April 2015 Profiles
One of the latest trends in food is the concept of eating local, or buying food from nearby sources. With about 74,000 farms in the Buckeye State, Ohioans who want to eat local have a great selection to choose from. Agriculture is Ohio’s largest industry, and this April, we are profiling some of the companies that make Ohio one of the nation’s leaders in agriculture. This month’s companies even include two farms with the Ohio Century Farms designation, a program through the Ohio Department of Agriculture that is awarded to families who have owned the same farm for at least 100 consecutive years.
Green City Growers Cooperative is a 3.25-acre hydroponic greenhouse that produces 3 million heads of lettuce annually right in Cleveland. Michael Farms has grown to be one of the largest vegetable farms in the state with 2,500 acres, supplying vegetables to retail grocers. The Farm on Kenyon Road, LLC first began as a way to provide for their family and has grown to providing for the local community through a farm market and Community Supported Agriculture program. A fifth generation Ohio Century Farm, Stacy Family Farm, LLC, has recently expanded their u-pick strawberries and now includes blueberries and blackberries as well as continuing to host about 2,000 young children on the farm for field trips. An Ohio Century Farm that has been single family owned since 1855, Carriage House Farm, supplies a range of regional buyers from Whole Foods to small mom and pop type delis, butchers, and groceries as well as offerings at local farmers markets. Ohio’s largest blueberry farm, The Blueberry Patch, has more than 27,000 plants in production and has expanded their business to include u-pick blueberries, a greenhouse, winery and café. Luckey Farmers Inc., established in 1919, serves approximately 2000 members in Northwest Ohio with grain marketing, plant food, seed, feed and more. Bluescreek Farm Meats is a family farm that raises their own cattle, lambs, hogs and goats and with 22 years of butchering experience they pride themselves on offering top quality meats at their downtown Columbus shop. The Spicy Lamb Farm in Peninsula not only raises sheep but also duck along with organic apples, pears, and plums as well as welcoming visitors for annual events such as the Cuyahoga Valley Sheep Dog Trials in October.
These nine companies are just some of the many farms across our state that have earned Ohio its place among our nation’s leaders in agriculture. Because of the work of farms like these, our state is a little greener and the food on our tables doesn’t have to travel so far.