Rain halts thoughts of ‘tractor time’


Well, last week didn’t turn out as planned! I had taken five days off, thinking I’d get the corn side-dressed and spend some time mowing grass. I did, finally, get the grass mowed; finished the barnyard on Wednesday, just in time to start again! Unfortunately, that rain last weekend stopped all thought of “tractor time.” We’ll have to find another, drier window!

The 2015 Ohio Sustainable Farm Tour and Workshop Series begins! This annual series of public tours features 30 organic and ecological farms and businesses in Ohio and Michigan, providing unique opportunities for farmers, educators, and conscientious eaters to learn about sustainable agriculture and local foods on the farm from growers and producers with years of practical experience. There are tours and workshops from now through mid-October. This year’s June events are (mostly) in western Ohio.

This Saturday, June 13, there is a Dairy Goats and Soaps Tour in Clermont county: You can visit Pine Lane Farm to see Martha Fix’s herd of registered Saanen and Toggenburg dairy goats, try showing and milking, learn about cold process soapmaking, and see finished goat-milk body care products including soaps and lotions. This tour is part of the Ohio Women in Agriculture Leadership Network.

In Franklin county on Sunday, June 28, you can visit Sunny Meadows Flower Farm’s Open House. This seven acre urban flower farm specializes in mixed cut flower bouquets for local farmers’ markets, grocery stores, florists, weddings, special events, and for sale at their recently opened on-site retail farm stand.

Additionally, the series includes a one-day Women Grow Ohio event celebrating women in agriculture, and a tour of a university research center showcasing the results of new sustainable agriculture research. This year’s series also includes 10 educational workshops on farm machinery, solar energy, dairy herd health, hops production, smallplot market farming, urban agriculture, poultry processing, and living garden structures, along with a farm-to-table benefit dinner.

Some of the workshops in June include a five-day Solar Electric Workshop (Franklin county, June 15-19), a Small-Plot Market Farming Master Class in Hamilton county (June 21), and an Urban Agriculture Workshop in Montgomery county (June 28). There are costs and/or pre-registration required for these workshops.

This series of tours and workshops is presented by the Ohio Ecological Food and Farm Association (OEFFA), the OSU Extension Sustainable Agriculture Team, and the Clintonville Farmers’ Market. We should have the full brochures for this series of events in the office later this week. Stop by to see where you might want to spend a “get-away day/weekend!”