Ohio’s Organic and Sustainable Food Operations

A “Snapshot” of Ohio’s Organic and Sustainable Food Operations - From Public News Service COLUMBUS, Ohio - Going organic has never been more popular, and in Ohio, conscientious eaters have a newly updated resource to help them find fresh and organic foods. The Good Earth Guide published by the Ohio Ecological Food and Farm Association identifies sources for locally grown vegetables, fruits, dairy, meats, flour and many other Ohio farm products. Guy Ashmore's family farm in Clinton County has been featured in the guide for years, he says. "The guide offers a nice cross-section of the state; readers can see what's going on from southwest to northwest Ohio, down to the southeast. It's really diverse and really gives everybody a good snapshot of what is being grown sustainably and organically in Ohio." Renee Hunt, program director with the Ohio Ecological Food and Farm Association, says eating locally allows consumers to get to know who raises the food they consume and to find out how it was produced. Her group offers the guide as a way to ensure the future of a vibrant and sustainable food system, she explains. "As a reflection of the networking and the efforts made by conscientious and ecological Ohio farmers over the years to branch out and teach each other, the public demand for fresh, local foods has just grown." Ashmore adds that buying locally and directly from the farmer is important for the economies of Ohio's rural communities. "Of every dollar that is spent locally, generally about 67 percent stays in that local community. What it does is encourage job growth. This year, we were able to get a couple of interns on our farm, thanks to consumers spending money locally." Since the Good Earth Guide was first published in 1990, its coverage has grown from about a dozen farms to more than 315. Each farm listing includes name and contact information, products sold, a farm description and whether the farm is certified organic. The guide is available in print and online at www.oeffa.org.

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