Here's a little bit about us:
Purchasing our home and farm property in 1997 from a developer, our intentions were to keep the property as it had been for the past century. Farmland. It had not been worked in years and we just wanted to enjoy it. With the help of the OSU extension, attending classes and participating in the Master Garden program we started what was to be our Hobby farm.
This is the beginning:
We bought a few Black Angus Steer, purchased some chickens, planted the field with hay, pasture grass and of course a garden. Our 3 children joined the 4-H program in our county. They started with raising rabbits. Then turkeys, chickens, and show steers. This was a whole new ball game for everyone... We lived in the city. We had a beautiful home, lots of acreage, loved the outdoors and always had a nice garden. We were close to everything. Around the corner back home meant 5 minutes, around the corner here, could mean half an hour. It was a change... Ask the kids...
We were on our way. We were learning hands-on each day and it was rewarding. What an adventure! By the following year we were planting sweet corn, pumpkins, gourds and our vegetable garden had grown in size. We put up a roadside stand because of our abundant crop and started selling our farm fresh produce. This was working out great and the hobby farm was starting to turn into much more.... Work !!!
We became more involved with farming each day and every year we were expanding, trying something new, either new products, varieties or techniques, and we were totally consumed. Our winter free time is spent on anything related to the farm, reading, attending classes, seminars, etc...
We have built a market that is open seasonally. We recently installed two hydroponic greenhouses which are really innovative and efficient ways to grow. One has Cucumbers and Vegetables in it and the other large heated greenhouse provides us with produce, specifically a lot of tomatoes, and greens. This was a real challenge from the conventional way of growing but, what fun!! See hydroponics.
We have also added 4 high tunnel greenhouses. The weather has continuously not cooperated with us, so the greenhouses allow us to extend our growing season on a variety of crops. These high tunnels allow us to control the rain and warmth a little bit better, being under plastic. And if you are unfamiliar, these plants are still in soil, too! Conventional greenhouse produced veggies from the grocery store give this method of growing a bad rap! If you plant and tend to high quality seeds, and pick them vine ripened, you cannot taste a difference!
We now have about 15 head Pure Black Angus cattle. Our cattle are free range, pasture grazed and bred by us. We like having something different in the back pasture, so in the past we've raised a Texas Longhorn and a couple Buffalo. What a learning experience this has been. Chickens, well lets just say, free range hens love to lay their eggs in peculiar places! Gathering several hundred brown eggs a day is plenty of yolk for us.
In more recent news, in 2013 we purchased a pizza shop and have a "farm to table" restaurant just 2 miles down the road from our farm at 11782 E. Washington Street. For more info, click here.
Check out a recent article about the farm in Our Ohio.
Around the Farm:
Without the help of my wife and children none of these things would have been possible. We have grown, not only in size, but in many ways. We have learned a lot along this path and we have a greater respect for the farmer, the land and what they do for all of us.p.s. If you ate a good meal today, thank a farmer !!!
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