Ohio Fruit Growers Summer tour targets just one farm

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COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Ohio Fruit Growers Society and the Patterson family of Chesterland, Ohio will host the 2001 Fruit Growers Summer Tour at the Patterson Fruit Farm on June 30.

Patterson farm is a sixth generation fruit farm growing 45 acres of apples and strawberries. They have a farm market with a bakery and gift room, pick-your-own apples and strawberries, a seven-week Family Fun Fest in the fall, and a wholesale cider business.

Apple growers, berry growers and direct agricultural marketers are all expected to benefit from the program.

At the farm, participants will take a horse drawn wagon ride to the Fun Fest area. This area will include demonstrations on scarecrow making, and on pumpkin painting and maze building. The area also includes play carts and pedal tractors, and there will be an opportunity to tour the treehouse and woods play area.

Orchard program.

The Fruit Growers tour will also include an educational tour of the orchard, including IPM programs, pick-your-own with strawberries and apples, apple and strawberry production, wildlife management, and crowd control.

Presenters will include Erik Draper, Geauga County extension horticulture agent; Sandy Kuhn, berry coordinator; Ted Gastier, Huron County extension agriculture agent; and Bob Jenant from the Ohio division of wildlife. Reno Reda and Wayne Sperry will represent Patterson Fruit Farm.

Market program.

At the Patterson Farm Market, participants will tour the bakery, cider operation, packing and cold storage, review Patterson’s cider HAACP program, and look over the family golf course.

There will be farm market vendors with sampling and comparisons. In addition, Pattersons will also show how they give school tours.

Other exhibitors will also be located at the farm.

A short program, starting at 1 p.m., will include a presentation by the Patterson family and industry updates from the Ohio Department of Agriculture, The Ohio State University, and OFGS.

Farm/orchard tours begin at 8 a.m. with buses running to and from the farm market at 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Other features:

Bonus seminars include:

* A Lake Farmpark tour on good management practices with petting zoos, available for up to 20 people for an additional $10 per person, at 2:30-4:30 p.m.;

* “Discover Your Path To Entertainment Farming Through Mazes,” presented by Hugh McPherson of Maize Quest in Pennsylvania, available for up to 30 people at $10 per person, 2:15-4:15 p.m. near the Fun Fest area;

* An introduction to cut-your-own Christmas Trees presented by Ramon Battles with Tower-N-Pines, located next door to Patterson Fruit Farm, 2:15-4:15 p.m.

Preregistration for the Maze and Lake Farmpark interactive seminars is requested .

The registration fee for the Summer Tour is is $10 per person and $15 per family for OFGS members, and $15 per person and $20 per family for non-members.

Registration will be at the farm on the day of the tour. Participants may join OFGS that day. The farm is located at at 8765 Mulberry Road, Chesterland.

For further information contact OFGS at 614-249-2424, or by e-mail at growohio@ofbf.org.

Patterson Fruit Farm is on the Web at www.pattersonfarm.com.

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