory Schmackpfeffer
Service Description: AmeriCorps NCCC (National Civilian Community Corps.)

Earth Team 5, Tri Cycle Farms, Fayetteville, Arkansas

Previous Service: Topeka, KS, and Maysville, OK!

Hometown: Rochester, New York

“This service year is letting me experience a whole range of careers in the non-profit field, teaching me countless new hard and soft skills, and exposing me to so many awesome teachers and mentors.

Service, to me, is the way that we take action. Service is the way that we show people from all walks of life that we’re there for them – that we support and love them, and that we can reach out a hand to our fellow humans even if other people won’t or can’t. This service term has over and over again strengthened my resolve to be a helper and to live my life with my heart and mind open to others.

Throughout my current service year I've had so many awesome experiences. One that sticks out is my team's final week working to rebuild homes in Maysville, Oklahoma, after a flood. When we started out the round very few of us had any experience with construction work and so we were a bit clumsy around the worksite. As the weeks went on, we learned a ton about using tools properly and completing a wide range of tasks, so that by that final week, we were a well-oiled machine and it was amazing to see how far we had come. We were working together as a team so well and doing work that we were proud of! ”

Many thanks from the Tri Cycle Team to the hardworking, dedicated members of NCCC Earth Team 5! This group of thoughtful young leaders is completing three years' worth of work in their three month stay at the farm! If you would like more information about the NCCC service year experience, check out the NCCC's website!

Cooking Matters, Spring 2017

Meg Staires, 2016-2017 GardenCorps Member at Tri Cycle Farms

This Spring, I taught two sessions of Cooking Matters classes to kids in our community. Cooking Matters is a cooking course for kids that teaches them how food is grown and how to cook healthy food.



The first session was during Spring Break, when we had The Little Village kids at Tri Cycle for the week. The second session was held at Washington Plaza Apartments’ food bank. During the two courses, the kids designed their own trail mix, learned how to safely use knives, made healthy and colorful pizzas, and tried many foods for the first time (Dates! Hummus! Blackberries!). We talked a lot about what makes food good for our bodies, and how we can make some of our favorite comfort foods healthier.


We also talked a lot about how to eat healthy food without spending too much money. Each recipe was based around healthy items that are available at any grocery store for not too much money. It was important for me as a facilitator to give kids a template that they could adapt to their own, and their families’ specific budget and dietary needs.



All the kids received an apron, a wooden spoon, a cutting board, and a Cooking Matters book with recipes and activities, and all of this was at no cost to the kids! It was a great opportunity for me, as well; I got the experience of teaching kids from different walks of life how to cook great food, and it challenged me to find creative, fun, and inexpensive ways of engaging with each kid.


It also enabled me to work with Laura Wasson, a Nutrition major at  UofA and volunteer at Tri Cycle; she had tons of great insights and ideas and was amazing with the kids! The cooking classes were a great way for Tri Cycle to reach out to more of our neighbors and find new ways to build community. We are all grateful to Arkansas Garden Corps for creating the opportunity to bring Cooking Matters to Tri Cycle Farms!




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In observance of AmeriCorps Week 2017, March 4th-11th, Tri Cycle Farms honors the important roles service corps members from AmeriCorps VISTA, Arkansas GardenCorps, and FoodCorps play in local nonprofits and schools. Tri Cycle Farms hosts VISTAs and GardenCorps members, and through our food recovery and garden volunteering programs, we work with VISTAs, GardenCorps, and FoodCorps members from other local organizations and schools. From educating schoolkids about healthy eating, to growing healthy food for our neighbors in need, to building capacity so that our nonprofits can succeed, service corps members fulfill need in our community every day. Thank you, service members!

Profiles of service corps members will be added throughout AmeriCorps Week. Check this post throughout the week for new profiles every day!



Founded in 1965 as a national service program to fight poverty in America, VISTA (Volunteers In Service To America) engages 8,000 Americans annually as VISTAs to support community efforts to overcome poverty.  Members make a year-long, full-time commitment to serve on a specific project at a nonprofit organization or public agency. They focus their efforts to build the organizational, administrative, and financial capacity of organizations that fight illiteracy, improve health services, foster economic development, and otherwise assist low-income communities.




Arkansas GardenCorps is an AmeriCorps program hosted by the Childhood Obesity Prevention Research Program at the Arkansas Children’s Hospital Research Institute in Little Rock, Arkansas. The mission of Arkansas GardenCorps is to promote the use of school and community gardens to provide nutrition education with the purpose of reducing childhood obesity and to increase environmental awareness and sustainable agriculture practices in Arkansas communities. Members assist Service Sites across the state of Arkansas with the following objectives:

  • Development and maintenance of school and community gardens
  • Garden-based nutrition education for youth and adults
  • Recruitment of volunteers to support sustainability of gardens
  • Increase access to fresh produce grown in gardens


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FoodCorps places motivated leaders in limited-resource communities for a year of public service. Working under the direction of local partner organizations, they implement a three-ingredient recipe for healthy kids. The service members:

  • Teach kids about what healthy food is and where it comes from
  • Build and tend school gardens
  • Bring high-quality local food into public school cafeterias



Profile in Service: Kyndal Saverse IMG_4814

Service Description: AmeriCorps VISTA, Resources Data Manager, Tri Cycle Farms, Fayetteville, Arkansas

Previous Service: Arkansas GardenCorps, Tri Cycle Farms, 2015-2016

Hometown: Clarksville, Arkansas

"My current service year has taught me the importance of building relationships with my co-workers, the volunteers, and the community that we serve. Sometimes just a couple words to a stranger at the store is all it takes to get someone involved with good work. I hope to continue bringing people together, so we can easily create a healthier, more vibrant community.

Service means to give without wanting anything in return. Service comes from a place of compassion for others, no matter where their walk in life.

Developing Salesforce will be a huge contribution to the way my organization collects and organizes data. For the success of non-profits, data is vital to prove yourself for grants and donations. The number of volunteers and the amount of food recovered has grown immensely. Tracking this data proves our worth to the Fayetteville community.

Tri Cycle Farms directly serves hundreds of volunteers, as well as other food banks such as 7Hills and Salvation Army. In many ways we have a trickle down effect by helping others to help the community they already serve."

Thank you, Kyndal, for your service!

Profile in Service: Moriah Santiago

Service Description: FoodCorps, George Elementary, Springdale, Arkansas

Hometown: Long Island, New York

IMG_1507"Serving with FoodCorps has been my greatest accomplishment and most valuable experience of my life. To serve in our incredible community of Springdale and work towards making sure our George Elementary Family has access to healthy food and nutrition education is important and valuable work. Our students love the garden so much and we will continue to work on fostering this love of gardening, science, and environmental stewardship!

Through serving with FoodCorps at George Elementary, I discovered my love of teaching. I am privileged to teach the students about environmental science, gardening, and nutrition, which has encouraged me to pursue my masters in secondary education in life sciences at the University of Arkansas next year! I am looking forward to continued service in Springdale and ground down further in the connections I’ve built in the community over the past year and a half.

Service means connecting my community to the resources we need to thrive. It means being a facilitator of learning, connecter of people who ought to know each other, a grant writer, a gatherer of resources, an idea generator,  an event planner, an ally, and a friend to my community.

My service position serves 640 students, plus their families which counts for well over 1,000 people. I am so grateful that our George Elementary family is able to benefit from Tri Cycle Farms Food Recovery. Since I have been recovering the food from Whole Foods that Tri Cycle facilitates, our school has been getting over 50 lbs of food two times a week, bi-weekly. This is incredibly helpful to our students who are in need of extra food over the weekend and receive snack packs. We have been able to send our students in need home with bags of fresh fruit, organic breads, yogurt, and other wholesome non-perishables. Any extra food we have is used in lessons, or given as snacks to after school clubs. This is really making a difference in our students lives."

Thank you, Moriah, for connecting children to healthy food and teaching them about food systems!


Profiles in Service: Meg Staires
Service Description: Arkansas GardenCorps, Tri Cycle Farms, Fayetteville, Arkansas IMG_1536
Hometown: Avant, Oklahoma

“Service is about standing with communities as they identify and address issues; it’s about supporting folks as they build solutions that will bring about long-lasting and positive change.

This year is providing me with the time I need to ponder and solidify my future goals. It’s a great thing to be able to take a step back and think about what my next step should be, and it’s rewarding to be able to do that while doing meaningful service and learning tons of valuable things about the community I live in.

I’m so grateful for the opportunity to work with such a great AmeriCorps team here at Tri Cycle Farms. There’s nothing better than working towards goals with inspired and inspiring people!”

Thank you, Meg, for your service!

Profiles in Service: Noa Borkan
Service Description: FoodCorps, Hellstern Middle School, Springdale, Arkansas (2 years) Foodcorps
Hometown: Sharon, MA

“These 2 service years have given me hands-on experiences teaching nutrition and understanding how kids feel and interact with their food and school food. In the fall I will be attending UNC-Chapel Hill in the Masters in Public Health program with a focus on dietetics. Serving in FoodCorps not only gave me the experience and focus to get into this program but also the drive and desire to further my education and commit to a career in dietetics. Getting to be part of FoodCorps and AmeriCorps means that I have such a dynamic role at my school and the opportunity to really learn about school food, students’ preferences and attitudes towards food and be able to implement many different programs at the school to work on students’ nutrition. I have been able to work with kids closely and be part of so many different amazing experiences at the school: working in the garden, implementing harvest of the month, and running a farm-to-school camp. Enjoying my work and seeing its value has pushed me to want to make this my career and expand my education to learn more about effective nutrition programs and gain the skills to make a broader difference in school food.

I grew up in Israel where army service or national service is mandatory but when I moved to the US I was exempt from the army and committed to going to an American college instead. Still, I always felt that service was incredibly important in order to get to live in the US and be a contributing member of society if I was privileged enough to have opportunity to do so. Being a part of national service was always incredibly important to me but the community aspect of service is the part that most stands out now that I am a service member. Service means that I get to engage in the community in so many different ways and fill the gaps that the community needs; if there is a project at the school or in the district that needs help I am there to help out. I am there to elevate the school’s garden and nutrition-based programs but also I am there to give the school the extra boost it needs.

The food recovery program at Tri Cycle has helped us tremendously by providing us with ingredients to cook with and pushing us to be creative in cooking lessons. I was leading a cooking class with sixth graders and had gotten chickpeas, chocolate, and peanut butter from food recovery so we tried out a chickpea cookie dough recipe which students really enjoyed!

So many things happen each day! Today I was out in our greenhouse during recess working with my 6th grade garden team on starts we are growing. It is amazing how much they have taken on the project as their own and really taken charge every step of the way: they collected cans, painted them, filled them with soil, planted seeds, and are now watering everything and watching it grow. My favorite moments are when I am working on something and turn around to find the girls fixing a problem or figuring out the next step on their own.”

Thank you, Noa, for your service!

Profiles in Service: Sarah Heizenroth SarahHeizenroth
Service Description: AmeriCorps VISTA, Apple Seeds, Fayetteville, Arkansas
Prior Service: I served with a State & National program called Keep Austin Housed. My placement was with Lifeworks in their Supportive Housing Program where I case managed 18-24 year olds experiencing homelessness. It was an 11-month term 09/15-07/16 in Austin, TX.
Hometown: Malvern, PA

“I am passionate about promoting social justice, economic opportunity, sustainable development, and healthy lifestyles. I am particularly interested in how many of the barriers that occur in our communities can be directly related to our food and food systems. My goal is to do work that promotes community development through increasing awareness and access to local foods.

Tri Cycle was a great help to us in the off season winter months when we were trying to build the Farm to Table program by testing new recipes. They generously allowed us to participate in their food recovery program which gave us access to ingredients that we could otherwise not afford during that time.

Apple Seeds serves thousands of students from schools and community centers around NW Arkansas each year (7,470 in 2016). 629 students participated in the Farm to Table program in 2016. My role at Apple Seeds as the Farm to Table Coordinator correlates directly with my future goals because it allows me increase students' excitement around eating fruits and vegetables and to teach them the skills to create healthy recipes for themselves. I believe that the education and empowerment my service brings about to the students will make lasting impressions on both them and their communities.”

Thank you, Sarah, for your service!

Profile in Service: Don Bennett Profile Picture Roots

Description of Service: Site Supervisor for VISTA and GardenCorps members at Tri Cycle Farms, who maintains a strong collaboration, connection and admiration for the Arkansas FoodCorps team.

Hometown: Hot Springs, Arkansas, but has considered Fayetteville home for over 36 years

“AmeriCorps service members have been serving at Tri Cycle since the founding of Tri Cycle in 2011. I hope to improve my team building and facilitation skills every year by working with AmeriCorps service members. AmeriCorps is the window of opportunity to make Tri Cycle a sustainable non profit and replicable endeavor. This year will be the most challenging and productive yet. With everyone in place, I will potentially work with over 23 service members in 2017 in some capacity. Together we are gonna rock the NWA community!

At a minimum, Tri Cycle engages 6,000 people a year. But after 2017 is complete, closer to 10,000 or 12,000 people will be impacted by “Community Through Soil” with programs, like food recovery, volunteer opportunities, taste tours, youth groups, service learning and school field trips. These many activities all support our mission of sharing, teaching and farming.

These connections we are forging in community are long-lasting. This summer a long time volunteer and former 2-term FoodCorps service member is having her wedding reception at Tri Cycle. Her fiance, who is a TCF volunteer too, proposed to her in the TCF Diversity Garden a couple of years ago. A very wise young lady (our first GardenCorps service member, Emily Deitchler) told me, “It’s important to teach that peas are in pods and potatoes grow in the ground, but ultimately the thing of most importance is the connection we make while we are doing it.” She and many others I've had the privilege to serve with embody the spirit and mission of AmeriCorps, a mission of service, collaboration and sustainable communities we proudly share at Tri Cycle Farms.”

Thank you, Don, for facilitating the good work of AmeriCorps service members!


Profile in Service: Amy Joens IMG_1529

Service Description: FoodCorps Fellow, Arkansas

Previous Service: 2 years of FoodCorps, Des Moines Public Schools, Des Moines, IA

Hometown: Cedar Rapids, Iowa

“Service is using your skills and knowledge to respectfully come alongside a community to help catalyze positive momentum. It’s finding the assets in a people and a place and helping inspire them to work together for a more just, sustainable, healthy world. It is about stepping up to lift others up, so you can step back and see the change flourish that you helped encourage.

I was fortunate to be able to extend my involvement with FoodCorps beyond two years of service to do a year of the “fellowship.” As a Fellow, I support ten FoodCorps Service Members across Arkansas. Each of them serves unique communities: rural, urban, and suburban. Our service is geared toward working with kids, schools, and families of students. The fellowship has offered me full-time work, growing different kinds of skills and developing myself in organization, planning, mentoring, and management roles. I am sure I will continue to use these skills as well as the many skills that I attained during my service in future food systems and justice work that I hope to be involved in. Plus, the many networks and people that I have been so fortunate to work alongside during my involvement with FoodCorps service have me rooted into this work and given me great mentors, professional connections, and many many opportunities for future projects and careers.  

FoodCorps in NW Arkansas is lucky to partner with Tri Cycle Farms quite often in several different ways. We’ve hosted events at the farm, have participated in service projects at the farm where our service members have learned new skills and joined together in service with other AmeriCorps members, and several of our members weekly benefit from partnering in participation with the food recovery program at Tri Cycle Farms. They use this food in their schools for cooking and nutrition lessons, as well as to supplement backpack programs and food pantries at their school to give kids and families access to high-quality, nutritious foods.

I’ll never forget the child that came into the garden crying during a particularly rough day. Life wasn’t fair, and he was feeling pretty down. I gently asked him if he wanted to work in the garden, and he brightened up as I showed him how to use a shovel to loosen the dirt so we could pull the weeds out. When I came back to him several minutes later, he was proudly standing next to a giant hole that he dug. Though that wasn’t quite what we needed, he attained a new skill, felt a part of something bigger than himself, and was proud of what he had done. He told me, “Miss Amy, you rock. Thank you for teaching me how to dig a hole! I feel so proud of myself, and I can’t wait to tell my mom what I can do.” To me, service is about the small, yet transformative changes that occur when we are intentional about building lasting, trusting relationships, and we look to our community to what it needs and wants rather than just what we want.”

Thank you, Amy, for your service! You rock, Miss Amy!

Profiles in Service: Mollie Kenerson

Service Description: FoodCorps, Harp Elementary, Springdale, Arkansas 2015-2017

Hometown: Rochester, NY

“Service, to me, is a way of sharing one's passions to better the world.  There are so many different ways to serve and the ability to choose something you know, love, or want to learn more about is an amazing way to grow independently, as well as with your community. While service can, at times, be all-encompassing and exhausting, I always finish the day with a smile, knowing I was able to do something meaningful.

In my service as an elementary school service member and educator, I have learned an incredible amount when it comes to curriculum building, community event planning, as well as garden and nutrition education. These experiences will be very helpful in my plan to continue in education after service and become a professor, with the hopes of teaching service learning courses that engage college students in the local community.

Harp Elementary school is the place of learning for 600 students in Springdale, Arkansas.  Our community is 57% Hispanic, 26% White and 9% Pacific Islander, which consists mainly of students from the Marshall Islands. We are diverse, speaking many different languages and carrying various customs from countries all across the world.

We’ve just recently began our relationship with Tri Cycle Farms and are exuberant to have the opportunity to work with everyone there.  We attend food recovery weekly and use the various produce and grocery goods to make snacks in our garden club, stock our family food pantry, and provide snacks for the Ozark Guidance Center’s summer programming.  We are excited to continue this relationship and spread more of these amazing products throughout our school community.

Over the course of FoodCorps’ time at Harp Elementary, it has been amazing to watch children learn and grow.  As we highlight local lettuce on our lunch line, we’ve seen numbers of students eating salad daily increase as we continue to host garden work days. The amount of people that show up grows, and as we teach nutritional recipes, we see more students seeking out the information to make them at home  This spring we will be turning our large, in ground garden (100’x20’) into a communal space in which families will be given their own sections to grow the foods they want to eat. We are so excited to provide this opportunity and look forward to the continued growth of gardening in our school and broader community.”  

Thank you, Mollie, for your service!

Profile in Service: Dawn Jones Tri Cycle MLK 2017 50

Service Description: AmeriCorps VISTA Media & Community Outreach Coordinator at Tri Cycle Farms, effective May, 2016

Previous Service:  AmeriCorps VISTA, Omni Center, Fayetteville, Arkansas, February 2014-February 2016

Hometown: Jefferson City, MO. Fayetteville has been home for most of thirty years.

“As an AmeriCorps service member, I’ve been facilitated and supported in combining my personal interest in community service programs with my professional experience in community relations and media services. The opportunity to be part of caring programs which address the various challenges facing low-income families is very satisfying. Each day does make a difference. This focus is personally very meaningful. I have been continually impressed by and grateful for the training, resources and opportunities AmeriCorps provides, particularly in the VISTA program.

As a VISTA Alumna, it’s engaging and satisfying to help develop, build and increase programs and systems capacity as one member of a great team during Tri Cycle’s initial year as an AmeriCorps sponsor organization.”

Profile in Service: Anna Fisher File_000

Service Description: FoodCorps, Bayyari Elementary School, Springdale, Arkansas

Hometown: Cedar Rapids, Iowa

I serve with FoodCorps because I believe that every child deserves access to fresh foods and the education needed to live a healthy life.I believe that students who put their hands in the dirt and watch their food grow are more likely to develop better lifelong eating habits.

After my AmeriCorps service I would like to continue working towards a career in dietetics. Through this year of service I am getting experience with child nutrition and the school lunch program, which are two areas that I would like to work in after receiving my dietetics license.

I serve 675 students at Bayyari Elementary but also help other FoodCorps members throughout Arkansas to connect kids to healthy foods. TCF food recovery has been a huge help in my cooking lessons and supplies foods to use in my after school Garden Club.”

Thank you, Anna, for your service!

Profile in Service: Delilah Clark clark_delilah_biopic

Service Description: AmeriCorps VISTA Volunteer Coordinator, Tri Cycle Farms, Fayetteville, Arkansas

Hometown: Canyon, Texas

“I am a PhD Candidate in Comparative Literature at the University of Arkansas, and I’ve volunteered at Tri Cycle since the first spring planting in 2012. My service year at TCF has allowed me to live what I love about the humanities: the exploration of empathy within complex systems. In my grad student life, I study modern Arabic poetry that relates to landscape and representations of the rural. Even though coordinating volunteers at a nonprofit urban farm and critically studying poetry from the Levant are vastly different disciplines, both allow me to engage in a deeply rewarding experiences at the nexus of human and environment. The service year also reinforces for me that teaching and learning cannot be isolated to classrooms.  

Not from a single encounter, but from dozens of conversations with volunteers in the garden, I am reminded over and over again that people genuinely want to be close to the land and want to know that they are part of a community. University students tell me about their family’s farms in distant locations. Teen volunteers remember helping their grandparents with home gardens. International students describe the vegetables and flowers they grew while they were growing up. There is no reason that we have to be cut off from land or from each other. The connections that we build by overcoming obstacles and doing good together provide a sense of grounding that helps us resist the kinds of negativity and isolation that make us feel like we don’t matter in the world.

In my experience, service requires that we open ourselves to committed listening, to creative and sensitive questioning, and, for better or worse, making more with less. If we really listen and we really engage, it’s impossible not to help. Service is the coming-together to overcome different kinds of poverty, not the least of which is loneliness.”

Profile in Service: Jenni Vaughan IMG_1500

Service Description: FoodCorps, FPS Agee-Lierly Life Preparation Services (ALLPS) - West Campus, Fayetteville, Arkansas

Previous Service: AmeriCorps VISTA at Apple Seeds, School Garden Market Coordinator, Fayetteville AR, August 2015 to August 2016

Hometown: Cabot, Arkansas

“I discovered that I love working with young adults. Before this service term, I envisioned my future self to be working with adolescents; however, I have found that high school students are a joy to teach. I hope to be able to continue working with high school aged students throughout my career. My service at ALLPS has also helped deepen my love for horticulture, and I now cannot imagine a future without  being covered in dirt daily. In addition to my longtime goal of becoming a Registered Dietitian, I now want to further my education in the field of agriculture.

Service means coming into work every day and loving what I do. I literally feel as if I have the dreamiest  job in the world. Service means waking up with a smile on my face because I am excited to interact with students, work with plants, and see both grow. I get to create a beautiful space that nurtures curiosity, self-discovery, and nutritional awareness. I believe that everyone should have access to healthy food, and service with FoodCorps has given me the opportunity to back up my beliefs with direct action.

Thank goodness for Tri Cycle! Before teaming up for food recovery in December, our cooking classes were often meager, scrapped together snacks. Classes that were once inconsistent are now developed and sustainable. Food is the way to a teenager’s heart! I could not have made such a meaningful impact without the assistance of Tri Cycle Farm’s Food Recovery Program. In addition to revamped cooking classes, I am also able to provide small, healthy snacks to students throughout the day. Of the 200 students at ALLPS, 67% receive free or reduced lunches, and some students experience food insecurity. Tri Cycle has helped to keep students from leaving my classroom empty handed.

One morning, as I was carrying in a load from food recovery, students chased me down to tell me, “You make me so happy, and that helps me come to school.” If you have ever worked with angsty teenagers, then you know such a verbal expression is a high honor. I can’t tell if they love me for my food or my personality; either way it doesn’t get any better than this.”

Thank you, Jenni, for your service! We agree with your students!

AmeriCorps programs are administered through the Corporation for National and Community Service. To learn more about the service year and how to apply for any of these critically important programs, visit

#AmeriCorpsWorks #AmeriCorpsWeek #ArkansasGardenCorps #iamvista #FoodCorps #FoodCorpsArkansas #serveupchange




As we head into Spring, you might be noticing that your body is protesting the higher energy levels, even as it enjoys the extra warmth and sunlight. After a winter of eating rich foods, and being curled up and cozy, it is helpful to look to our plant allies for help transitioning to the new season in a healthy way. Yellow Dock is great for this! It is abundant in Arkansas, and its leaves are some of the earliest to arrive in Spring. Here at the Farm, we had three Yellow Dock plants, and I used the leaves and the roots to make an infused oil, an alcohol tincture, and a vinegar tincture.


Yellow Dock is a tonic for the liver, and it is also an effective iron supplement, without being constipating. It supplies many vitamins and minerals, and because of this, it helps relieve leg cramps, and keeps the bones and muscles supple. It is said to have a grounding effect emotionally, and to help prevent oversensitivity. Topically, its astringent and antibacterial properties make it suitable for treating itchy skin, eczema, ringworm and hemorrhoids.


Infused Oil

An oil infused with Yellow Dock leaves can be used topically as-is, or the oil can be added to other salve ingredients. Pick the leaves of a Yellow Dock plant. Select leaves that are relatively intact and undamaged. DO NOT WASH (it’s important that no water gets in your oil preparation, as this can cause mold growth). If the leaves are dirty, use a vegetable brush to clean them. Chop roughly and fill a clean (but completely dry) jar. Pour olive oil over the leaves until they are covered completely. Put a lid on the jar, and label with the contents and the date. Let the infusion sit for 4-6 weeks, before straining the solids out. Oil can be used on its own, or in other topical preparations.


Root TinctureRumexCrispus

5-10 drops of the tincture can be taken in a glass of water, daily, or as needed.

Clean the roots, and scrape with a vegetable peeler. The root should be yellow (may be bright or light yellow); this is where the common name comes from! Chop and place in a clean jar. Cover the roots with 100 proof vodka and place a lid on the jar. Label the jar with the contents and the date.  The tincture should sit for 6 weeks before it is used. Over time, the liquid will become dark brown--this is normal! After 6 weeks, the solids can be strained out and the liquid can be put in smaller bottles for use. Dark glass bottles are best, as they protect your tincture from light.


Vinegar Tincture

1 teaspoon of this tincture can be taken in a glass of water, daily, or as needed.

For this preparation, I gathered Yellow Dock leaves, as well as Dandelion leaves and roots. Roughly chop everything and fill clean jar. Pour raw apple cider vinegar over the leaves and roots until they are covered. Place a lid on the jar and label it with the date and the contents, and let it sit for 6 weeks. Strain out solids and bottle the tincture for use.


When gathering plants, be sure to avoid plants by roadways and power lines, or any areas that have been sprayed with chemicals!


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