Author Archive: Meredith Martin-Moats

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Webs of significance

Webs of significance

I first noticed the spider webs while walking around the base of Spring Mountain one Saturday afternoon in late June. Ducking underneath and between the spiny limbs of the new growth forest, I collected sticky strands of silk in my hair and on my arms. This wasn’t intentional, of course. I kept trying to dodge […]

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August 1, 2017 | By More
Get to know your native neighbors

Get to know your native neighbors

When my sons were around four years old they started to learn how to distinguish the differences in plants. They would get excited about the coming of spring and ready to work in the garden. After spending a great deal of time with the leaves in the fall, they began to notice the subtleties and […]

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June 1, 2017 | By More
My Hometown – Dardanelle

My Hometown – Dardanelle

I grew up in Dardanelle through the 1970s and 80s. My parents came of age in the same small town in the 1950s and 60s. Back in the early 1900s, their parents grew up in the logging community of Harkey’s Valley and the cotton farming community of Carden Bottoms, outlying rural communities for which Dardanelle […]

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April 1, 2017 | By More
Learning Goes Both Ways

Learning Goes Both Ways

As soon as children begin verbal communication they learn to divide the world into categories. Things with wheels are automobiles. Things with four legs and wagging tails are dogs. Children’s books and programming focus on the importance of recognizing opposites. Things are hard or soft, hot and cold, big or little, open or closed. Those […]

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February 1, 2017 | By More
The Beauty of Mustard Greens

The Beauty of Mustard Greens

It’s mustard green season, and these cool weather vegetables are popping up in gardens all around the region. Cultivated throughout the South, these leafy greens are related to both collard greens and kale and were first grown in the Himalayan region of India. Today they are cultivated all across Asia, South America, and throughout the […]

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November 1, 2016 | By More
Story Plants

Story Plants

We started our McElroy House pollinator garden during a workday back in the fall of last year. We put down cardboard across a square of the front yard bordering Second and Green Streets. It wasn’t much, but kept down the weeds and served as a marker throughout the winter, reminding us of the spring commitment […]

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September 1, 2016 | By More
So many books, so little time

So many books, so little time

I have always been someone who has at least two books going at once. Before I had children, I’d often balance a novel with a non-fiction read, slipping in a few magazine articles here and there for good measure. These days, with three young children at home, I am more likely to have eight books […]

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July 1, 2016 | By More
Stuck

Stuck

One of my daughter’s first words was “stuck.” She used it to mean “this thing won’t work” or “this block is too big for this box” or “I really want to climb up in this chair and I need your help.” It was particularly helpful for when she accidentally wedged herself between the couch and […]

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May 1, 2016 | By More
Tougher and a Tiny Bit Braver

Tougher and a Tiny Bit Braver

My father recently gave me an envelope full of my mother’s old photos. Inside I discovered an image of a twelve-year-old me reaching out to pet our recently born colt. I’m wearing wranglers, an embossed leather belt, and my long hair hangs down the length of my back. In the background sits heavily wooded Spring […]

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March 1, 2016 | By More
Mattie Ross

Mattie Ross

The True Grit heroine is a preteen archetype of our Ozark/Ouachita grandmothers and a reflection of our cultural history. — As a child growing up in Dardanelle in Yell County, I lived with my parents and my grandmother Martin, whose room was right next to mine.  Her bed was always covered in a purple handmade […]

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March 1, 2016 | By More