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.