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 Renee Hunt OEFFA Program Director .
Each listing includes name and contact information, products sold, a farm or business description, and whether the farm or business is certified organic. Both the print and online versions include tools that make it easy to search the listings for a specific product, farm/business or farmer/contact, by county, or by sales method. Additionally, the online version includes locations and maps for where the many farm and business products are sold.
“The purpose of the Good Earth Guide is making connections — connecting consumers to local farms and businesses so that their dollars support wholesome food and sustainable products. Connecting farmers with other farmers so they can network and develop business relationships that support a successful farming community. And, connecting businesses and farmers who are building the links in the local food system chain that brings food from the field to a finished product available to consumers,” Hunt said.
The Good Earth Guide is available free to the public in an easy to use online searchable database and as a downloadable pdf at http://www.oeffa.org/search-geg.php. Print copies are distributed free to OEFFA members and are available to non-members for $10 each at http://www.oeffa.org/oeffastore.php.
“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,” Hunt said.