The Ohio Sustainable Farm Tour and Workshop Series


Would you like to take a leisurely stroll through organic fields and pastures or learn basic homesteading skills? Do you want to tour the farms of beginning growers who are making a go of their farm dreams and learn from their experiences? Or hear stories from Ohio's founding sustainable farmers? Do you want to learn the ins and outs of growing food in the city and on reclaimed urban lots? Or, would you like to learn how to scale up your vegetable production, choose the right equipment for your farm, or process your own poultry?

You'll have opportunities to do all this and more during OEFFA's 27 summer farm tours, workshops, and other special events which are part of the 2017 Ohio Sustainable Farm Tour and Workshop Series.

In total, the series features 43 events, offered in partnership with Central State University Cooperative Extension, The Ohio State University Extension Sustainable Agriculture Team and the Clintonville Farmers' Market.

See, taste, and experience life on the farm while gaining practical new skills and learning about sustainable agriculture and local foods on the farm from growers and producers with years of practical experience.

All tours and workshops are free and open to the public and do not require pre-registration unless otherwise noted.
Events will take place rain or shine. Guests should dress appropriately; hats, sunglasses, long pants, closed toe walking shoes, and sunscreen are recommended. Tours involve standing and moderate walking; visitors with physical limitations or other concerns should contact the tour host in advance. For everyone’s safety, guests should keep children with them at all times. Please do not bring pets to the tours.

CORRECTION NOTE: Clintonville Farmers' Market's tour of Rock Dove Farm will be held on Sunday, June 11 NOT Sunday, June 6 as listed in the farm tour brochure.


Renewable Energy Farm Tour
Saturday, June 171-4 p.m.
Woodland Ridge Farm and Learning Center
4884 Cooper Rd., Athens, OH 45701
Cost and Registration: The farm tour is free and open to the public, but pre-registration is required. The weekend workshop costs $200 and is limited to 12 people. The Saturday evening workshop and meal costs $20 and is limited to 30 people. To register, call (740) 591-4906, email wpaulharper@gmail.com, or click here.
Join OEFFA, Upgrade Ohio, and Athena Solar Power to learn about renewable energy opportunities and trends and to see Woodland Ridge Farm’s unique hybrid, battery backup, microgrid solar, and off-grid systems. OEFFA’s Athens Chapter will hold a meeting at the farm beginning at 3 p.m. Part of Woodland Ridge Farm Days, the farm is also offering a Swine/Bovine Farm to Table Partners weekend workshop with R&L Valley Ranch Friday, June 16-Sunday, June 18. Can't spend the weekend? Register to stay Saturday for an evening workshop from 4-9 p.m. culiminating in a complimentary Pig/Ox roast local meal.
On-Farm Research and Organic Vegetable Farm Tour
Tuesday, June 209 a.m.
Artisan Acres
6996 S. Honeytown Rd., Wooster, OH 44691
Raymond Yoder, Jr., his wife Ruth, and their two children own this 16 acre organic vegetable farm in the Nebo Valley. The farm focuses on providing superior quality, nutrient-dense vegetables to customers that purchase from the Green Field Farms Co-op, while at the same time increasing the health of their soils by applying minerals, rotating cover crops, and mulching. Artisan Acres also produces Green Field Farms' raw sauerkraut. Learn about on-farm research being conducted in collaboration with the OSU Organic Food and Farming Education Research (OFFER) Program on the Base Cation Saturation Rate (BCSR) method of soil balancing. OSU researchers will be on site to discuss current observations and to demonstrate sample collecting techniques. Learn more about this farm research project: click here.

Diversified Beginning Farm Tour
Sunday, June 251-4 p.m.
Homecoming Farm
14964 Linscott Run Rd., Amesville, OH 45711
Registration: Pre-registration is encouraged. Contact caitie@ruralaction.org or (740) 677-4047. Materials will be provided.
John Wood, an Amesville native, started Homecoming Farm with the help of his parents, George and Marcia, in 2015. This start-up is managed in a sustainable and ethical way, and John is currently exploring organic certification. He will share is experiences as a beginning farmer and what he has learned. The property is managed with a whole-farm approach with a focus on diverse, year-round income streams including fruit trees, vegetables, wood products, and non-timber forest products such as maple syrup. Co-sponsored by Rural Action, see the farm’s vegetable plots, flower beds, and sugar shack, and learn about the diversification and how to best manage a mix of forested and unforested land.

Youth Urban Farming Tour
Saturday, July 291-4 p.m.
Green Corps Midtown Learning Farm
1945 E. 66th St., Cleveland, OH 44103

See how high schoolers are transforming agriculture in Cleveland! Since 1996, Green Corps, an urban agricultural work-study program for teenagers started by the Cleveland Botanical Garden, has been training youth to grow and sell produce at five farms on the east side of Cleveland. Tour guests can visit the program's oldest farm, established in 1996 in the Midtown neighborhood on land owned by Dunham Tavern and Museum, the oldest building in Cleveland, which will also be open for tours. Youth farmers will describe the history of "The Little Yellow House" located on site, as well as square foot gardening, composting, herb spirals, and beekeeping. Co-sponsored by OEFFA's Lake Effect Chapter, this event also features food demonstrations, music, and family friendly activities, such as scavenger hunts and crafts. Fresh produce will be available for purchase.

Organic Grain Seed Breeding Farm Tour
Friday, August 1110 a.m.-4 p.m.
Valley View Farm
7443 County Rd. 49, Belle Center, OH 43310
Registration: To register for the potluck, email dshively01@gmail.com.
Steven and Judith Coblentz are New Order Amish farmers running a diverse operation along with Steven's father, Mahlon, and brothers, Paul and Nelson. Together, the family farms 300 acres of forage, corn, beans, small grains, and cover crops. In addition to farming, Steven is a Byron Seed dealer with extensive test plots, Paul breeds horses, Nelson works with Natural Way Minerals, and Mahlon specializes in concrete stamping. Tour the Coblentz's seed test plots, featuring more than 100 varieties, and their seed breeding operation. There will also be horse-drawn equipment demonstrations of tillage work and harvesting, weather permitting. Horse-drawn wagon rides will be provided from the farm to seed test plots. An OEFFA Grain Growers Chapter meeting will take place before the tour from 10-11:45 a.m. Bring a dish to share for a potluck lunch from 11:45 a.m.-12:45 p.m. Tours and demonstrations will begin at 1 p.m.

Vegetable Equipment Systems Farm Tour
Sunday, August 134-6 p.m.
Mile Creek Farm
10786 Mile Rd., New Lebanon, OH 45345

This beginning farmer focused tour will walk you through the process of equipment systems and the role that machinery can play in making established systems on the farm more efficient. Organic farmer Ben Jackle will provide an overview of the process and equipment used in their greenhouse, field (with a focus on seed bed preperation and cultivation), and packing shed. Learn about how equipment can facilitate effective flow on a mixed vegetable operation and how these systems fit together.

Grass-Fed Livestock Farm Tour
Tuesday, August 229:30 a.m.
Grassroots Farm
1727 Frost Rd., Hillsboro, OH 45133
Registration: Pre-registration is required. To register, email eric@oeffa.org.
Grassroots Farm is a 380 acre grass-based farm raising Red Devon cattle, Katahdin lamb, Cornish Cross chickens, and Berkshire hogs. Value-added products produced on site are also sold through the Hyde Park Farmers' Market and Findlay Market in Cincinnati. They lease subparcels of their land to independent dairy producers and are seeking to transition the farm to someone who will assume business ownership in steps. Join this tour for a wagon ride to learn about the farm's wetland mitigation efforts, raising grass-fed beef and pastured meat and poultry, and unique land access opportunities.

Healthy Soil Farm Tour
Sunday, September 101-4 p.m.
Margraf Family Farm
7838 S. State Rte. 587, McCuthenville, OH 44844

The Margraf family has been addicted to growing healthy soil for more than 10 years and encourages more people to try this "different" approach. As a family that supports public, local, voluntary actions that lead to bigger benefits for all, they've partnered with their local Seneca Conservation District to make improvements to water quality and soil health. The farm is an Edge of Field research site for the U.S. Department of Agriculture Agricultural Research Service and hosts field days for Ohio No-Till Council, Future Farmers of America, Seneca Conservation District, and the Natural Resources Conservation Service. This unique conservation farm practices what it preaches and is inspired to preach what it practices! Join this tour to learn about how the family raises corn, beans, and wheat using 100 percent no-till and cover crops to keep nutrients on the farm and out of the Western Lake Erie Basin, see cows and calves on pasture, tour their machine shed and precision equipment, and enjoy lemonade and cookies on the back porch.   

Cheesemaking and Homestead Tour
Saturday, September 2311 a.m.-3 p.m.
Blackstone Farm
49800 Township Rd. 58, Lewisville, OH 43754
Registration: To register, email davidblackstone73@gmail.com.
The tour of this diversified homestead will feature learning stations and local Master Gardeners, who will be on hand to share details about projects. Individual stations will include: cheesemaking, rendering lard, canning butter and milk, alternative livestock feeds, making sourdough starter, making soap, making lye, making hominy from field corn, composting, alternative health practices, and agritourism. Additional tour stops will include their 1,200 quart fruit cupboard, their commercial kitchen/cheese house, rental facilities and bed and breakfast rooms, and their Romanov sheep flock. A complimentary lunch will be served, featuring stuffed smoked sausage, vegetable beef soup, homemade bread, chicken and noodles, cheese, and assorted desserts.

Pasture-Raised Livestock Beginning Farm Tour
Saturday, October 214-7 p.m.
Moores Heritage Farm
3918 State Rd. S, Ashtabula, OH 44004
Registration: Pre-registration is required. To register, email mooresheritagefarm@gmail.com by October 13.
Randall and Connie Moores are beginning farmers, breathing new life into Randall's grandparents' farmstead, which they purchased in 2014. In 2015, they built a mobile chicken coop, raised small flocks of chickens and turkeys, and purchased two freshened dairy goats. Last year was their first full season selling chicken, eggs, goat milk, fudge, and soap at two weekly farmers' markets. They also raised pastured pigs and grass-fed lamb, which were sold as whole and half animals directly to consumers. As beginning farmers, they have made plenty of mistakes but have learned a tremendous amount from other beginning and experienced farmers. They have worked with the Natural Resources Conservation Service, Ohio State University Extension, their local Soil and Water Conservation District, and the Ashtabula Local Food Council (ALFC). Join this tour, co-sponsored by ALFC, to learn about the Moores' experiences as beginning farmers seeking organic certification, and what they have planned for 2017.

Download a pdf of the full series brochure.



Young and Beginning Farmers Q&A and Networking Session
Tuesday, August 86-8 p.m.
Rambling House Soda
310 E. Hudson St., Columbus, OH 43202

Are you a young or beginning farmer with questions about your business? Hosted by the Central Ohio Chapter of the National Young Farmers Coalition and OEFFA, this evening networking and question and answer session features local farm lawyers from Barrett, Easterday, Cunningham & Eselgroth, LLP.
The Farmers' Table
Sunday, August 20
Maplestar Farm
10382 E. Washington St., Auburn Township, OH 44023

The Farmers' Table returns to Maplestar Farm! Join OEFFA, the Two Foundation, Maplestar Farm, and The Driftwood Group for a truly unique farm-to-table celebration of northeast Ohio agriculture and food.

Poultry Processing for the Small Farm and Homestead Workshop
Sunday, September 109 a.m.-5 p.m.
Tea Hills Farms
269 Township Rd. 2450, Loudonville, OH 44842
Cost and Registration: $80 for OEFFA members, $100 for non-members. Price includes two processed chickens. Pre-registration is required by September 5 and space is limited. To register, click here.
Tea Hills Farms raises poultry on lush pastures and runs its own on-farm state-inspected processing facility. Join Cara and Jason Tipton for a first-hand processing experience and tour of their pastured poultry operation. The day will begin with a hands-on training in start-to-finish poultry processing, with students directly participating in each step. After a home cooked lunch provided by Tea Hills Farms, Cara and Jason will discuss on-farm processing regulations and equipment and take guests on a tour of the pasture to look at different shelter designs and describe the basics of raising poultry on pasture. Attendees will end the workshop packaging the chickens and each person will be able to take home two fresh chickens!

Harvest Bicycle Ride
Sunday, September 249:30 a.m.-2 p.m.
Rockmill Brewery
5705 Lithopolis Rd. NW, Lancaster, OH 43130
Cost and Registration: $35 members, $50 non-members, $25 children. Price includes snacks from Stutzman Farms. Email us for a special code you can use at check out for your OEFFA member discount. Proceeds benefit OEFFA and COP. To register, click here.
Join OEFFA and Columbus Outdoor Pursuits for a family-friendly bicycle tour of Fairfield County's local food economy. Enjoy a scenic 40 mile ride through the central Ohio countryside, with stops at Keller Market House, The Kale Yard, and Berry Family Farm, before wrapping up the day at Rockmill Brewery.
Farm Vision Workshop
Sunday, October 151-5 p.m.
41 Croswell Rd., Columbus, OH 43214
Cost and Registration: $25. Price includes light refreshments. Pre-registration is required by October 9. To register, click here.
Are you an aspiring or new farmer planning your dream farm? This workshop will help you map out your farm vision, clarify your goals and values, and assess your strengths, resources, and needs before beginning a farming enterprise. Participants will hear from a panel of early career farmers and will receive important planning resources.

Heartland Farm Beginnings® Training Course
October 2017-February 2018
41 Croswell Rd., Columbus, OH 43214
Cost and Registration: Paid pre-registration for the entire 10 part course is required. Find additional information about this series, including cost and registration details, here.
Beginning this fall, OEFFA's Heartland Farm Beginnings® 10 part training course will provide opportunities for beginning and transitioning farmers to learn first-hand about identifying values, setting goals, and whole farm and strategic business planning. This in-depth, field-tested course is new to Ohio, but has helped to train more than 1,500 farmers across the country during the past 15 years.

Grow More Vegetables, Make More Money Workshop
Friday, November 39 a.m.-Saturday, November 45 p.m.
Procter Center
11235 State Rte. 38, London, OH 43140
Cost and Registration: $150 for OEFFA members, $175 for non-members. Price includes Friday night lodging and Friday breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and Saturday breakfast and lunch. Pre-registration is required by October 26 and space is limited to 35 participants. To register, click here.
This two-day intensive retreat will help seasoned vegetable farmers advance their earning potential and enhance their management plans to boost soil fertility and yield. Led by long-time organic farming expert Linda Halley, session topics for larger scale sustainable farms will include: growing transplants efficiently; planting from transplants and direct seeding; weed control; meeting demands of distributors, institutions, stores, restaurants, and cooperatives; and picking, washing, packing, cooling, storing, and delivering your products to maximize efficiency and freshness. Participants will also enjoy downtime with informal information sharing and networking on the Procter Center’s picturesque grounds

Download a pdf of the full series brochure.



Saturday, June 108 a.m.-1 p.m.
North Market Farmers' Market, Columbus, OH

Wednesday, June 143:30-6:30 p.m.
Franklin Park Conservatory Farmers' Market, Columbus, OH

Thursday, July 64-7 p.m.
Bexley Farmers' Market, Bexley, OH

Friday, July 73-7 p.m.
Franklinton Gardens Produce Stand, Columbus, OH

Tuesday, July 1110:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m.
Pearl Market, Columbus, OH

Friday, July 1411 a.m.-3 p.m.
Raisin Rack, Westerville, OH

Saturday, July 159 a.m.-12 p.m.
Clintonville Farmers' Market, Columbus, OH

Wednesday, July 193:30-6:30 p.m.
Franklin Park Conservatory Farmers' Market, Columbus, OH

Friday, July 216-9 p.m.
Keller Market House and Lancaster Art Walk, Lancaster, OH

Friday, August 410:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m.
Pearl Market, Columbus, OH

Saturday, August 58 a.m.-12 p.m.
Worthington Farmers' Market, Worthington, OH

Wednesday, August 163:30-6:30 p.m.
Franklin Park Conservatory Farmers' Market, Columbus, OH

Saturday, August 198 a.m.-1 p.m.
North Market Farmers' Market, Columbus, OH

Explore OEFFA’s Growing Right Oral History project during a stop on its tour of central Ohio farmers' markets and groceries! Oral historian Jess Lamar Reece Holler and others will be sharing oral history excerpts, photography, multimedia pieces, and print materials from OEFFA's grassroots oral history and media arts project on ecological farming in Ohio. Hear, see, and experience brand new fieldwork from our summer 2017 interviews and even some experimental sound art! Join us in listening deeply to the stories and places of Ohio's diverse ecological farmers and food systems movement-builders at the very venues where our food choices matter most.

This program is made possible, in part, by Ohio Humanities, a state affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities. Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this exhibition do not necessarily represent those of the National Endowment for the Humanities. The Columbus stops on this tour are made possible, in part, by the Greater Columbus Arts Council.

Download a pdf of the full series brochure.


Urban CSA Farm Tour
Saturday, June 245-7 p.m.
Urban Greens
241 Worth St., Cincinnati, OH 45226
Cost and Registration: The farm tour is free and open to the public and does not require pre-registration. Pre-registration is required for the dinner, which costs $20. To register, email info@urbangreensfresh.com with “Farm to Table” in the subject line.

CSU Cooperative Extension is the newest land-grant institution in Ohio. Their urban agriculture programs help educate small and nontraditional farmers and urban communities about urban agriculture practices. Urban Greens turns vacant properties into beautiful and bountiful gardens. They operate a half acre urban farm, which serves a community supported agriculture (CSA) program. They rely on an extensive network of like-minded farmers, who provide them with the best variety and quality. Tour this garden and small food hub, learn how they collaborate with their community, and stay for an optional farm-to-table meal. CSU Extension Agent Lisa Craig will be on site to describe their programs and Extension outreach, and to answer questions.

Diversified Urban Development Farm Tour
Friday, July 281-3 p.m.
New Harvest Café and Urban Arts Center
1675 Arlington Ave, Columbus, OH 43211

CSU Cooperative Extension realizes that urban agriculture has the power to bring communities together. Based in Columbus’ Linden neighborhood, this project reclaims vacant lots for natural areas and food production, engages youth in agriculture through an urban 4-H program, hosts a weekly farmers’ market, and provides space for contemporary artists. With the opening of the café, New Harvest became an unpretentious gathering place for the entire community to share their interests in gardening, the environment, and the arts, while enjoying authentic soul food sourced from nearby gardens. Join this tour to see garden sites, 4-H projects, the café, and the arts center, and learn about plans for constructing a fresh market and commercial kitchen facility, which will allow community members to develop value-added products. CSU Extension Agent Renita Porter will be on site to describe their programs and Extension outreach, and to answer questions.

Personal Food Security Workshop
Saturday, August 129 a.m.
CSU Dayton Auditorium
840 Germantown St., Dayton, OH 45403
Cost and Registration: $15. Price includes light refreshments. Pre-registration is required by August 4 and space is limited to 30 people. To register, click here.

Central State University Cooperative Extension's urban agriculture program, the Foodbank of Dayton, and Edgemont Community Center, as they present a practical, educational workshop on building personal food security and a resilient community food system. Learn about home-tested strategies for nutritional meal planning, food preservation, and use; explore viable models for organizing urban communities; and learn about support available for urban gardeners. As an added bonus, at 11:30 a.m., there will be a free tour of the Foodbank gardens, conveniently located right across the street! 

Urban Livestock Farm Tour
Saturday, September 212-3 p.m.
Glass City Goat Gals
329 Mentor Dr., Toledo, OH 43608
Registration: Pre-registration is required. To register, email glasscitygoatgals@gmail.com no later than August 26.

CSU Cooperative Extension believes that urban agriculture education can stimulate community development and revitalize cities. Mentor is a small historic city block in Toledo. Old dilapidated homes were an eyesore to neighbors, and attracted vandalism and arson. Elizabeth Harris saw an opportunity, and in August 2011, a dream was born. Glass City Goat Gals had a vision to take the abandoned cull-de-sac—once known as Murder Alley—and transform it into an urban farm with goats, growing plots, and a butterfly house. Tour this farm to learn how they worked with the city and community to create positive relationships and place-making in this neglected neighborhood. While in the area, visit the Toledo Farmers’ Market, open from 8 a.m.- 2 p.m., which is located less than one mile away.  CSU Extension Agent Brittany Jones will be on site to describe their programs and Extension outreach, and to answer questions.

Farm the City on Solid Legal Ground Workshop
Wednesday, September 204-7 p.m.
Cuyahoga County CSU Extension
5320 Stanard Ave., Cleveland, OH 44103
Cost and Registration: $15. Price includes light refreshments. Pre-registration is required by September 12 and space is limited to 25 people. To register, click here.

CSU Cooperative Extension specialist and experienced lawyer Ambrose Moses III will discuss the nuances and key considerations for building your farm’s legal framework, so you can grow with piece of mind. Urban farmers seeking to grow or start their businesses face many of the same legal issues as rural growers, while also encountering challenges unique to their urban location. Like other businesses, urban farmers should take care to form a legal structure that suits their goals, protects themselves and their assets from liability, and prepares for safe and legal labor management. There will be plenty of time for questions, so come prepared to articulate your biggest challenges.

Download a pdf of the full series brochure.

Photos (from top): Sweet Grass Dairy, henrY Leiter; Buckskin Valley Dairy, Julia Burnside; Curly Tail Organic Farm, Jess Lamar Reese Holler; Urban Greens

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