The Ohio Sustainable Farm Tours have begun and there are many opportunities for farming enthusiasts to take advantage of. This annual series of public tours features 30 organic and ecological farms and businesses in Ohio and Michigan, providing unique opportunities for farmers, educators, and conscientious eaters to learn about sustainable agriculture and local foods on the farm from growers and producers with years of practical experience.
Additionally, the series includes a one-day Women Grow Ohio event celebrating women in agriculture, and a tour of a university research center showcasing the results of new sustainable agriculture research.
This year’s series also includes 10 educational workshops on farm machinery, solar energy, dairy herd health, hops production, small plot market farming, urban agriculture, poultry processing, and living garden structures, along with a farm to table benefit dinner.
All tours and workshops are free and open to the public and do not require pre-registration unless otherwise noted. Events will take place rain or shine. Guests should dress and plan appropriately. Hats, sunglasses, long pants, closed-toe walking shoes, drinking water, and sunscreen are recommended.
Tours involve standing and moderate walking; visitors with physical limitations or other concerns should contact the tour host in advance. For everyone’s safety, guests should keep children with them at all times. For all tours go to http://franklin.osu.edu/news/2015-statewide-sustainable-farm-tour-series or pick up a tour book with all the details from the Clinton County Extension Office at 111 S. Nelson Ave., Wilmington.
These tours can be great events for a little vacation and a chance to see other parts of Ohio. I am highlighting a couple of tours to consider.
Women Grow Ohio Farm Tours, Sunday, July 19. See how women are transforming agriculture in Ohio! This one-day event features 17 women-run farms, gardens, and homesteads in Athens, Fairfield, Franklin, Lorain, Muskingum, and Perry counties. Connect and unite with women in agriculture and learn how they are feeding Ohio’s families through urban gardens, permaculture, community gardens, community supported agriculture (CSA) programs, and commercial family farms. Eleven women-operated farms, gardens, and homesteads will be featured.
For a detailed list of all sites, including tour descriptions, contact information, and specific times, go to www.oeffa.org/q/womengrowohio.
For more information you can contact Annie Warmke at 740-674-4300. Pre-registration is required for each site. Email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Another tour I thought would be of interest is the Pasture-Based Livestock and Poultry Tour
Saturday, August 1, 1:30-4 p.m. at the Three Moon Farm, Kelly and Ryan Jeter, 8181 State Rte. 138, Williamsport, OH 43164. 740-253-9029, email@example.com, www.threemoonfarm.com.
Kelly and Ryan Jeter of Three Moon Farm started as aspiring farmers who “knew nothing.” Since purchasing their land, they’ve created a self-sustaining 34 acre family farm that offers a satisfying lifestyle and provides eggs, beef, Thanksgiving turkeys, and pre-ordered meat chickens to word-of-mouth customers.
Learn what infrastructure investments and conservation practices make this farm work. Kelly and Ryan will discuss the challenges and benefits of a recently established breeding program and on-farm poultry processing. Self-directed learners who graduated from the OSU Small Farm College and utilized other OSU programs and services, Kelly and Ryan will share the harder lessons learned only from experience, along with their plans for the future, including two acres of new fruit trees and on-farm processed cider.
Directions: From I-71, take exit 65 and travel east on Rte. 35 through Washington Court House. After about 24 miles, take the Rte. 138 exit toward Greenfield/Clarksburg. Turn left onto Rte. 138 and drive to the farm. Parking will be in a field area.
Finally this week, don’t forget to visit the Clinton County Farmers’ Market. It has returned for the summer season in downtown Wilmington. The Market will meet rain or shine every Saturday from 8:30 a.m. to noon and every Wednesday, starting June 10 from 4 to 7 p.m. through October. The Saturday morning markets are on Mulberry Street between Main and Locust streets. The Wednesday afternoon markets will continue to be held in the Mural Parking Lot at 81 W. Main St. behind the General Denver Hotel.
The 2015 Market features many returning and new vendors who will offer seasonal produce, meats (chicken, beef, lamb, and pork), farm fresh eggs, homemade baked goods, home-crafted body products, herbs, plants, flowers, and artisan crafts. All products sold at the Clinton County Farmers’ Market are locally home-grown or homemade within Clinton County or an adjunct county.
Throughout the summer season, the Farmers’ Market will host an events schedule that is free and fun for the whole family, beginning with an Ohio Farm Bureau sponsored “Fast Food on the Farm” cooking demonstration on Saturday, June 13th. This event will be held in conjunction with the General Denver “Lamb Jam.”
The Market will accept credit and debit cards for transactions with participating vendors. We will also continue to accept EBT (food stamp) benefits for eligible food items. To find out more about the Clinton County Farmers’ Market, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Tony Nye is the state coordinator for Small Farm Programs and an OSU Extension educator, agriculture and natural resources, for Clinton County and the Miami Valley EERA.