By Lauren Ketcham
Ohio summers are a time to enjoy the bounty of fresh garden vegetables, ripe off-the vine berries and orchard harvests bursting with juicy flavor. The Good Earth Guide to Organic and Ecological Farms, Gardens and Related Businesses by the Ohio Ecological Food and Farm Association (OEFFA) can help bring these delicious tastes of summer to any kitchen.
The Good Earth Guide includes information on farms and businesses that sell directly to the public, including 166 certified organic farms and businesses and more than 90 community supported agriculture (CSA) 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 350 farms and related businesses, reflecting the tremendous growth in demand for locally-sourced and sustainably-produced foods, fibers, products and services,” said OEFFA Program Director Renee Hunt.
The Good Earth Guide is available free to the public in an easy to use online searchable database and as a downloadable pdf. Print copies are distributed free to OEFFA members and are available to non-members for $10 each.
“You can find just about anything you’d want being grown or produced right here in Ohio. The Good Earth Guide helps provide a blueprint for consumers interested in eating locally and in-season. 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,” said Hunt.
The Ohio Ecological Food & Farm Association was founded in 1979 and is a grassroots coalition of farmers, backyard gardeners, consumers, retailers, educators, researchers, and others who share a desire to build a healthy food system that brings prosperity to family farmers, helps preserve farmland, offers food security for all Ohioans, and creates economic opportunities for our rural communities.