HIRAM, Ohio — Innovative Farmers of Ohio is hosting six family-friendly farm tours this summer featuring entrepreneurial farmers who are using sustainable production methods and a variety of marketing techniques to deliver their products to neighboring consumers.
The tours are designed with both farmers and consumers in mind, as well as policy makers, planners, and anyone interested in the future of farming in Ohio.
The tours are free and no reservations are required, but guests should arrive on time to receive the guided tour.
• June 25, 2-4 p.m. — Riehm Farms, www.funacres.net, 7244 N. state Route 53, Tiffin, OH 44883. Phone, 419-992-4392.
John Riehm uses greenhouses, high and low tunnels for early production of a large assortment of vegetables that are grown without chemicals. By the tour date, John will be harvesting a second crop for an-on farm market, six farmers markets and a CSA with more than 100 members.
Riehm Farms raises about 15 acres of vegetables and sells to about 15 grocery stores during the height of the season. They farm a total of 300 acres.
• July 26, 6:30-8 p.m. — Andy Miller Farm (Geauga Family Farm), 17201 Bundysburg Road, Middlefield, OH 44062.
Andy and Laura Miller run a certified organic farm, specializing in high-quality produce. Their farm includes poultry, dairy cows and horses, as well as facilities for making maple syrup. Andy Miller is currently the board president of the cooperative Community Supported Agriculture that includes nine family farmers.
This is an Amish farm. Guests should respect the Amish traditions and refrain from taking photographs of the farmers and their families.
• Aug. 7, 2-4 p.m. — Swainway Urban Farm, www.swainway.com, 285 Canyon Drive, Columbus, OH 43214. Phone 614-557-8902.
Joseph Swain operates a certified organic urban farm located in the heart of Columbus. On a sub-acre plot he intensively grows a variety of vegetables, herbs, mushrooms, specialty crops, and seedlings. The farm’s mission is to provide fresh, highly nutritious, sustainable food.
Swainway offers on-site consulting services to those interested in developing urban gardens and is currently developing programs geared toward children and the benefits of growing produce locally.
• Aug. 21, 11 a.m.-1 p.m. — Red Basket Farm, www.redbasketfarm.com, 6311 Mayburn Barclay Road, Kinsman, OH 44428. Phone, 330-876-9118.
Since 2002, Floyd Davis has been known locally for his gourmet sweet corn varieties. The Red Basket Farm grows several acres of sweet corn and as many as 70 different varieties of vegetables on about 20 acres.
The farm follows sustainable and natural farming practices, including the use of cover crops, crop rotations, compost and organic fertilizers. Most of the farm’s products are raised herbicide and pesticide free and are picked at the peak of flavor.
• Aug. 21, 2- 4 p.m. — Miller Livestock, www.millergrassfed.com, 9590 Kinsman-Pymatuning Road, Kinsman, OH 44428. Phone, 330-876-5655.
Attendees will learn about Miller’s sustainable meat production methods. Miller Livestock raises grass-fed beef and lamb, pastured pork and pastured-raised chicken and turkeys without chemicals, antibiotics or hormones.
• Sept. 18, 1-4 p.m. — Ann’s Raspberry Farm and Specialty Crops, www.annsraspberryfarm.com, 6645 Blair Road, Fredericktown, OH 43019. Phone, 740-694-1939.
Entering its seventh year, Ann’s Raspberry Farm & Specialty Crops specializes in chemical-free red raspberries, Brussels sprouts, onions and peppers grown on a 5 acre-farm in open fields and under high tunnel.
The farm is Certified Naturally Grown. Owners are Daniel and Ann Trudel. Their fresh harvest can be found at six farmers markets throughout the Columbus area and also supplies local colleges and CSA. A significant portion of their harvest is used daily to produce product such as artisan jam, jelly, relish, and mustard. Product sampling will be available after the tour.