Consumers are demanding ‘fresh from the farm,’ creating endless possibilities


MARIETTA, Ohio — Locally grown foods are becoming the new ‘in’ things for consumers all over the U.S. Demand for ‘fresh from the farm’ is growing by leaps and bounds, as more and more consumers worry about health issues.

With all of this consumer interest — what can farmers do to sell locally grown products to meet these needs? They can start a new crop on the farm — whether it’s meat goats, greenhouse plants, berries or vegetables.

OSU Extension in Washington County is sponsoring the 2010 Mid-Ohio Valley Agriculture Opportunities Conference from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. March 27 at Washington State Community College in Marietta.

The keynote presentation will feature Joe Kovach, who set out to gross $10 per row foot on his research plots in Wooster, Ohio. This is equal to a robust $90,000 per acre, in his innovative farm plots of mixed fruits and vegetables.

So far, based on the crops that he has in production, the Ohio State University scientist has achieved exactly that.

An ecological pest management expert, Kovach is nearly complete with his six-year study of four types of polyculture modules plots with a mix of such high-value crops as snap peas, green beans, blueberries, raspberries, strawberries, tomatoes and edamame, or edible soybeans.

His presentation will be, “How to gross $90,000 per acre on your farm.”

After the main session — participants can find many sessions which will help them find their niche in the new agricultural economy, and can choose from presentations on livestock, fruit, vegetables, plants, grants, marketing and management.

There will an afternoon general session, “The Natural Greenhouse: Growing plants and food for profit,” by Gini Coover, of Shade, Ohio.

Coover has written her own book about her experiences with growing and marketing locally grown foods.

Registration is $30 and includes lunch along with a conference proceedings with details from all presentations from the entire conference.

A registration form can be found at: under “Ag Opportunities Conference” or call the Extension office at 740-376-7431.


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