We Need Your Help
We’re going to be candid with you – Tri Cycle needs your help. Eight years ago, we set out to build community through soil – and, with the help of our amazing community members, we believe we have achieved this; The proof is in the produce! Although we are excited to celebrate the work we’ve accomplished, we have a long way to go before we are a sustainable organization. Our biggest problem is that, in the past eight years, we have not been able to achieve the financial stability required to employ any salaried staff members.
How have we been able to grow and recover over 200,000 pounds of food while educating and empowering thousands of community members over the past 8 years? The answer: Hard-working, dedicated volunteers, community members and AmeriCorps service members. Thanks to AmeriCorps grants, we have been able to incrementally grow our organizational capacity through the service of AmeriCorps VISTAs, Arkansas GardenCorps and AmeriCorps NCCC. Unfortunately, these positions have a time limit, but the work we do here does not. Thousands of community members rely on us to provide healthy, nutritious food through both our Food Recovery Program and our harvests – we can’t stop working when it’s time for these amazing service members to move on to other ventures. We are so, so thankful to have had so much continued help and support from thousands of volunteers, but we have reached a point where, instead of thriving, we are barely maintaining.
Step number one is to find funds for a Programs Manager. This position will play the vital role of overseeing our multiple programs, as well as our AmeriCorps VISTA team and future staff members. Tri Cycle Farms is in the business of growing community through soil as we steward food awareness, education and empowerment. Without a full-time staff our organization is lacking the essential nutrients it requires to grow and thrive. Just like the food we grow, our impact (harvest) pays the direct consequence of an unsustainable internal organization (soil ecosystem).
We have so much more to give to our community members, but we can’t do it without building our own organizational capacity. With your help, this fundraiser will give us the “third wheel and a push” that we so desperately need to keep our doors open and the gardens growing. Please mark your calendars for 12 hours of giving on April 4th, from 8 a.m.-8 p.m. to help us achieve our fundraising goal! to he You can donate through our fundraiser page on the NWA Gives site to make your secure donation to the farm.
Our Fundraising Goals
- $2,000 to purchase a Seed Starting Cart that will allow us to grow plants for our gardens, generate revenue at our Annual Plant Sale, and donate plants to other community gardens.
- $3,000 to purchase a generator for our Food Recovery Program trailer. This equipment is vital to the safe transportation of food from our donating partners to our receiving partners. Without this generator, we will not be able to keep the trailer cooled during the receiving, packing and delivering process that we operate Monday-Friday every single week.
- $5,000 for gardening tools and equipment such as upgrades to our high tunnel, row covers for spring and fall growing, wheel barrows, shovels, straw, crates, etc.
- Net-zero energy hydroponics greenhouse for year-round production.
- Year-round income stream to provide financial sustainability through the sale of fresh, high-value produce to local grocery stores and businesses.
- Experiential learning opportunities for University of Arkansas students and community members in a state of the art facility.
- Our first full-time salaried staff member
- Management for all of our programs including our Food Recovery Program, and AmeriCorps VISTA program
- Since Tri Cycle's inception in 2011, we have yet to have a salaried member of our team. For 8 years, we have run solely on the dedication and hard work of volunteers including Don Bennett, Founder and Executive Director, Kelly Bassemier, Garden Coordinator and our various AmeriCorps VISTA, NCCC and GardenCorps members. After many years of hard work, we have grown immensely but have come to a point where we are maintaining rather than thriving. To help Tri Cycle Farms achieve our goal of feeding, educating and empowering our community, we need your help. Through partial funding from grants and partial funding through community members like you, we will be able to take this first step into a financially sustainable organization.
"I wish that other people knew Tri Cycle Farms existed. Thousands of people must walk, bike, or drive by the Farm every day without giving a thought to the 2 acres of land behind the Rock House. Newspaper columnists have declared the present to be “The Age of Agricultural Ignorance” because the majority of North Americans live in urban areas. Consequently, a surprising number of our children can’t name common garden plants or connect the source animal with its meat product. However, if people knew about Tri Cycle Farms, they would see how agriculture can integrate into urban life. “There’s a farm right there on Garland.” They would say. And they would be amazed by the productivity of the farm, its relationship to local food security, and by the fact that it is a non-profit organization."
"I first started volunteering at Tri Cycle in the fall of 2017. Every time I came to the farm, there were smiles on people’s faces as volunteers worked together to accomplish important garden tasks while learning about the various plants and pollinators making the entire place buzz with life. Through my volunteerism, I learned about Tri Cycle’s mission of alleviating hunger in NWA and I was hooked. I have never been food insecure myself, but I know that it’s the reality for a large portion of our population. The work we do at Tri Cycle through our various programs allows us to make both short-term and long-term changes in people’s lives, though there’s always more to be done."
“I needed some tomato seeds one day after church. Stacy Kimbrough a past VISTA was there and said we should come over and get some from the farm. My family and I have been in love with Tri Cycle since!! I have become a regular around the place donating my time and resources through the Garden Tender program, board meetings, leading volunteer groups, going on food recovery with Don, my kids are Chicken Tenders, and countless other projects. Our community is ever expanding, and hunger is on the rise. We need to teach people to grow things!!”