All posts by Lauren

New report helps farmers with food safety planning

OCJ, 10/27/17

A publication released by the Ohio Ecological Food and Farm Association (OEFFA) will help produce farmers understand what it means to develop a farm food safety plan and meet new federal food safety rules.

Food Safety Planning Down on the Farm: Examples from Ohio Certified Organic Farms” features eight vegetable and fruit farms of various scales and serving diverse markets.

“Our hope is that farmers, whether or not they are certified organic, will see themselves in these profiles,” said Renee Hunt, OEFFA Education Program Director. “We want these case studies to give produce growers ideas of what they can do and make food safety planning less intimidating.”

Produce farmers face new regulations with the passage of the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA). While the law exempts the smallest farms (those selling less than $25,000 in Covered Produce, such as lettuce, strawberries, and radishes), some buyers may require those operations meet FSMA standards as well.

“Food safety is everyone’s concern,” Hunt said. “But it shouldn’t mean farmers have to quit raising fruits and vegetables because they find the compliance process confusing or think it will be too costly to meet the standards.”

The publication identifies challenges and discusses changes that reduce risk. For example, Jorgensen Farms in Westerville, Ohio, had built its packing area prior to FSMA. The open sides of the packing area — where produce is made ready for restaurants or to take to the farmers’ market — posed a contamination risk. The farm addressed the situation by enclosing the area with half-inch hardware cloth sides and doors.

“Many times, farmers are already doing the right thing,” said Eric Pawlowski, OEFFA Sustainable Agriculture Educator. “It is just a matter of codifying their practices and documenting the actions they have taken.”

The new report, along with additional resources, are available at OEFFA’s food safety web page.

Statement from the Ohio Ecological Food and Farm Association on Repeated Delay of USDA Organic Livestock and Poultry Practices Rule

For Immediate Release:
November 10, 2017

Contact:
Amalie Lipstreu, OEFFA Policy Program Coordinator—(614) 421-2022, amalie@oeffa.org
Lauren Ketcham, OEFFA Communications Coordinator—(614) 421-2022, lauren@oeffa.org

COLUMBUS, OH—Yesterday, the U.S. Department of Agriculture Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) released notice that they are delaying, for the third time, implementation of the Organic Livestock and Poultry Practices (OLPP) rule.

“The USDA’s move this week should be seen for what it is: a clear attempt to let industrial agriculture interests usurp the legitimacy of the organic label,” said OEFFA Policy Program Coordinator Amalie Lipstreu. “This rule has been in the making for more than 10 years and has been fully vetted.”

The OLPP final rule would amend production requirements for livestock and poultry under the USDA organic regulations. This rule adds new provisions for how livestock are handled during transport for slaughter as well as avian living conditions. The rule also expands and clarifies existing requirements covering livestock care and production practices and mammalian living conditions. The OLPP final rule was scheduled to become effective on March 20, 2017.

Instead, last spring, AMS published a notice of proposed rulemaking asking the public what direction USDA should take with respect to the rule. In yesterday’s release, the USDA noted that more than 40,000 of the 47,000 total comments received supported implementing the rule immediately. Only one commenter suggested the rule should be delayed.

“The public has high expectations for food that carries the organic label. These expectations are being met or exceeded by more than 90% of organic farmers, who also overwhelmingly support the implementation of these rules without further delay. We should not be catering to the interests of those few producers that do not believe in the values of organic agriculture,” Lipstreu stated.

New Report Helps Farmers With Food Safety Planning: Features Case Studies of Ohio Organic Farms

For Immediate Release:
October 26, 2017
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Contact:
Renee Hunt, OEFFA Program Director, (614) 947-1642, renee@oeffa.org
Eric Pawlowski, OEFFA Sustainable Agriculture Educator, (614) 947-1610, eric@oeffa.org
A publication released today by the Ohio Ecological Food and Farm Association (OEFFA) will help produce farmers understand what it means to develop a farm food safety plan and meet new federal food safety rules.
  .
Food Safety Planning Down on the Farm: Examples from Ohio Certified Organic Farms features eight vegetable and fruit farms of various scales and serving diverse markets.
.
“Our hope is that farmers, whether or not they are certified organic, will see themselves in these profiles,” said OEFFA Education Program Director Renee Hunt.  “We want these case studies to give produce growers ideas of what they can do and make food safety planning less intimidating.”
.
Produce farmers face new regulations with the passage of the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA). While the law exempts the smallest farms (those selling less than $25,000 in Covered Produce, such as lettuce, strawberries, and radishes), some buyers may require those operations meet FSMA standards as well.
   .
“Food safety is everyone’s concern,” said Hunt. “But it shouldn’t mean farmers have to quit raising fruits and vegetables because they find the compliance process confusing or think it will be too costly to meet the standards.”
   .
The publication identifies challenges and discusses changes that reduce risk. For example, Jorgensen Farms in Westerville, Ohio, had built its packing area prior to FSMA. The open sides of the packing area—where produce is made ready for restaurants or to take to the farmers’ market—posed a contamination risk. The farm addressed the situation by enclosing the area with ½ inch hardware cloth sides and doors.
 .
“Many times, farmers are already doing the right thing,” said OEFFA Sustainable Agriculture Educator Eric Pawlowski.  “It is just a matter of codifying their practices and documenting the actions they have taken.”
  .
The new report, along with additional resources, are available at OEFFA’s food safety web page.
.
This publication was financed through a grant from the Ohio Department of Agriculture (ODA) and the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) under the Specialty Crop Block Grant Program (SCBGP) provisions. This is a USDA SCBGP-supported publication. Its contents are the sole responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official views of the USDA.

Ohioans can have direct impact on environment

Cleveland.com, Kate Williams, 10/15/2017

Guest columnist Kate Williams, CEO of 1% for the Planet, advocates for donating to SEED Ohio. Donations, she writes, "enables you to make a single donation that directly impacts your home state, city, and the park lands, rivers and lakes you enjoy with your families."

Guest columnist Kate Williams, a lifelong advocate of the outdoors and the environment, has been CEO of 1% for the Planet since 2015. Previously, she served as Board Chair of the National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS) and as Executive Director of the Northern Forest Canoe Trail.

Citizen action and voice have never been more critical to the future of our planet. Across the globe, it is a time of extremes – storms, drought and politics to name just a few. Here in the United States these extremes are accompanied by significant reductions in federal funding to address environmental issues.

As global citizens, we must take action. Businesses and individuals are urgently needed to make up for the shortfalls in funding that keep vital programs running.

I lead an organization called 1% for the Planet. Our growing movement of businesses, individuals and nonprofits around the world creates positive environmental impact through annual commitments and everyday action.

Ohioans concerned about environmental issues facing their state have an opportunity to join this movement through SEED Ohio. SEED (Solutions Elevating Environmental Donations) benefits a curated and vetted group of Ohio nonprofits representing six environmental issue areas: land, water, climate, food, pollution and wildlife.

One donation to SEED Ohio will support the Western Reserve Land ConservancyOhio Ecological Food and Farm AssociationOhio River FoundationCuyahoga River RestorationBuilding Value and Clean Fuels Ohio. These partners work to keep Ohio rivers clean and free of pollutants, to preserve land for farming and recreation and to promote green deconstruction so building materials can be salvaged and reused. They plant trees, protect native habitats and help Ohio businesses adopt cleaner fuel practices. Their efforts focus on repair, prevention and education. Collectively, they plan and anticipate for a more uncertain future.

Two of our partners, Western Reserve Land Conservancy and Cuyahoga River Restoration, are based here in Cleveland. Western Reserve Land Conservancy has preserved more than 680 properties totaling 50,000-plus acres, planted thousands of trees in Cleveland and created more than 150 public parks and preserves. Cuyahoga River Restoration has provided shade, shelter and food for more than 400 catfish, bass, shiners, sunfish and other native fish species.

We understand that it can be difficult to discern which nonprofit organizations are most deserving of your hard-earned dollars or to understand where the most acute needs might be. Like you, I want to see the tangible results of my investment and know without a doubt that my giving has immediate impact. SEED Ohio is designed with clarity and credibility in mind – you can trust that your dollars are driving real impact.

I invite you — and all Ohioans — to join our global movement by making a difference in your own backyard. The SEED Ohio platform enables you to make a single donation that directly impacts your home state, city, and the park lands, rivers and lakes you enjoy with your families. By donating through SEED Ohio, you will join with other businesses and individuals who care about the future of Ohio and the future of our planet. Together, we can make a difference.

New Bill Could Help Ohio Farmers Sprout New Business

Public News Service, Mary Kuhlman, 10/10/2017

COLUMBUS, Ohio – An Ohio lawmaker is leading the charge on new legislation that could help sprout new business opportunities for local farmers. Sen. Sherrod Brown introduced the Local FARMS Act – FARM standing for Food and Regional Market Supply. It would enhance three current grant programs that help expand business opportunities and build sustainability for local farmers.

One of the programs is the Value-Added Producer Grant, which Ann’s Raspberry Farm in Central Ohio was awarded in 2014. Co-owner Daniel Trudel says it provided funding that enabled their business to establish a presence in other states and propel online sales.

“I cannot speak enough of how much this has helped us,” he says. “We were able to write a grant ourselves, and put a plan together and it was accepted. So it really, really has helped us enter new markets that otherwise would have been impossible or very difficult.”

The legislation also funds and modifies the Local Food Promotion Program, which invests in local food production, and the Farmers Market Promotion Program, which helps farmers sell products to local consumers. A companion bill was introduced in the House.

Trudel says these are programs that are essential to building sustainable local food systems. And he notes they are also helping to create micro-economies in rural communities.

“We have a print shop that we now use for all our labeling,” he adds. “We have a local supplier for our jars, local ingredients. We partner with a local farmer to grow some of our agricultural commodities, namely peppers for us. Not to mention the staff that we had to hire.”

Sen. Brown said the legislation can help Ohio farmers grow their bottom lines and sell more product at home. According to the USDA, in 2015 over 167,000 farms in the U.S. produced and sold food through farmers markets, food hubs, and other direct market channels resulting in over $8.7 billion in revenue.

Study Highlights Growth of Organic Agriculture in Ohio: Ohio Now 7th in the Nation in the Number of Organic Farms

Contact:
Amalie Lipstreu, Policy Program Coordinator, (614) 421-2022, amalie@oeffa.org

Lauren Ketcham, Communications Coordinator, (614) 421-2022, lauren@oeffa.org
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Columbus, OH—A government survey of U.S. organic farms shows that Ohio ranks 7th in the nation in its number of organic farms. Ohio is seeing double digit growth in the number of organic farms, organic land in production, and organic sales, illustrating the role of organic production in economic development.
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The United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Agriculture Statistics Service’s “2016 Certified Organic Survey,” showed Ohio’s organic sales increased by more than 30 percent since 2015 and the number of certified organic farms in Ohio is up by 24 percent. Since 2015, Ohio moved up from 8th to 7th in the nation in the number of organic farms.
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The Ohio Ecological Food and Farm Association (OEFFA) has prepared a two page summary of the findings, “Highlights from the 2016 Certified Organic Survey: Ohio in Context.”
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Overall, the U.S. saw $7.6 billion in organic sales, as well as an 11 percent increase in the number of organic farms. More than 5 million acres of certified organic acreage are in production in the U.S., up 15 percent since 2015.
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“The 2016 survey illustrates the strength of organic production and sales in the state of Ohio. Organic production continues to be a bright spot in U.S. agriculture,” said Amalie Lipstreu, OEFFA policy coordinator. “As more farmers move land into organic production, it is important that we make sure we are doing all we can to support their success.”
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Despite this growth and strong consumer demand, investments in organic research through USDA’s Agriculture and Food Research Institute represent an average of just two-tenths of one percent of overall funding each year and Ohio has no extension educator positions dedicated to serving organic farmers.
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“Organic production has not been able to keep up with demand, so this is a good time to review our agricultural funding as well as state and federal agency services to make sure investments are made in this growth industry so more Ohio farmers are equipped with the information, resources, and support they need to take advantage of this economic opportunity,” concluded Lipstreu.
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Investments in organic farming could have larger economic impacts as well. According to a Penn State research paper on organic hotspots, on average, county poverty rates drop by 1.3 percent and median household incomes rise by more than $2,000 in counties with high organic activity that neighbor other high organic counties.
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OEFFA is one of the oldest and largest organic certification agencies in the country, and offers educational programming and support to organic farmers and businesses, and those looking to transition to organic.

New Bill Invests in Health of Farmers and Communities

Statement from Amalie Lipstreu, OEFFA Policy Program Coordinator
    
For Immediate Release:
October 5, 2017

Contact:
Amalie Lipstreu, OEFFA Policy Program Coordinator, (614) 421-2022, amalie@oeffa.org
Lauren Ketcham, OEFFA Communications Coordinator, (614) 421-2022, lauren@oeffa.org

Columbus, OH—Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH), a member of the Senate Agriculture Committee, introduced the Local Food and Regional Market Supply (FARMS) Act (HR 3941) yesterday. This legislation directs the U.S. Department of Agriculture to continue positive investments in local food systems, community economic development, and public health.

Ohio Ecological Food and Farming Association (OEFFA) Policy Coordinator Amalie Lipstreu, released the following statement:

“The bill introduced by Senator Brown makes important investments that will allow farmers to reach new markets; increase community access to fresh, healthy, local food; and support the food infrastructure that connects producers to buyers. With commodity prices falling, farmers are increasingly looking for new opportunities and for some that means investments close to home where markets for locally and regionally produced food continue to rise.

Even with the growing demand for food produced in Ohio, some farmers struggle because they don’t have access to the infrastructure they need. It could be storage, transportation, or processing that limits the growth of markets that enrich farmers and local communities. Ohio is home to many thriving cities, rural communities, and farmland. By connecting the dots we can create wealth and health and move toward greater sustainability.”

Young Farmers Get Helping Hand From New Ohio Program

WOSU, Debbie Holmes, 6/28/2017

It’s estimated that 10 percent of small farmers across the country leave farming every year. With a program called Begin Farming, the Ohio Ecological Food and Farm Association is trying to help beginning farmers with the challenges that come with running your own business.

Ohio currently has about 27,000 “beginning farmers,” which the USDA defines as those on the land less than 10 years. But program coordinator Kelly Henderson says the average age of farmers in the state is 56 years old.

“Which means we’ve got a retiring group that are going to be leaving farming here real soon,” Henderson says. “And we’re trying to get some of these beginning farmers on the land that these retiring farmers are going to be leaving.”

Begin Farming aims to not just help younger farmers purchase land, but also pass along knowledge from more experienced farmers. That’s necessary, Henderson says, because family-owned farms are finding that children aren’t interested in keeping up the trade.

“A lot of this interest in farming is coming from folks who are either coming on as a second career farmer, leaving previous occupations, or you know, folks that are coming from the city that are really interested in a new lifestyle,” she says.

That transition, though, is not an easy one. Henderson says that business planning and financial management, as well as how to access farm land and capital, are skills young farmers need to learn to be successful.

Henderson says training Ohio’s next generation of farmers needs to start early.

“I think the first wave is getting especially aspiring farmers, getting them on the land as apprentices and interns and getting their hands in the soil and getting a feel for what that work is really going to be like,” Henderson says. “Because I think a lot of people do romanticize farming. And while it is a lifestyle choice that makes a lot of people happy, and they choose it for that reason, it’s hard work.”

Community feature: Organic farming exhibit pops up at Central Ohio markets

Columbus Alive, Erica Thompson, 7/12/2017

The “Growing Right” project provides an oral history of Ohio’s ecological food and farm movement

Imagine moving to the Golden State to live like a Quaker. That was Columbus native Jess Lamar Reece Holler’s experience during 2011 and 2012 as an instructor at the Woolman Semester School in the Sierra Nevada foothills of northern California.

“We taught sustainability and environmental science and social justice and peace studies,” Holler said. ”[We] also had a one-acre organic … garden that fed almost everyone at the school.”

You could say the passion for organic farming runs in Holler’s family, though her grandfather might not have described it that way.

“My grandpa was a green grocer and did all kinds of organic gardening in his backyard, [but] he didn’t call it that,” Holler said. “He got [Rodale’s Organic Life magazine] … and fed my mom’s family with everything from the garden, but he didn’t talk about it a lot. So I grew up with that, but in more of a taciturn, old-man-Ohio sort of way and not like hippie California organic.”

“I liked Kentucky a lot but so many of my friends and people I know are a part of the food and farm movement here in Ohio,” she said. “I want to know the specific story of how this all came about [here].”

And so the “Growing Right” oral history project was born. In partnership with the Ohio Ecological Food and Farm Association (OEFFA), Holler is documenting the history of the state’s ecological food and farm movement, which began in the 1970s. Since 2016, she has driven to more than 40 farms in approximately 20 counties in her 1997 Honda CR-V, or “fieldwork mobile,” recording audio interviews with farmers and taking photographs. The content is being archived on growingrightproject.com, and presented via pop-up installations at farmers’ markets and grocery stores in Central Ohio. The next stop on the tour is Raisin Rack Natural Food Market in Westerville on Friday, July 14.

“Today, people take for granted that organic is available at grocery stores and farmers’ markets, and it really wasn’t that way back in 1979 when our organization was formed,” said OEFFA Program Director Renee Hunt. “We’re really excited to be able to capture [the farmers’] stories and engage that next generation of not just people who are consuming the food but that next generation of farmers.”

At the pop-up exhibits, attendees can listen to multimedia shorts featuring audio and slideshows (full oral histories are online), as well as study posters created using Holler’s photos and read stories in print.

Hunt and Holler were thrilled to receive funding from Ohio Humanities and the Greater Columbus Arts Council, considering “Growing Right” is not a traditional arts project.

“In the past, people who get these grants might be the big cultural institutions: the art galleries, libraries [and] museums,” Holler said. ”[The funding] shows a really deep commitment to access [and] to a new type of public humanities and arts programming … that’s also concerned about environment and health.”

Holler’s interviews not only touch on the foundations of the organic movement, but also the farmers’ current challenges.

“You’ve got someone like Mick Luber in Harrison County doing small-scale, diversified vegetable production … totally surrounded by fracking. [He’s] fighting a completely different battle than someone like the Greggs, who are in Knox County, which is still the capital of no-till chemical farming,” Holler said. “So the stories look really different.”

Although the pop-up tour ends in August, the “Growing Right” project has opened up future areas of research for Holler, pending access to grant money.

“I’m looking at documenting more organic farmers who are trying to farm in counties impacted by fracking in eastern Ohio,” Holler said. “Another big issue that’s come up has been women in farming and … what’s accessible to them and possible for them in mainstream agriculture versus organic farming.”

Holler also acknowledges the gaps regarding cultural diversity in the “Growing Right” project, which is missing “black and brown faces,” due, in part, to the areas of research.

“Just because the folks who were at those founding meetings of OEFFA in the 1970s may have been white rural folks, it doesn’t mean there weren’t consonant movements that are part of this story happening in other places, too,” said Holler, who makes efforts to collect stories from diverse communities visiting the pop-up exhibits. She’s also considering new signage to pose questions about “missing voices.”

“I’m excited to connect those dots,” she said.

Holler hopes the installations are also starting points for visitors to put more thought into the “ecology behind their food.”

“We want to … have people think about that history and think about the entire world that’s behind the piece of corn or the peach they might buy,” she said. “Farmers’ markets, at heart, are about making choices, and we want to showcase some of what goes into the choice to buy something that’s certified organic.

Highland County home to Old Dutch Hops

Times Gazette, Michael Williamson, 8/1/2017

On a back road in Highland County, behind the Old Dutch Cemetery — a graveyard that dates back to the American Revolution — sits the Wilson family farm. The 250-acre plot of land, which has been in the family for more than 75 years, is home to two generations of farmers.

The elder, John Michael “Mike” Wilson, oversees the traditional farming practices such as harvesting corn and hay, carrying on the tradition of his parents who purchased the farm in the years preceding World War II.

However, Wilson’s daughter, Amanda, and her husband, Brady Kirwan, occupy a 2-acre stretch of that land where they hope to both carry on the torch as third generation farmers and start something new — organic hops production.

Journey home

Kirwan and Wilson operate the state’s first Ohio Ecological Food and Farm Association’s Certified Organic hops yard. Named after the neighboring graveyard, Old Dutch Hops is home to six varieties of hops plants including Cascade, Chinook, Magnum, Nugget, Columbus and Centennial.

“We were deciding on coming back here and started doing some research on what to start with,” Kirwan said. The two met in Kirwan’s home state of California while working as park rangers at Yosemite National Park. Kirwan had been working as a laborer for the park and Wilson was exploring an interest in park services after receiving her degree from Ohio University.

She found that she had a growing interest in farming and for being back home.

A growing trend

Kirwan began research into the subject of hops farming, particularly with regard to the work that Brad Bergefurd, a horticulture specialist with The Ohio State University, was doing into the subject. Bergefurd and his team operate a number of test hops yards at the OSU South Centers in Piketon.

According to Ohio State’s College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences website, “The Ohio Department of Liquor Control handed out more alcohol-manufacturing permits in the first six months of 2011 than it did all of 2010.” This spike started a trend that has continued in some capacity in the subsequent seven or eight years.

Many brewery, pub, tavern and bar patrons might see the effects of these statistics on the menus of their favorite beer-serving establishments. Craft and microbreweries are competing for page space with many of the nationally-recognized beer brands.

With the growing trend of micro-breweries popping up around the state comes the demand for more hops being grown locally. That’s where people like Wilson and Kirwan come in.

They are part of the Ohio Hops Growers Guild (OHGG), an organization formed in 2014 with the goal of uniting Ohio hops growers and creating a standard of quality and practices. Since that formation, the group has grown to more than 80 members whose primary focus is bringing information about locally-sourced hops to fellow growers and the general public.

On July 22, the OHGG sponsored an open house for nine hops yards around the state. Those interested in the subject could tour their local yards and learn about the whole subject of hops farming. Among the stops was Old Dutch Hops and their Hillsboro yard.

The process

“I think we like the idea of bringing diversity back to the way farms used to be,” Wilson said. Rather than solely focusing on the large crops of the surrounding fields, the couple decided to try their hand at something different. “I think that’s what drew us to it, also. It’s such an odd crop,” Kirwan said.

The set-up of a hops yard with its trellis system is an interesting sight among the traditional fields of soybeans and corn. With the exception of the height difference, the process is not dissimilar to the makeup of a grape vineyard.

The hops are grown on vines which crawl up strands of rope made of coconut fiber, and the ropes dangle from metal wires which are attached to 20-foot, wooden poles. They are planted in long rows, divided by open patches of grass. For Wilson and Kirwan, they use two of these open rows to house chickens.

“We are interested in the idea of sustainability and as much organic farming as we can,” Wilson said. “The chickens feed off the land and help to fertilize it.”

The technique of pasteurizing the chickens in this way is attributed to Joel Salatin, a Virginia farmer known for his unique approach to the world of farming. That approach and thought-process is something that appeals to Wilson and Kirwan.

“A lot of people mis-characterize hops as an easy crop to grow,” Kirwan said. “It is and it isn’t.” Once the crops are in the ground and growing, weeding and watering is about their only maintenance. However, the accessibility of the crop leaves it open to insects.

“We’ve had some problems this year with bugs, especially the Japanese beetles,” said Kirwan, referring to the torn leaves of the hanging plants. For the most part, other growers are having the same issues.

Growing a business

Wilson and Kirwan sell their Old Dutch Hops products at two farmer’s markets, the Northside Farmers Market in Cincinnati, and the Hillsboro Farmer’s Market closer to home. They also sell to the Fibonacci Brewing Company in Cincinnati, a company with which they have a good working relationship. Wilson and Kirwan sell their hops at $6 per pound for wet hops and $15 per pound for dry hops.

The Ohio Department of Agriculture has recently complicated the process by changing the rules for the pelletizing process with regard to water content in harvested crops. The state has also shut down the Ohio’s only commericial-sized hops pelletizing machine, which makes the hops grower’s ability to begin selling more problematic.

“It’s slowed down the process. But we have made more this year than we’ve put in,” Kirwan said. “But with harvesting labor and transportation, it’ll take more time to actually see a profit.” As with any type of farming, the profitablity lies in the process of learning how to grow their yield.

The Old Dutch Hops adventure is a more than two-year project for the couple and something they hope to continue.

“We haven’t figured out how to do it 100 percent,” Wilson said. “But we’d like to get to the point where it’s more sustainable.” Wilson works as a paramedic and Kirwan an EMT, both part-time.

“We mostly do it to help pay for supplies and the animals,” Wilson said. They split their time between the hops yard, work, and learning how to farm.

Eventually, they would like to learn enough about it to make farming their lives. They hope to keep the hops yard part of the process and to incorporate the ideas of true, sustainable farming intact. For them, it starts with experimentation and discovery. According to Wilson, they are still working on finding their place in the world of farming.

“That’s the part we haven’t quite figured out yet,” she said.