Oct 18, 2012

Local Food Research

Imagine a strong and vibrant sustainable community based local food system in Little Rock. What are its characteristics? What is the culture surrounding food in Central Arkansas? Who produces the food? Where is food sold? How are you involved? What is your role in this food economy?

A new project partnering Little Rock Urban Farming with Dylan Perry, a Masters Candidate at the Clinton School of Public Service, intends to identify opportunities to strengthen our local food system through a community needs assessment.  This project will engage a diverse group of stakeholders ranging from civic leaders, institutional leaders, politicians, business leaders, food producers, and consumers. The project will collect and document ideas from the community about developing a strong, vibrant, sustainable community based food system in Central Arkansas through a participatory process including interviews, community conversations, and surveys.

Little Rock Urban Farming (LRUF) is a community based food enterprise that specializes in the sustainable production and distribution of vegetables, fruits, flowers, honey, eggs and herbs. Chris Hiryak, the founder and Creative Director of LRUF, says, “We are ready to branch out and actively engage the community. Everyone in our community has a part to play in this food movement.”

Hiryak is a proponent of food citizenship, defined as the practice of engaging in food-related behaviors that support rather than threaten the development of a democratic, socially and economically just, and environmentally sustainable food system. LRUF will facilitate this process by getting the community to share ideas on what they expect and demand from their food system. LRUF will use that information to develop a program that is consistent with the shared vision of the community.

You may see LRUF conducting surveys at the following locations:

Farmers’ Markets:
Hillcrest Farmers’ Market - Saturdays 8am-12pm
Bernice Garden Farmers’ Market - Sundays 10am-2pm
Community Conversations:
Fletcher Library – October 20th, 4:00pm
Terry Library – November 10th, 10:00am
Cox Center – December 15th, 2:00pm
Other Events:
First Thursday at the Shops at Woodlawn – 5:00-9:00pm
SOMA Food Truck Thursdays – Second Thursday of every month, 5:30-8:30pm

Everyone is invited to attend any or all of these meetings.

Feel free to email Dylan Perry dlperry AT clintonschool.uasys.edu with any questions.

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