@story CLARA JANE RUBARTH
The Learning Fields at Chaffee Crossing is a project of the River Valley Master Gardeners. The goal of the project is to demonstrate gardening techniques for home gardeners and to teach gardening principles through workshops and classes. This is not a botanical garden but rather a series of demonstration plots to inspire and to instruct home gardeners and those in community gardens and at schools, churches, and hospitals as well as other public gardens.
Garden plots include a culinary herb spiral, medicinal herbs, roses, vegetables, strawberries and blueberries, and blackberries. Other plots feature flowers to attract butterflies and to be cut for flower arrangements. One plot demonstrates raised bed construction and another is filled with plants native to the River Valley. A vertical garden shows how to garden in a limited space, and a labyrinth is set in raised beds of flowers and herbs along a garden path. A walking trail, which will grow to five miles, is set behind the Gelene MacDowell Memorial Wildflower Meadow and beside a small stream. Along the trail an Arkansas arboretum is in progress. These trees native to our state will host area schoolchildren who can study and collect leaves from every tree native to Arkansas.
To visit the Learning Fields drive east on Rogers Avenue (Highway 22) through Barling. Just past the I-49 overpass and the railroad tracks, turn right on Mahogany Avenue. After several blocks, turn right on Tuscany and then left on Gardener Lane. The building and the gardens are on the right. The Garden can be visited informally on Tuesday mornings between 9:00 and noon. First Saturdays are scheduled from 9:00 to noon each month from May through October. Check the website for calendar details. Group tours are arranged through the Extension Office 479-484-7737.
The Herbal Adventures committee of the Master Gardeners presents "Eat, Plant, and Learn" on April 23 at the Learning Fields.
For Reservations: Shirley Russell 479-782-6915 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Check out the blog at http://herbaladventures.blogsspot.com/
Other herb gardens of the Master Gardeners are at Creekmore Park and at The Clayton House, 514 North Sixth Street in Fort Smith.
Just in time for spring planting check out the PLANT SALE for your favorite annuals, perennials, house plants, herbs, vegetables, and shrubs. The plant sale is Saturday, April 23, 8:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. in the parking lot of the First Christian Church on Rogers Avenue, just across the street from Creekmore Park in Fort Smith. The plant sale proceeds and your donations help support the non-profit Learning Fields.