Archive for the ‘Good Earth Guide’ Category

Fresh, Local Foods Just a Click Away in Ohio

Monday, June 10th, 2013
 
By Mary Kuhlman
Ohio Public News Service
6/10/13

COLUMBUS, Ohio – This summer, Ohioans can find fresh, locally grown food by using their computer or smartphone. The Good Earth Guide is a searchable, online directory that connects consumers to growers and food producers in their own communities.

Maplestar Farm in Geauga County has been featured for several years in the guide, which is newly updated. Maplestar owner Jake Trethewey said the listings include sources for almost anything – from vegetables, fruits and herbs to flowers and plants.

“The Good Earth Guide gives consumers out there a one-stop shop to find not only growers, but people who are raising poultry and beef,” Trethewey said, as well as a whole range of products that are close to them and grown and raised organically.”

This year’s Good Earth Guide includes information on more than 400 farms and businesses in Ohio and surrounding states, including 180 certified organic operations. Each listing states contact information and products sold, and many also include locations and maps.

The Ohio Ecological Food and Farm Association has been compiling the guide for more than 20 years. It began with just a dozen listings. Trethewey said its growth speaks to the increased demand for sustainably grown, local foods.

“Every year it gets better and better. More people are interested – not only in the organics, but in cultivating that knowledge, that relationship with the farmer, knowing who it is that’s growing your food and how they are growing it,” he said.

Besides helping people find local producers, the guide connects those in the farming community. Trethewey said he has used it to network, find supplies and hire apprentices to work at his farm.

“One of the primary resources is getting together with other growers, finding out what worked for them and passing on the ideas, techniques and products that work for you to other growers, as well,” he said.

An update on a couple of small farmers taking on new challenges for the new year

Monday, January 21st, 2013
WKSU Quick Bites with Vivian Goodman
December 28, 2012

We’re at Breakneck Acres with Ami Gignac. You’re going to show us some new friends.

“Sure am. Let’s go take a look.  So we’ve, since you visited Vivian we’ve added three Berkshire pigs to the family.”

And you were telling me you’re working with a few new people, producers that you’re working with, right?

“We are. We started a relationship with a very small micro-brewery in Cuyahoga Falls called Toms Foolery. And they’re actuially going to do a certified organic bourbon. The toughest thing for me is that I’m going to have to wait over a year to have our first taste test.”

Ami Gignac starts most days with her feathered friends in a retrofitted school bus that serves as a mobile chicken coop. Sixty  laying hens including 20 leghorns live with her and Tim Fox on their Portage County farm.

“And then we’ve just recently taken on two cows. They are grass-fed beef that we will later use for meat.”

The cows have quite a salad bar. Breakneck Acres sits on 35 lush acres not far from Kent State University in Portage County.

RETURNING TO HIS ROOTS

Tim Fox grew up on a dairy farm. “Basically I guess it’s still part of my heritage.”

Amy had been a city girl. She realizes they’re getting into farming at the right time, at the peak of the farm-to-table movement.

“But it wasn’t planned. The transition was for personal reasons. I was 70 pounds heavier than you see me today. My blood pressure was 160 over 100. I had this great 6-figure salary but I wasn’t healthy and I wasn’t happy.”

She’d been the general manager of a small mining company. They were living in Kent in 2006 when Tim found the property they turned into Breakneck Acres.

THE SKILLS TRANSFER

“When I was in the mining business there was always this piece tied to sustainability and being environmentally conscious and a lot of that transitioned over. And then of course the financial management, the human resource issues, all of that has really transitioned nicely. And I think the difference is when I have a meeting I have cowboy boots on and before I had high heels.”

At first farming  had been only  a hobby.

“We had started out as row crop farmers and transitioned recently into doing seasonal produce and also specialty grains that we mill on the farm. Our primary is the wheat, corn and beans. We grow a special variety of a hard red winter wheat and hard red spring wheat that are high in protein and excellent for milling and for bread-baking. We grow a special variety of corn that’s a little sweeter than your typical field corn, lovely for corn meal, grits, and polenta. We also grow soybeans and different varieties of heirloom dry beans that are lovely for soups and that sort of thing. I think this year we have 5 varieties in the ground from an heirloom Black Turtle to Jacob’s Cattle, and one called Tiger’s Eye. We’re also looking for some wholesale customers. So we’re working with Breadsmith in Lakewood and they do a lovely loaf of bread that uses all local ingredients that’s really cool. And we’re also just starting to work with Ohio City Pasta on some signature pastas that will offer local ingredients which is also really neat because we love pasta.”

LISTED IN THE GOOD EARTH GUIDE

Ohio farms that sell directly to customers are listed in the Ohio Ecological Food and Farm Association’s Good Earth Guide. Published since 1990 , it’s grown from a list of a dozen or so to 350 farms including organic farms, like Breakneck Acres.

“Now that we are certified organic it’s important for me then to keep our information updated because I would guess that about ten percent of our customers find us via the good earth guide. Customers that are specifically looking for specialty products. I’ve even had someone from Malaysia call to talk to me a little bit about milling that said they had found us from the Good Earth Guide and then did a little more research on us so that was really cool.”

STONE MILLS FLOWN IN FROM EUROPE

One of the farm buildings houses two hand-crafted East Tyrolean stone mills they had shipped over from Austria.

“Stone milling keeps the temperature really below 140 degrees as it mills, says Gignac.” And so you don’t lose as much of the nutritional value as you would with some of the burr milling.”

Amy claims her chickens taste great and it might be because they feed on a gourmet blend.

“We use stone ground corn, buckwheat and hard red winter wheat and then we also add some trace minerals, some salt, some sea kelp. It’s great. In fact Tim taste-tests it each time I make a batch. They eat better than we do!”

She says she and her partner have no regrets about buying the farm.  And they plan to keep life simple.

“We’re not going to go into ‘big Ag.’ We appreciate that we do need to grow to be sustainable and really for both of us to officially quit our day jobs. But it’s a slow growth and its making small steps in the directions that keep Tim and I healthy and happy and stress-free.”

Amy Gignac and Tim Fox  sell their specialty grains, beans, organic vegetables and herbs and free-range eggs every Wednesday afternoon at the farm. They’re also at the Kent and Ravenna farmers’ markets.

Growth in demand for farm-fresh food benefits the region’s newest growers

Tuesday, August 21st, 2012
 
Friday, August 3, 2012
WKSU Quick Bites
By Vivian Goodman

Ami Gignac starts most days with her feathered friends in a retrofitted school bus that serves as a mobile chicken coop. Sixty  laying hens including 20 leghorns live with her and Tim Fox on their Portage County farm.

Photo by Edward Duvall

“And then we’ve just recently taken on two cows. They are grass-fed beef that we will later use for meat.”

The cows have quite a salad bar. Breakneck Acres sits on 35 lush acres not far from Kent State University in Portage County.

RETURNING TO HIS ROOTS

Tim Fox grew up on a dairy farm. “Basically I guess it’s still part of my heritage.”

Amy had been a city girl. She realizes they’re getting into farming at the right time, at the peak of the farm-to-table movement.

Photo by Edward Duvall

“But it wasn’t planned. The transition was for personal reasons. I was 70 pounds heavier than you see me today. My blood pressure was 160 over 100. I had this great 6-figure salary but I wasn’t healthy and I wasn’t happy.”

She’d been the general manager of a small mining company. They were living in Kent in 2006 when Tim found the property they turned into Breakneck Acres.

THE SKILLS TRANSFER

“When I was in the mining business there was always this piece tied to sustainability and being environmentally conscious and a lot of that transitioned over. And then of course the financial management, the human resource issues, all of that has really transitioned nicely. And I think the difference is when I have a meeting I have cowboy boots on and before I had high heels.”

At first farming  had been only  a hobby.

Photo by Edward Duvall

“We had started out as row crop farmers and transitioned recently into doing seasonal produce and also specialty grains that we mill on the farm. Our primary is the wheat, corn and beans. We grow a special variety of a hard red winter wheat and hard red spring wheat that are high in protein and excellent for milling and for bread-baking. We grow a special variety of corn that’s a little sweeter than your typical field corn, lovely for corn meal, grits, and polenta. We also grow soybeans and different varieties of heirloom dry beans that are lovely for soups and that sort of thing. I think this year we have 5 varieties in the ground from an heirloom Black Turtle to Jacob’s Cattle, and one called Tiger’s Eye. We’re also looking for some wholesale customers. So we’re working with Breadsmith in Lakewood and they do a lovely loaf of bread that uses all local ingredients that’s really cool. And we’re also just starting to work with Ohio City Pasta on some signature pastas that will offer local ingredients which is also really neat because we love pasta.”

LISTED IN THE GOOD EARTH GUIDE

Ohio farms that sell directly to customers are listed in the Ohio Ecological Food and Farm Association’s Good Earth Guide. Published since 1990 , it’s grown from a list of a dozen or so to 350 farms including organic farms, like Breakneck Acres.

“Now that we are certified organic it’s important for me then to keep our information updated because I would guess that about ten percent of our customers find us via the good earth guide. Customers that are specifically looking for specialty products. I’ve even had someone from Malaysia call to talk to me a little bit about milling that said they had found us from the Good Earth Guide and then did a little more research on us so that was really cool.”

STONE MILLS FLOWN IN FROM EUROPE

One of the farm buildings houses two hand-crafted East Tyrolean stone mills they had shipped over from Austria.

Photo by Edward Duvall

“Stone milling keeps the temperature really below 140 degrees as it mills, says Gignac.” And so you don’t lose as much of the nutritional value as you would with some of the burr milling.”

Amy claims her chickens taste great and it might be because they feed on a gourmet blend.

“We use stone ground corn, buckwheat and hard red winter wheat and then we also add some trace minerals, some salt, some sea kelp. It’s great. In fact Tim taste-tests it each time I make a batch. They eat better than we do!”

Photo by Edward Duvall

She says she and her partner have no regrets about buying the farm.  And they plan to keep life simple.

“We’re not going to go into ‘big Ag.’ We appreciate that we do need to grow to be sustainable and really for both of us to officially quit our day jobs. But it’s a slow growth and its making small steps in the directions that keep Tim and I healthy and happy and stress-free.”

Amy Gignac and Tim Fox  sell their specialty grains, beans, organic vegetables and herbs and free-range eggs every Wednesday afternoon at the farm. They’re also at the Kent and Ravenna farmers’ markets.

Good Earth Guide lists sources for local food

Friday, June 8th, 2012
By  Jacob Kanclerz
THE COLUMBUS DISPATCH

June 8, 2012

Shoppers looking to buy “local foods” now can refer to an updated guide to find those who sell Ohio-grown or -produced organic and natural products.

The Good Earth Guide lists more than 350 farms and businesses in Ohio that sell locally grown food, many directly to consumers. Compiled by the Ohio Ecological Food and Farm Association, it’s available in a print edition or at www.oeffa.org.

Farms and businesses in the guide sell vegetables, fruits, dairy products, meats, flowers and other products. Shoppers can find farms by county or products offered, with contact information for each listing. Information also is provided on which farms and businesses have been certified organic by the association.

The guide doesn’t include all Ohio growers because farmers provide their information voluntarily, said Renee Hunt, the education-program director for the association. But the guide has grown since it was first published in 1990 as more people have embraced the local-foods trend.

Buying local results in fresher and more-healthful products, and it helps the local economy.

“People are looking for local farms,” Hunt said. “Local chefs are looking for fresh ingredients.”

Growers said the list is great for discovering locally grown food sources and has helped bring in business.

“It’s a good resource for us as a business and for our customers,” said Kevin Murphy, assistant general manager of the Bexley Natural Market, 508 N. Cassady Ave. in Bexley. The store is a cooperative grocer that carries organic and natural products.

In addition to the Good Earth Guide, there are other guides to farmers markets and local growers provided by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and by the Ohio Farm Bureau Federation, said Christie Welch, a farmers-market specialist with Ohio State University.

Hunt said the Good Earth Guide serves as a starting point for people wanting to delve into local food.

The printed edition of the Good Earth Guide is free to members of the association or $10 for nonmembers. The online database is free to the public.

Information on local farmers markets also can be found at Dispatch.com.

Guide highlights local farm products

Thursday, July 7th, 2011
Tuesday, July 5, 2011
THE COLUMBUS DISPATCH

These days, it’s not enough that food taste good. Consumers want local products or those that are grown organically or using animal- and earth-friendly practices.

Now, shoppers can find such food purveyors in their area with the click of a mouse.

The latest edition of the “Good Earth Guide” is available online – and in print, as well – and provides information on more than 315 Ohio farms and businesses that sell produce, meats and other consumer goods, said Renee Hunt, program director for the Ohio Ecological Food & Farm Association, which publishes the guide.

Included in that number are 150 certified organic farms and businesses and 70 community-supported agriculture programs, she said.

The guide not only benefits consumers but also helps Ohio’s farmers promote their wares.

“We help consumers make the connections they need to find quality local foods and to help ensure the future of a vibrant and sustainable food system,” Hunt said. “Buying locally and directly from the farmer also helps keep our food dollars in the local economy, which in turn helps our rural communities.”

That’s an advantage for small growers such as Shepherd’s Corner Farm and Ecology Center, operated by the Dominican Sisters of Peace. The farm, at 987 N. Waggoner Rd., in Blacklick, sells its vegetables, eggs, honey and maple syrup at the farm and at farmers markets, said Sister Rose Ann Van Buren, an administrator at the nonprofit organization.

She said the guide has helped increase awareness of their operation.

“We aren’t a large farm. We have about 2.5 acres this year,” Van Buren said. “Other than the small sign we have outside our door and our Web page, we don’t do any other advertising. So being in the guide is an important piece for people looking for what we have to offer to know who we are and where we are. It’s a good magazine for us to be in.”

The directory identifies sources for a variety of products, includingfruits, vegetables and flowers and seeds.

Now in its 17th edition, the guide has more than tripled in size since its first printing in 1990, Hunt said.

“The demand for locally sourced and sustainably produced foods is reflected in the tremendous growth the guide has gone through from the dozen or so farms listed when we began,” she said.

“We’ve gotten a significant increase in the number of page views of the guide online, and we get calls all the time for people looking for a product or farm. The demand has just exploded.”

The online guide is searchable based on numerous criteria, including product and location, and it includes maps, Hunt said.

The guide is also a good way for growers to network and find help, said Trish Mumme, who operates Garden Patch Produce, a community-supported agriculture farm in Alexandria.

“I’ve gotten a lot of customers who’ve come out to the farm after finding me in the guide,” Mumme said. “I’ve even had some intern and apprentice farmworkers come here looking for a place to work after reading about us in the guide.”

The guide can be accessed free online at www.oeffa.org/search-geg.php. A print copy can be purchased for $7.50 through the same website.

Guide guides people to healthful foods

Saturday, June 25th, 2011
This Week Clintonville
June 22, 2011

A publication of the Clintonville-based Ohio Ecological Food and Farm Association can help in bringing fresh garden vegetables, off-the vine berries and orchard harvests to any kitchen.

Titled “The Good Earth Guide to Organic and Ecological Farms, Gardens and Related Businesses,” the publication includes information on more than 315 farms and businesses that sell directly to the public, including more than 150 certified organic farms and businesses and more than 70 community supported agriculture programs.

The directory identifies sources for locally grown vegetables; fruits; herbs; honey; maple syrup; dairy products; grass-fed beef, pork and lamb; free-range chicken and eggs; fiber; flour and grains; cut flowers; plants; hay and straw; seed and feed; and other local farm products.

“Since we started publishing ‘The Good Earth Guide’ in 1990, it’s grown from a list of a dozen or so farms to more than 315, reflecting the tremendous growth in demand for locally sourced and sustainably produced foods,” association program director Renee Hunt said in a statement.

“You can find just about anything you’d want being grown or produced right here in Ohio,” she added. “By offering this guide, we hope to help Ohioans make the connections they need to find quality local foods, and to help ensure the future of a vibrant and sustainable food system,” said Hunt.

Each farm listing includes name and contact information, products sold, a farm description and whether the farm is certified organic. Both the print and online versions include tools that make it easy to search the listings for a specific product, farm, or farmer, by county or by sales method.

Additionally, the online version includes locations and maps for where the farm’s products are sold.

“‘The Good Earth Guide’ helps provide a blueprint for consumers interested in eating locally and in-season,” according to Hunt. “Eating locally allows consumers to get to know who raises the food they eat, and to find out how it was produced. It keeps produce from traveling far distances, allowing it to be picked and sold ripe and full of flavor and nutrition. Buying locally and directly from the farmer also helps keep our food dollars in the local economy, which in turn helps our rural communities.”

“The Good Earth Guide” is available free to the public in an online searchable database found here.

Print copies are distributed free to OEFFA members and are available to non-members for $7.50 each at OEFFA’s online store.

Read this article at it’s original source at This Week Clintonville.

A “snapshot” of Ohio’s organic and sustainable food operations

Saturday, June 25th, 2011
Mary Kuhlman
Public News Service
June 23, 2011

Going organic has never been more popular, and in Ohio, conscientious eaters have a newly updated resource to help them find fresh and organic foods. The Good Earth Guide published by the Ohio Ecological Food and Farm Association identifies sources for locally grown vegetables, fruits, dairy, meats, flour and many other Ohio farm products.

Guy Ashmore’s family farm in Clinton County has been featured in the guide for years, he says.

“The guide offers a nice cross-section of the state; readers can see what’s going on from southwest to northwest Ohio, down to the southeast. It’s really diverse and really gives everybody a good snapshot of what is being grown sustainably and organically in Ohio.”

Renee Hunt, program director with the Ohio Ecological Food and Farm Association, says eating locally allows consumers to get to know who raises the food they consume and to find out how it was produced. Her group offers the guide as a way to ensure the future of a vibrant and sustainable food system, she explains.

“As a reflection of the networking and the efforts made by conscientious and ecological Ohio farmers over the years to branch out and teach each other, the public demand for fresh, local foods has just grown.”

Ashmore adds that buying locally and directly from the farmer is important for the economies of Ohio’s rural communities.

“Of every dollar that is spent locally, generally about 67 percent stays in that local community. What it does is encourage job growth. This year, we were able to get a couple of interns on our farm, thanks to consumers spending money locally.”

Since the Good Earth Guide was first published in 1990, its coverage has grown from about a dozen farms to more than 315. Each farm listing includes name and contact information, products sold, a farm description and whether the farm is certified organic. The guide is available in print and online.

Read the original text of this article at Public News Service.

Guide Connects Ohioans to Fresh, Local Foods

Friday, September 24th, 2010
August 18, 2010

COLUMBUS, Ohio – Farmers’ markets are in full swing in the Buckeye State, but locally-sourced foods are available year-round in Ohio. Anyone in the state can find growers in their area in the Ohio Ecological Food and Farm Association’s “Good Earth Guide,” a directory of organic and sustainable farms that sell directly to the public.

OEFFA spokesperson Lauren Ketcham says shoppers can find almost anything produced locally, from vegetables to honey.

“Dairy products, maple syrup, grass-fed meats, free-range chicken and eggs, flour and grains, as well as value-added products and preserved foods, are available year-round.”

Ketcham cites other benefits to “eating local,” including keeping food dollars in the local economy and preserving Ohio’s farmland and agricultural traditions. In addition, buying organic products from small farms can have health and food safety benefits, particularly given the environmental concerns in the state. Of recent note are toxic algae problems in Lake Erie and Grand Lake Saint Marys, she says.

“According to the Ohio EPA, fertilizers and manure that wash off farm fields and into our waterways are the most significant sources of these toxic algae blooms. But organic and sustainable growers use practices that really protect the soil, our air and our water.”

Organic farmers avoid pesticides and use processes like crop rotation and cover crops, which reduce soil erosion and runoff, explains Ketcham.

Since the guide was first published in 1990, the list of producers has grown from about a dozen to more than 300. Ketcham calls it a reflection of the tremendous growth in demand for locally-grown, sustainably-produced foods. The database can be searched by product, county, farm owner or farm name. It is available at www.oeffa.org.

Mary Kuhlman, Public News Service – OH

This article appeared in the Public News Service:  http://www.publicnewsservice.org/index.php?/content/article/15509-1