Are you my local farmer?
Do you know where your food comes from? Many consumers don’t stop to think about where their food originated as they load their shopping cart at the grocery store. As part of Ohio Ecological Food & Farm Association’s (OEFFA) mission to bring farmers and consumers together, for the past 35 years, the organization has organized an annual series of free public farm tours, featuring ecological farms and businesses. Thanks to your donations these tours--which draw more than 2,000 people annually--provide 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.
OEFFA holds these tours because consumer demand for fresh, locally produced food and farm products continues to grow, along with the desire to understand how food gets from the field to the dinner table. During the tours, farmers share their knowledge and provide insights into how sustainably produced food is grown. The more consumers know about how their food is grown, the better prepared they are to make informed choices about who to support with their food dollars.
In 2015, OEFFA sponsored 15 tours, nine workshops, a one-day Women Grow Ohio event, and a farm-to-table dinner. OEFFA also partnered with the Ohio State University Sustainable Agriculture Team and the Clintonville Farmers’ Market, who sponsored additional tours which were jointly promoted.
This year the series features 32 farm tours and 10 educational workshops, offered in partnership with The Ohio State University Extension Sustainable Agriculture Team, Advancing Eco Agriculture, Ashtabula Local Food Council, Columbus Agrarian Society, and Our Harvest Research and Education Institute.
These diverse tours are held throughout the state and cover such topics as pastured poultry, dairy processing, flower farming, organic vegetable production, organic dairying, grain and alfalfa production, value-added products, organic weed management, pastured lamb, willow production, draft horse-powered farming, and more.
The tours are also designed to help farmers and gardeners learn from each other so they can improve their production and marketing techniques and grow their operations. OEFFA offers educational workshops and webinars for farmers throughout the year, but this tour series offers farmers and gardeners a unique learning opportunity by being able to see first-hand how other farmers are incorporating sustainable agricultural methods on their land, ask questions of each other, and take home information that they can put to use on their own farms.
Connect consumers to the local farmers, gardners, and nature providing local, organic food by donating $20 a month to OEFFA