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Farm featured as part of the Ohio Sustainable Farm Tour and Workshop Series

Artisan Acres is part of the Green Field Farms cooperative, a group of small, local farms dedicated to sustainable agriculture. All of the Green Field Farms use only horses for farming and carefully monitor their soil to maintain optimal conditions.

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What could be better on a summer day than literally getting back to your roots with a tour of a local farm? The Ohio Ecological Food and Farm Association invites the public to do exactly that during this year's Sustainable Farm Tour Series.
 
The tour features 27 Ohio farms along with workshops and other special events. Included in the tour schedule is Artisan Acres, an organic farm in Wooster.
 
"[Artisan Acres] is a unique tour within the series," said Eric Pawlowski, a sustainable agriculture educator with OEFFA.
 
Artisan Acres is part of the Green Field Farms cooperative, a group of small, local farms dedicated to sustainable agriculture. All of the Green Field Farms use only horses for farming and carefully monitor their soil to maintain optimal conditions.
 
Raymond Yoder, Jr., a field coordinator with Green Field Farms, and his family own the 17-acre Artisan Acres. The organic farm provides vegetables and raw sauerkraut for Green Field.  
 
"I started working for Green Field in 2010," Yoder said. "In 2015 my wife, family and I purchased more ground and started growing roughly 12 acres of certified organic vegetables at home."
 
Having his own farm has given Yoder more insight into improving and maintaining soil conditions, not only on his farm, but also on all the other farms in the cooperative that he visits as a field coordinator.
 
"[Green Field Farms] takes soil samples and custom-blend organic soil nutrients for each individual field."
 
The Artisan Acres tour will go beyond providing insight into the day to day of sustainable farming. Part of the tour's unique focus will be on research. Ohio State University researchers will be available to discuss their current on-farm soil-balancing investigations and demonstrate collecting techniques. Farmers attending the tour will discover how they can participate in this ongoing research.
 
OEFFA, founded in 1979, has been conducting farm tours for nearly 40 years. The nonprofit group was started by a diverse group of gardeners, farmers and health-conscious individuals with the goal of promoting and creating sustainable farming and the availability of healthy food. The tours and workshops were developed to help the local farming community learn from each other and stay connected.
 
The Artisan Acres tour is open to everyone with an interest in local, sustainable, organic food, and Yoder welcomes the opportunity to share insight into the operation of a family farm.
 
"I think [people will] get a glimpse of where their food comes from [and] an understanding of some of the work that is required."
 
Visitors also will get a look at the facility where Artisan Acres processes certified organic raw sauerkraut. "I think a nonfarmer would be fascinated," Yoder said. "I'm always open to sharing information to encourage people to look at and learn about the organic way of farming. We have a lot of farmers that are not grasping that it doesn't work to take a jug of poison off the shelf and apply it to the soil and not expect a detrimental effect on the body."
 
Individuals interested in local and organic agriculture are invited to become a member of OEFFA as the organization works to cultivate a system of agriculture that is kind and nurturing to communities, the environment and the individual. Membership includes admission to the OEFFA annual conference, which is the largest sustainable farm and food event in Ohio.
 
For more information about OEFFA and the 2017 Ohio Sustainable Farm Tour and Workshop Series, visit policy.oeffa.org/farmtours2017.
 
For information about farm participation in the Ohio State University’s Organic Food and Farming Education Research Program, visit www.organicfarmingresearchnetwork.org.ohio-state.edu.
 
Tour Artisan Acres for free on Tuesday, June 20 at 9 a.m., rain or shine, at 6996 S. Honeytown Road, Wooster. For more information call 330-263-0246.
 
OEFFA shares these guidelines and suggestions for participating in their farm tours:
 
Guests should dress appropriately: hats, sunglasses, long pants, closed-toe walking shoes and sunscreen are recommended. Tours involve standing and moderate walking; visitors with physical limitations or other concerns should contact the tour host in advance. For everyone's safety, guests should keep children with them at all times. Do not bring pets to the tours.
 

Published: June 8, 2017
New Article ID: 2017170609965