By WKBN Channel 27
Watch video here.
A farm in Salem is being recognized as one of the most sustainable and organic farms in the state of Ohio. And on Tuesday, the public got a chance to see exactly why during a free tour.
The Heritage Lane Farm in Salem made it on the Ohio Ecological Food and Farm Association’s 2011 series of free public tours for being one of the finest sustainable and organic farms. Each year, OEFFA promotes sustainable agriculture with about 20 different farm tours all around the state.
“Today we are hosting one here at our farm, showcasing our herd of American bison or buffalo, as well as our garden in which we grow produce and cut flowers. And behind me, the two high tunnels we use for season extension,” said Sarah Swope, owner/operator of Heritage Lane Farm.
The farm is family operated and Swope said their farm is unique to Ohio because there are very few farms that raise American buffalo, and most of their produce is done in what they call a sustainable manner.
“Which means that we don’t use any herbicides or chemical fertilizers. We produce all of our own compost here on the farm with either the vegetable matter or with some of the manures and bedding from the animals,” Swope said.
Those who came out for the tour were impressed with what they saw.
“My cousin told me about this tour. And my parents were raised on farms, but it was nothing like this. And it’s just such an ambitious endeavour that they’re doing. Isn’t it amazing,” said Francine Burlingame of Salem.
The Swope family also markets all of their produce and meat locally, and said their meat and produce sales are doing extremely well.
“Folks are beginning to discover the unique benefits of meat and produce grown locally, as far as the economic benefits, and even the taste and health benefits,” Swope said.
The Swopes plan to increase their herd size to meet the demand for meat, and are also looking into expanding their produce crop.