McElroy House Independent Study, Fall 2012: Garden Research and Partnership.


Here are all the details about our upcoming internship for the Fall 2012 semester at Arkansas Tech University. We’re excited about this partnership with the University and the area students.  Below are all the details as well as a pdf flyer you can share with others.  Click here to see the flyer and to share it: Flyer for Mc 2012

Please Note: The meetings will NOT be held at the house itself. As of right now, our organization exists out in the community and we will be working on, and moving into, the building at a later date.  Sorry for any confusion about this!  If you have any questions, please ask! We’d love to provide answers and clear up any confusion! 

Garden Research and Partnership with Area Growers 

Basic Overview:

 People throughout the world are recognizing the value of locally produced food and the benefits of backyard gardening. Here in the central Arkansas area, we have a long standing tradition of gardening that transcends generations and cultures. 

The McElroy House: Organization for Folklife, Oral History, and Community Action, a community-based research organization in central Arkansas, is looking for students interested in helping us work toward the creation of a Garden Book featuring information about the living tradition of gardening, the value of local food production, and the role gardening can play in strengthening communities throughout the Yell and Pope County areas. We’ll work to identify and meet with local growers and partner with photographer Saira Khan to document the stories of these gardeners both young and old. We’ll also be producing some potential pieces for public radio and other print and media publications.

Course Goals: Gain an introduction to the basics of folklife and oral history interviewing and documentation while also learning about, and partnering with, area gardeners and local small-scale food producers (bee keepers, canners, etc.). This information will be used as part of the McElroy House’s work toward a regional Garden Book. Through this work we aim to explore and encourage sustainability and cross-cultural cultural and intergenerational dialog in our area. Given the extreme conditions the recent drought has created, we’ll also expect to be documenting these concerns and, hopefully, discovering and sharing innovative ways area growers are dealing with this pressing problem.

Course Requirements:  Identify and speak with area gardeners, both old and young (Spanish speaking students are especially encouraged!), help conduct oral history interviews throughout the Yell and Pope County areas, listen to oral history interviews after they’re recorded and create interview logs, write bi-weekly short papers about what you’re learning (which will possibly be shared with a wider audience if you choose), engage in archival work in the ATU library, and help create preliminary plans and writing for the Garden Book, for which you will be listed as a co-author and researcher.

Meeting Times: Weekly discussions with professor over email and phone as well as in-person meetings every two to three weeks. Meeting times will also include trips to meet with area gardeners, interviews with gardeners, and various archival research. Meeting times are flexible and can be worked around your schedule. Some weekend meetings may be required.

Skills Gained: Basic oral history documentation, the use of audio recording, interviewing and research skills, introduction to community-based research, increased knowledge of local garden traditions and food production, introduction to creating stories for public radio, writing for newspaper, and real world experience in building and sustaining community projects and written publications.

Skills Required: We can work with all students. No prior training or research required.

*We welcome all students regardless race, color, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, disability, age, genetic information, veteran status, ancestry, or national or ethnic origin.

For more information please visit us online at

Email the professor at or speak with Dr. Tarver about signing up!

We look forward to working with you!

~ The McElroy House: Organization for Folklife, Oral History, and Community action is a research and advocacy organization for the support and exploration of folklife, oral history, sustainability, holistic land use, community action, and inter-cultural and inter-generational partnerships in Yell County and the Arkansas river valley.  Our core is to be a perpetual student of our own home region.  Our home base is in Dardanelle, Arkansas, but our work takes place throughout the central Arkansas area.  



3 Comments on “McElroy House Independent Study, Fall 2012: Garden Research and Partnership.”

  1. […] The McElroy House Organization for Folklife, Oral History and Community Action is offering a fall internship for students at Arkansas Tech University. The independent study will focus on documenting and partnerning with both gardens and farmer’s markets in the area. To learn more visit the McElroy House’s full description online here.  […]

  2. […] Read the rest, as well as the PDF overview here: McElroy House Independent Study, Fall 2012: Garden Research and Partnership. […]

  3. […] We’re Working On. McElroy House Independent Study, Fall 2012: Garden Research and Partnership. […]

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