Ohio Organic Farmers Open Their Gates for Free Tours

Ohio Public News Service
May 8, 2012
Mary Kuhlman

COLUMBUS, Ohio – Ohioans have a chance see the ins and outs of some of the state’s finest sustainable and organic farms.
More than a dozen farmers are opening their gates to show people firsthand how food gets from the field to their dinner plate. The free public tours are offered as part of the Ohio Ecological Food and Farm Association’s 2012 Sustainable Farm Tour and Workshop Series.

OEFFA Spokeswoman Lauren Ketcham says the series offers a unique learning opportunity to see, taste, feel and learn what sustainable food and fiber production is all about from the farmers themselves.

“Consumers who are interested in local foods, farmers and market gardeners who want to learn more and network with other farmers, aspiring and beginning farmers, really anyone interested in learning more about the production and marketing techniques of sustainable farmers, are encouraged to attend.”

OEFFA has offered such tours for 30 years, and Ketcham says they are growing more and more popular as consumer demand for fresh, locally-produced food and farm products continues to grow.

“People are increasingly wanting to have that connection with the farm, and the more consumers know about how their food is grown, the better prepared they are to make choices that are right for themselves and their families about who to support with their food dollars.”

Children and families are welcome to the tours and workshops. Ketcham says it’s a great opportunity for kids to see what their food looks like before it gets to their dinner plates.

29 tours and workshops will be held from June through September as part of the series, 13 of them sponsored by OEFFA. They will feature a variety of topics and operations, including organic berry production, commercial composting, natural goat health, raw-milk cheese-making, and Ohio farm history. The schedule is available online at oeffa.org.