The Northwest Arkansas Land Trust (NWALT) and the City of Fayetteville are pleased to announce Arkansas native Daniel Evans will operate a diversified vegetable farm on approximately five-acres off Broyles Rd and 54th Street. NWALT manages this tract for the City of Fayetteville as part of its Farmland Preservation, Access, and Support programming to help grow more local farmers, and more local food. This area was at one time home of the Woolsey Family where extensive restoration continues and includes a wet prairie. NWALT promoted the availability of a small tract from the site on its NWA Farm-Link website where landowners and farm seekers can connect. Evans was awarded the three-year lease with renewable option after applying and submitting a business and crop plan for the farm.
Evans and his partner Chloe Evans of Abilene Texas are expected to start prepping the Woolsey farm tract for production in the late summer and fall of 2022 and begin operations for the 2023 season. In the meantime, here is more information about their farming experience and vision for the future.
Daniel grew up in Rogers AR and graduated from Harding University in Searcy, Arkansas where he discovered his interest in farming and learning how to support sustainable farming. In 2018, he was thankful to find work at Five Acre Farms in Pleasant Plains, Arkansas led by farmer Brandon Gordon. Five Acre Farms is a year-round no-till vegetable farm that produces high-quality food for the local market.
“I can’t overestimate the amount I’ve learned from Brandon Gordon. He taught me everything I know about building soil, starting seeds, planting, cultivating, harvesting, and pruning. He also guided me to various books on the subject,” said Daniel.
Daniel says Brandon also helped him navigate starting his own market garden in Searcy he calls North Main Farms, located just north of downtown. After spending a winter prepping beds and laying fence to keep out deer, he and Chloe had their first growing season in the spring of 2021. “We sold at two different markets, in Little Rock and in Searcy, and we did Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) programs in the spring and fall for some of our local supporters and friends,” said Daniel.
As we farm, our goal is to build the soil and let the natural processes of the wheel of life do the rest. We want to grow for a local market and the NWA Food Systems Initiative. We want to use practices that reflect a value of excellence and beauty. It’s also important to us to be a part of the community in which we are farming. And we want the community to be part of the farm,” said Daniel. Stay tuned for more information about the farm name and ways to support them.