A vendor with Countryside Farmers' Market since 2005.
Farmland: 20 acres, 3 acres mixed vegetables, 1 season-extension high tunnel, 1 heated greenhouse for plant starts.
People: Dave, Lori, Kristina, Kurt Benchoff - Proprietors; Bala Fodor, Rose Sepsey - Field Hands.
Products: Certified Organic mixed vegetables including heirloom tomatoes, squashes, cucumbers, peas, onions, leeks, lettuce, kohlrabi, root crops, potatoes, kale, chard, winter squashes and garlic.
Certifications: OEFFA Certified Organic
Farm History: In 1999, at the age of 40, we made a lifestyle change and moved to our 20 acres and began building our produce farm from scratch. In 2003, we became certified organic and have expanded our production incrementally during the last 11 years, adding a greenhouse in 2007 and a high tunnel in 2010.
Soil: Clay/Cardington Silt Loam which has been enhanced for over a decade with compost and other organic matter.
Water: Drip irrigation from the house well. The well is tested on a regular basis by the Ashland County Health Dept.
Weed Control: Weeds are controlled by a combination strategy of manual control, plastic mulch, and mulching with copious amounts of grass clippings (the by-product of mowing @ 5 acres). Fall/winter cover-cropping also reduces weeds. Most planting is done using transplants from our heated greenhouse. The seedlings with established root systems are less hampered by weed competition. This also enables succession planting through the season.
Pest Control: Manual control in addition to promoting natural predators for insects (ie. bird houses).
Fun Fact: This has been an adventure in learning from the “School of Hard Knocks". We are continuously fooled into thinking that we have this thing figured out, but nature seems to think up new ways to keep us confused each year and there's never a dull moment with our erratic weather patterns in Ohio.