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Cultivating Vegetable Expertise in Ohio

What's new in Ohio in 2024? Well, last year FairShare received a two-year Ohio Specialty Crop Block Grant! This grant will help connect the diversified vegetable growers in our network with opportunities to work with wholesale buyers, as well as improving vegetable production skills.

The project includes coordinating three separate day-long workshops, the first of which was held last month on February 15 as part of Ohio Ecological Food and Farm Association's (OEFFA) pre-conference Food and Farm school. These workshops replicate FairShare / UW-Madison Extension's Organic Vegetable Production Conference style of grower-to-grower vegetable production education for Ohioans who may not be able to travel to Wisconsin to experience it first-hand.

The February workshop focused on cabbage and cucumber production, and connected growers with Ohio CAN - Ohio’s Local Food Purchase Agreement program. Additionally, there was a review of on-farm food safety practices.

Food safety presentation
Dr. Beth Scheckelhoff with Ohio State's produce safety team, discussing on-farm food safety plans

We heard from six growers in total, two of which traveled from Wisconsin to present at each of the sessions.  We were lucky to work with Laura Mortimore of Orange Cat Community Farm and Steven Shoemaker of Steadfast Acres, as well as Ohio growers Kristy Buskirk of Clay Hill Produce and Flowers; Adam Welly of Wayward Seed Farm; Andy Hupp of Three Creeks Produce; and Ben Jackle of Mile Creek Farm.

Cabbage presentation
Steven Shoemaker of Steadfast Acres, discussing cabbage production

Looking forward to our next iteration of the workshop, we’ll be hosting an event in Wooster, Ohio in early November and will be focusing on onion and carrot production. In the meantime we’re also scheduling farm tours and wholesale site tours for July and August!


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