Consumers interested in local foods, farmers and market gardeners wanting to learn more and network with other farmers, and aspiring and beginning farmers are encouraged to attend.
“Consumer demand for fresh, locally produced food and farm products continues to grow, along with the desire to understand how food gets from the field to the dinner table. Farmers are opening their barn doors this summer to show how sustainably produced food is grown,” said Lauren Ketcham, OEFFA’s Communications Coordinator. “The tours are also designed to help farmers and gardeners learn from each other so they can improve their production and marketing techniques and grow their operations,” added Ketcham.
Seventeen tours and workshops are being sponsored by OEFFA and will be held between June and November. The 2013 farm tour and workshop series is promoted in cooperation with the Ohio State University Sustainable Agriculture Team and the Coalition of Ohio Land Trusts, who are sponsoring additional tours. In total, the series features 24 farms and food businesses, three university research centers, and three educational workshops.
OEFFA's tours and workshops feature: dairy farming and processing, diversified organic production, pasture-raised livestock and poultry, composting, Permaculture, specialty crops, cut flowers, agri-tourism, urban farming, cover crops, season extension, food preservation, and farm business skills.
OEFFA’s events are:
- Saturday, June 8: Full service sustainable dairy farm tour and open house—Snowville Creamery, Pomeroy, OH (Meigs Co.)
- Sunday, June 9: Community compost facility tour—The Compost Exchange, Athens, OH (Athens Co.)
- Saturday, June 15: Pasture-raised livestock farm tour—Omega Meats, Grand Rapids, OH (Lucas Co.)
- Friday, July 5 - Saturday, July 6: Perennial Permaculture farm and Organic Valley field trip—New Forest Farm, Viola, WI
- Sunday, July 21: Organic farm growth and transition tour—Northridge Organic Farm, Johnstown, OH (Licking Co.)
- Sunday, July 28: Sustainable cut flower farm tour—Sunny Meadows Flower Farm, Columbus, OH (Franklin Co.)
- Saturday, August 24: OEFFA Benefit: An Evening at Blue Rock Station—Blue Rock Station, Philo, OH (Muskingum Co.)
- Saturday, August 10: Agri-tourism and poultry production tour and consultation, co-sponsored by Women Farm—Manchester Hill Bed and Breakfast, Farm, and Winery, Circleville, OH (Pickaway Co.)
- Saturday, August 17: Historic artisan market and urban farm tour—Ohio City Farm, Cleveland, OH (Cuyahoga Co.)
- Tuesday, August 27: Innovative cover crop farm tour—Brandt’s Farm, Carroll, OH (Fairfield Co.)
- Thursday, September 12: Organic dairy farm tour and panel discussion, co-sponsored by Organic Valley—Rolling Ridge Meadows, Millersburg, OH (Holmes Co.)
- Saturday, September 14: Local food from farm to plate tour and open house—Carriage House Farm, North Bend, OH (Hamilton Co.)
- Sunday, September 15: Diversified organic farm tour and food preservation workshop—Strawberry Hill Farm, Fresno, OH (Coshocton Co.)
- Thursday, September 26: Organic farm production and business management tour—Birdsong Farm, Garrettsville, OH (Portage Co.)
- Saturday, November 2 - Tuesday, November 5: Scaling up the food chain specialty crop workshops—Wooster, OH (Wayne Co.)
- Saturday, November 9: Cold season vegetable production tour—Turner Farm, Cincinnati, OH (Hamilton Co.)
OEFFA’s 2013 farm tours are supported in part by the Jim Rosselot Memorial Fund. Jim, a third generation farmer from Butler County, passed away last summer at the age of 57. Jim was a staunch supporter of sustainable agriculture and an active OEFFA member. He and his family grew vegetables and produced free range meat, poultry, and eggs, sold through a successful community supported agriculture (CSA) program, the local farmers' market, and restaurants.
For additional information and a complete list of all farm tours, including dates, times, farm descriptions, and driving directions, click here.
The Ohio Ecological Food and Farm Association (OEFFA) is a non-profit organization founded in 1979 by farmers, gardeners, and conscientious eaters who committed to work together to create and promote a sustainable and healthful food and farming system. For more information, go to www.oeffa.org or contact Lauren Ketcham at (614) 421-2022 Ext. 203 or firstname.lastname@example.org.