COLUMBUS - Five Seneca County farms are included in the new Good Earth Guide to Organic and Ecological Farms and Gardens, published by the Ohio Ecological Food & Farm Association.
The guide includes information on more than 300 farms and businesses that sell directly to the public. Local farms included are Clover Meadows Farm, Seeds of Hope Farm and Moyer Brothers, all of Tiffin; R Farms, Alvada; and Berlekamp Farms Inc., Green Springs.
It includes sources for locally grown vegetables; fruits; herbs; honey; maple syrup; dairy products; grass-fed beef, pork, and lamb; free-range chicken and eggs; flour and grains; cut flowers; bedding plants; hay and straw; seed and feed, and other local farm products.
"Since we started publishing the Good Earth Guide in 1990, it's grown from a list of a dozen or so farms to more than 310, reflecting the tremendous growth in demand for locally-sourced and sustainably produced foods," said OEFFA Executive Director Carol Goland.
The guide aids consumers interested in buying wholesome, local, ecologically-produced food, and helps ensure the future of Ohio's farmers by helping to increase public awareness of the food being grown in their community.
"You can find just about anything you'd want being made right here in Ohio. By offering this guide, we hope to help Ohioans make the connections they need to find quality local foods, and to help ensure the future of a vibrant sustainable food system," Goland said.
Each farm listing includes name and contact information, products sold, a farm description, whether the farm is certified organic, and where their products are sold. Both the print and online versions include tools that make it easy to search the listings for a specific product, farm, or farmer, by county, or by sales method.
"The Good Earth Guide helps provide a blueprint for consumers interested in eating locally and in-season. Eating locally allows consumers to get to know who raises the food they eat, and to find out how it was produced. It keeps produce from traveling far distances, allowing it to be picked and sold ripe and full of flavor and nutrition. Buying locally and directly from the farmer also helps keep our "food dollars" in the local economy, which in turn helps to preserve Ohio's vanishing small farm families, farmland, and traditions," Goland said.
The Good Earth Guide is available free in an online searchable database at www.oeffa.org.