New farms to open in Cuyahoga Valley National Park

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New farms within the Cuyahoga Valley National Park include Oxbow Orchards and Purplebrown Farmstead.

PENINSULA, Ohio — The Cuyahoga Valley National Park is planning to lease the two farmsteads historically known as the Edgar Farm and the Schmidt Foster Farm.

The old Edgar Farm, located on Canal Road in Valley View, will be operated by Beth Lomske and Kyla Werlin as Oxbow Orchard. Lomske and Werlin will be moving onto the farm.

Lomske has worked on certified organic vegetable and livestock operations in northeast Ohio, and as agriculture assistant at Hale Farm & Village. She’s currently rounding out a third season as manager of Green Corps’ Midtown Urban Learning Farm, a program of Cleveland Botanical Garden. The past several years, Werlin has worked with adults with disabilities on urban farms and gardens around Cuyahoga County.

The Schmidt Foster Farm on Hines Hill Road in Boston Heights will become Purplebrown Farmstead, operated by Sasha and James Miller. Sasha Miller completed her master’s of public administration at Cleveland State University, and completed her permaculture certification with Midwest Permaculture. James Miller graduated from the University of Akron’s business school.

About the program

Countryside Conservancy launched the Countryside Initiative program in 1999 in partnership with Cuyahoga Valley National Park to preserve the rural landscape in the Cuyahoga Valley.

The conservancy identifies old farmsteads suitable for current use, which are then rehabilitated by CVNP. After a competitive application process, a farmer is awarded a long-term lease of a proposed site. The farms are expected to be managed with sustainable farming practices, and the farmers are required to welcome park visitors.

For more information about Ox Bow Orchard, Purplebrown Farmstead, and the other Countryside Initiative farms, visit cvcountryside.org.

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