Get your shoes dirty!
Get your shoes in the dirt this summer with tours and workshops featuring a community of inspiring, sustainable farmers!
The 2022 OEFFA Sustainable Farm Tour and Workshop Series features 18 farms, businesses, and workshops in Ohio, Michigan, and Indiana, providing unique opportunities for farmers, educators, and conscientious eaters to learn about sustainable agriculture and local foods on the farm.
In addition to OEFFA, 13 other events and programs are being presented by Agraria Center for Regenerative Practice, Central State University, and Common Greens. View the 2022 Sustainable Farm Tour and Workshop Series brochure to learn more.
Commercial Urban Farm Tour
Sunday, June 26—2-6:30 p.m.
Eden Urban Gardens grows on a little over half an acre in urban Cincinnati. USDA Certified organic and Real Organic Project certified, this multi-field operation produces diverse crops of vegetables, fruits, herbs, medicinal herbs, and has successfully retrofitted urban land and spaces into a commercial farming production.
The guided tour will take place 2-4:30 p.m., starting at one field before moving to two other field sites. An optional potluck will follow from 4:30-6:30 p.m.
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Infrastructure Capitalization Farm Tour
Wednesday, June 29—1 p.m.
Three Creeks Produce grows organic produce on seven acres just outside of Columbus, distributing to restaurants, independent groceries, and other outlets in Central Ohio. They started the farm in 2016 as first generation farmers.
During this tour, Three Creeks Produce will introduce the operation with a focus on selecting, planning, and building infrastructure and equipment as beginning farmers.
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Regenerative Grazing Pasture Walk
Saturday, July 16—10 a.m.
Canal Junction Farm is a diversified livestock farm just south of Junction, Ohio, a booming town in the 1800s where the Miami Erie and Wabash Erie canals meet. Today, the farm is tended by fifth and sixth generation farmers. Their focus starts in the ground with building healthy soils, which translates to nutritious and delicious meats and cheeses. Canal Junction Farm is a pasture-based operation with 625 acres of owned and rented ground of pastures and hay fields. They have practiced regenerative farming for more than 28 years.
This tour will be a pasture walk covering all aspects of the farm’s operations, including its dairy program, cheese, beef, lamb, pork, broiler chickens, eggs, and turkeys. Attendees will be able to shop in the farm store and learn about the farm’s buying club approach to direct marketing.
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Organic Grain Transition Farm Tour and Grain Growers Chapter Meeting
Saturday, July 23—10 a.m.-3 p.m.
Bishop Family Farms
Farmer Greg Bishop, (419) 306-2934
6362 Township Hwy 80, Mt. Blanchard, OH 45867 (Wyandot County)
Greg and Beth Bishop and their son, Blake, transitioned Bishop Family Farms’ 1,300 acres to organic production two years ago. Their five year crop rotation includes corn, soybeans, wheat, sunflowers, and canola.
During this tour, attendees will learn about their transition and see their equipment, including an electric weeder.
An OEFFA Grain Growers Chapter meeting will take place before the tour from 10-11:45 a.m. Bring a side dish or dessert to share for a potluck lunch from 11:45 a.m.-12:45 p.m. Meat, drinks, and serviceware will be provided. The tour will begin at 1 p.m.
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Technical Pasture Walk for Multi-Species Meat Producers
Sunday, July 31—4-6 p.m.
Mike and Connie Jones have raised cattle, hogs, lamb, chickens, and turkeys in Portage County since 2010.
This tour will provide an in-depth and farmer-focused technical pasture walk at Tierra Verde Farms. Attendees will walk the farm and tour its infrastructure while Mike shares his numbers and decision-making process. This is an opportunity for meat producers to have an informal, substantive on-farm learning experience.
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Community Foodways Farm Tour
Saturday, August 13—1 p.m.
The Mansfield Microfarm Project (MMP) is a community-university collaborative to create economic development through sustainable microfarming (small-plot, high-intensity organic agriculture) in post-industrial urban spaces. The main objective is establishing a sustainable community-based training program for aspiring beginning farmers that provides farming and business skills necessary to manage a small-scale intensive farm operation. This program also supports economic development in the low-opportunity North End of Mansfield through two
organizations: the North End Community Improvement Collaborative, Inc. (NECIC) and the Richland Gro-op (RGO).
Attendees can expect to see and discuss best growing procedures, obstacles faced during development, the operation’s processes of marketing and sales, composting procedures, crop plans, how their co-operative operates, and more.
Directions: From I-71, take exit 169 for Rte. 13 toward Mansfield/Bellville. Turn left onto Rte. 13 N and continue for 4.5 miles. When approaching Mansfield, use the left lane to turn right onto S. Main St. Continue for 300 feet before turning left onto Glessner Ave. After almost .5 mile, turn right onto Sturges Ave. Continue straight onto Bowman St. after another .5 mile and the farm is on the left. From Rte. 30 E, take the Rte. 39/Springmill St. exit toward Shelby. Keep right at the fork, following signs for Rte. 39 E/Springmill St. S and merge on. In less than a mile, turn right onto Bowman St. The farm is on the right in .25 mile.
Fruits and Family in the Miami Valley Farm Tour
Friday, August 26—5 p.m.
The Narrow Way Farm is a 5-acre family owned and operated farm. Dedicated to providing local, responsibly grown fruits, vegetables, herbs, and flowers, no harsh chemical pesticides, herbicides, or fertilizers are used on the property. The land and plants are cared for by using natural fertilizers and soil enhancers. The Narrow Way Farm also offers farm-produced goods such as jams, jellies, and fruit butters made mainly with fruit grown on the farm.
Directions: From I-70, take exit 21 to Co. Rd. 553/Brookville and turn south onto Arlington Rd. Continue for 1.3 miles before turning left onto Westbrook Rd. Take an immediate right onto Johnsville Brookville Rd. The farm is on the right in 2.3 miles.
Efficient Systems Design Farm Tour
Wednesday, September 7—10 a.m.
Old City Acres is a four season, no-till market garden located in the swamps outside of Detroit that feeds the community year-round using a flexible CSA model. The farm moved to its current location five years ago and has since transformed a swampy forest into a profitable market garden by the use of extensive drainage and land remediation techniques.
The tour will focus on designing efficient on-farm systems, from wash-pack setup to overall farm layout.
Directions: From Columbus, take Rte. 23 N. Near Carey, Ohio, continue straight onto Rte. 15 W, then Rte. 15 W/Rte. 68 N for almost 18 miles. Take the exit toward Toledo/Rte. 15 before merging onto I 75 N. Continue on I-75 N for almost 75 miles. Take exit 20 for I-275 N toward Flint. Continue onto I-275 N for almost 7 miles. Take exit 8 for Will Carleton Rd. toward Flat Rock and turn left onto E Will Carleton Rd. After .5 mile, turn right onto Waltz Rd. and continue on Waltz Rd. for almost 2 miles. Turn left onto Willow Rd. and continue for 3.3 miles. The farm is on the right. From I-75, take exit 20 for I-275 N toward Flint. Continue onto I-275 N for almost 7 miles. Take exit 8 for Will Carleton Rd. toward Flat Rock and turn onto E Will Carleton Rd. After .5 mile, turn right onto Waltz Rd. and continue on Waltz Rd. for almost 2 miles. Turn left onto Willow Rd. and continue for 3.3 miles. The farm is on the right.
Organic CSA, Flower, and Vegetable Farm Tour
Sunday, September 18—5 p.m.
Christopher Farm is a mother-son team organically farming almost two acres in eastern Indiana, in the midst of conventional farmland. The acreage is part of a larger farm that has been handed down over several generations; the vegetable operation has been in progress for more than 25 years. This year, the farm is piloting a live-in intern program as a means of offering encouragement to the growing number of people interested in sustainable agriculture.
In addition to offering a tour of the farm and systems, such as their moveable hoophouses and no-till practices, attendees will learn about how the farm has evolved over the past two and a half decades. Topics include from what has worked to what has fallen by the wayside, and what their experience has been growing and marketing in a rural economy not necessarily looking for organic vegetables.
Directions: From I-70, take exit 151 for Rte. 27/Chester Blvd. Keep right at the fork, following signs for Winchester/Portland, and merge onto Rte. 27 N/Chester Blvd. Continue on Rte. 27 N for almost 12 miles. Turn left onto E 900 S, turn right onto S100 E after 1 mile, then turn left onto Rte. 36 after 1 mile. Continue on Rte. 36 W for 6 miles. Turn right onto S 500 W, continue for 3 miles, then turn left onto W 500 S. The farm is on the left in .3 mile.
Winter High Tunnel Produce Farm Tour
Sunday, November 6—2 p.m.
Roots, Fruits and Shoots is a 3-acre vegetable and raspberry farm. They grow year-round using no-till, sustainable practices in almost 7,000 square feet of high tunnel space.
This tour will focus on using tunnels to grow produce through the winter, particularly looking at the cost and benefits of using supplemental heat in a high tunnel for winter production; a project funded by a NCR-SARE grant.
Directions: From Rte. 161 E, take exit at Rte. 310. Take Rte. 310 north for 4 miles, then turn left at Rte. 37. Follow Rte. 37 toward Johnstown for about 1.5 miles. The farm’s driveway is located at 5580 Johnstown Alexandria Rd. (also Rte. 37). Turn in at the gravel driveway next to the Ohio Earth Food Microfarm sign. Drive down to the bottom of the hill to park.
Farm Bill Programs: One-Stop Workshop
Curious, enthusiastic, or skeptical about USDA programs for farmer support? This workshop, a collaboration between OEFFA, Rural Action, OSU Extension, and USDA, is a free virtual webinar about USDA programs and services.
This is intended to highlight how farmers may utilize USDA programs to improve their operations. Participants will have the opportunity to engage with and learn more about the experiences of Ohio farmers who have accessed various resources in breakout sessions.
Walking the Talk on the Climate Crisis
Saturday, July 9—10 a.m.-2:30 p.m.
Stratford Ecological Center
3083 Liberty Rd., Delaware, OH 43015
Stratford Ecological Center is an educational farm and state nature preserve where children and adults explore the relationships between living things and their environment, fostering an appreciation of the land and all life that depends on it.
Walk through Stratford’s farm and forest to discover how agroforestry, cover crops, pasture-raised livestock, and soil health practices can all contribute to ending the climate crisis. Then, enjoy a delicious locally-sourced lunch before building a collective understanding of how to make change with specific pieces of legislation.
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Beginning Farmer Summer Potluck and Social
Sunday, July 10—4-6 p.m.
Edgemont Solar Garden
907 Miami Chapel Rd., Dayton, OH 45417
Farming can be isolating, especially when just starting off. Take this time to meet new friends, or connect with old ones, and grow deep roots within a community of growers. Learn more about the host, the historic Edgemont Solar Garden, a valuable part of the Dayton neighborhood.
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Starting a School Garden Workshop
Friday, July 15—9:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.
Amesville Elementary School Garden
Amesville, OH 45711
Wanting to start a kid-friendly garden at your school, farm, or community site? Looking for inspiration and new lesson ideas for a current educational garden? Community Food Initiatives (CFI) has over a decade of experience partnering with schools, farmers, and community groups in rural Appalachian Ohio to design engaging garden programs for youth from preschool through middle school.
In this workshop, discussion will include CFI’s history of school gardening, lessons learned, and best practices for building fabulous garden education programs in small communities on a shoestring budget. There will be a tour of the rural Amesville Elementary School garden to see an example of a small but effective garden set up, and time to network with others involved in educational garden spaces. Each participant has their choice of a printed or PDF copy of our CFI School Garden Toolkit and will receive materials to complete several hands-on, take home activities that can be easily implemented in your own program or site.
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Commercial Solar Leases Workshop
Tuesday, July 19—12 p.m.
Many farmers are struggling with the issue of whether or not to lease some of their farmland for commercial solar arrays. Doing so offers an additional revenue stream while also removing the land from cropland production for the foreseeable future, in addition to other environmental concerns.
This virtual discussion will consider the positives and negatives of commercial solar arrays, highlight important factors to be aware of when considering a lease opportunity, and draw on the perspectives of an organic farmer considering what a commercial solar lease would mean for his land and state experts on the issue.
Speakers: Peggy Kirk Hall is the Director of Agricultural and Resource Law at the Ohio State University (OSU), and has done considerable work on commercial solar leases. Eric Romich is an OSU Energy Field Specialist who will share insights into the technical side of solar energy production. Dean McIlvaine is the owner of Twin Parks Organic Farm in Wayne County who is currently considering the pros and cons of leasing some of his land for a commercial solar array.
Land Access Workshop Series
Sundays, September 18, September 25, October 9, October 16—11 a.m.-2 p.m.
Agraria Center for Regenerative Practice
131 E. Dayton-Yellow Springs Rd. Yellow Springs, OH 45387
Co-hosted by OEFFA and Agraria Center for Regenerative Practice, this four-part series will offer on-the-ground approaches to finding and financing land, leasing and purchasing land, and assessing land. Participants will clarify their personal and business goals, assess their financial position, and learn what resources are available to find and finance land. The four workshops are intended as a series, but can be taken as standalone. Participants will have pre-work assigned before each workshop to help develop a land access plan.
Details: The first three workshops will be held at a location in the Columbus area. Visit this page for more details closer to the event. The last workshop will be held at Agraria’s barn.
Cost and Registration: $25 per workshop, $100 for all four. All proceeds from this event will go directly to the Native American Indian Center of Central Ohio (NAICCO). For more information, contact Lainie Rini at (614) 725-3163 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Register here.
Planning to Transfer the Farm Workshop Series
Thursdays, October 27, November 17, December 8—9:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.
Are you a farmer thinking about transferring your farmland or business? Are you a non-farming landowner looking for ways to support the next generation?
Whether you intend to transfer your farm within your family or to an unrelated farmer, succession planning is real work. This interactive online workshop series will help you prepare to engage in a transfer process, identify business and legal tools, assess your financial situation, build your advisor team, and develop a plan for transferring your land and/or farm business to a new farm owner.
Led by OEFFA Farmland Specialist Kelly Cabral, and developed as a pilot with a national network of land transfer professionals and the American Farmland Trust, you will finish the intensive workshop series with solid action steps in place.
Cost and Registration: $100 for the series. Register here.
Use Your Numbers to Assess Profitability and Full Cost of Production Course
Mondays, December 5, 12, 19—9 a.m.-12 p.m.
This three-part course with farm consultant Ellen Polishuk will take a deep dive into your numbers from the 2022 growing season to understand costs of production and calculate fair prices and wages. In order to increase farm profits, Ellen will work to assess if and which crops, enterprises, and markets are actually generating profits, as well as how much to pay employees fairly.
Click here to view introductory videos, as well as a recordkeeping checklist and costing tools resource list to track numbers this growing season.
Cost and registration: $75 for the entirety of this course, including a one-on-one consultation with Ellen Polishuk. Course capacity is limited to 40. Register here.
Safety Protocols at On-Farm Events
Under Ohio law, there is no liability for an injury to or death of a participant in an agritourism activity conducted at an agritourism location if that injury or death results from the inherent risks of that agritourism activity. These include, but are not limited to, the risk of injury inherent to land, equipment, and animals as well as the potential for you as a participant to act in a negligent manner that may contribute to your injury or death. You are assuming the risk of participating in this agritourism activity.