Terry Wisniewski is a local Bella Vista-based farmer with extensive experience growing a diversified vegetable operation known as Arkansabi Farms. He’s been very supportive and involved in the NWA Food System Initiative and was one of the first farm seekers to join NWA Farm-Link. Terry is always looking to lease, and is open to purchase new farmland to expand his farm. NWA Farm-Link administrator Susan Koehler and Terry trade emails and calls periodically to check in to see how the other is doing.
“It’s really helpful to me when I can get to know a NWA Farm-Link member beyond their profile,” said Susan. Terry was leasing some other land in 2022, but learned it would not be available in 2023. “When I heard he would need additional ground to fulfill his plans, I immediately thought about all the properties and farmland owners who might be a good fit. Joy and Eric Jackman came to mind, and I connected them.”
Joy and Eric live in Rogers and own less than a acre that borders their home. The city does not want it developed and the family always dreamed of the land growing food and serving the community. “As soon as we bought our little cottage with access to the land next door, we thought about urban farming,” said Joy.
The pair met over the recent weeks and struck a deal including a written lease, and now Arkansabi Farms is prepping the ground for 2023 production. Behind the scenes Koehler confirmed with the city planning department zoning permitted agriculture. Other arrangements for water and electric are being addressed by the pair.
“We are very happy Terry found us,” said Joy. “We are in walking distance to Greer Lingle Middle School. Even though students are not physically involved in the farm, we believe symbolically they will benefit. There is also a lot of pedestrian and vehicle traffic on our street. We believe these passerby’s will enjoy seeing a working urban farm. Most important, Terry’s kindness and involvement in providing some of his crops for needy families is encouraging. We wish him the very best, and think this is a win-win situation for all.”
“I am so very thankful to Farm-Link and the folks at the NWA Land Trust for connecting me with a wonderful property owner. I can now continue my urban farming adventure. I am ready to get the 2023 growing season underway. Without Farm-Link, it would not have been possible,” said Terry.
Farm-Linking programs across the U.S. started about 25 years ago to help land seekers and land owners connect. These programs are often charitable and do not collect any fees or real estate commissions for helping either party. Leasing land or sales of land are acceptable through NWA Farm-Link. “Not all matches last forever, and that’s okay too, said Susan. “We are here to meet people where they are in their journey to farm or legacy planning. There is no limit to how many times we may help a NWA Farm-Link member. For more information beyond in the NWA Farm-Link website, please contact Susan at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 479-966-4666.