Ohio summers are a time to enjoy the bounty of fresh garden vegetables, ripe berries, farm-fresh eggs and orchard harvests bursting with juicy flavor. The Good Earth Guide to Organic and Ecological Farms, Gardens and Related Businesses produced 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 450 farms and businesses, including 193 certified organic farms and businesses and more than 100 community supported agriculture (CSA) programs.
"Since the first Good Earth Guide in 1990, the directory has grown from a list of a dozen or so to 450 farms and businesses, reflecting the tremendous growth in locally sourced and sustainably produced foods, fibers, products and services," said OEFFA program director Renee Hunt.
The searchable online 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.
"The Good Earth Guide gives consumers out there a one-stop shop to find not only vegetable growers, but people who are raising poultry and beef, and a whole range of products that are close to them and grown and raised organically," said certified organic farmer Jake Trethewey of Maplestar Farm in Geauga County.
Each listing includes the name and contact information, products sold, a farm or business description, and whether the farm or business is certified organic. Many listings also include locations and maps for where the farm or business products are sold. The directory includes tools that make it easy to search the listings for a specific product, business or contact, by county, or by sales method.
"One of the other primary benefits of the Good Earth Guide is that it helps growers get together with other growers, finding out what worked for them, and passing on ideas, techniques, and products that work for you to other growers," Trethewey said.
That's the purpose of the Good Earth Guide, said Hunt--making connections. "Connecting consumers to local farms and businesses so that their dollars support the local community and sustainably grown food and farm products. Connecting farmers with one another so they can network and develop business relationships that support a successful farming community. And connecting businesses with farmers who can supply local food for restaurants and other retailers," concluded Hunt.
The Good Earth Guide is available free to the public in an easy-to-use searchable online database at http://www.oeffa.org/search-geg.php