Our farmers and producers are where this all starts. We work with over 100 Ohio farmers and producers to bring together our weekly share of high-quality food for our 3,000+ families. Many farmers have been a supplier for 10+ years and every year we find new farmers/producers to partner with to keep up with demand and product variety. Our community is thoughtful, inspiring, and meticulous about the food they produce. Get to know our community by exploring our farmers and producers. We'll link to as many farmers/producers as we can, although most of our farmers do not have websites (yes, no website even in 2020, but that's because they are prioritizing their time growing crops and making products!).
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A Fresh Fork Family Farm
Located in Holmes County, our very own Trevor Clatterbuck has recently added "farmer" to his title. In 2015, Trevor started working with the farm (which was previously managed by another farmer/owner) to source a variety of products -- organically raised produce, pasture raised meats, baked goods made with wheat flour & local grains and canned goods (processed on-site and made with local ingredients). The team that started farming at WVF was motivated and ready to expand. Overtime, Fresh Fork became the largest customer for the farm. As Fresh Forks business continued to grow, Trevor saw the trend/demand for more pasture raised meats.
This is where Trevor adds "Farmer" to his list of titles. To guarantee that the livestock would be raised and reserved for Fresh Fork, Trevor purchased several grower animals and started helping to invest in property improvements like fencing and farrowing barns for the animals. At the same time, the owner of the property was interested in selling the land to someone who would help make sure the farm continued. After a few years of a lease-to-own deal, Trevor purchased 88 of the 200 acres of the farm. At this time, the expansion & growth of the livestock program began. New structures were created for improved pig farrowing -- a place for the sow & her piglets to be safe from the external conditions while the piglets grew big & strong enough to be weaned. Once the pigs had been weaned and healthy, they moved to outdoor pastures where they can root around for root crops, bugs and so much more. The amount of fencing that's been put in since 2015 is significant. Pigs can root through pretty much anything! A peep shack was also built for the expansive pasture raised chicken (broiler) program. For 4-6 weeks, the little peeps grow in what starts out as a 95 degree sheltered building while they get strong enough to regulate their own temperature. After that, the chickens are moved to organically treated pastures under shade wagons or in "chicken tractors". The chickens are then moved to a new piece of grass everyday for the next 8 weeks. And finally, the grassfed beef program (start-to-finish grass only) has evolved and become more precise over time. 3 fields have become completely dedicated to grazing for the beef. The beef are moved several times each day to a new patch of grass. With these 3 fields, it gives the grass enough time to grow back after grazing for a continuous rotation.
The on-site commercial kitchen was also impressive to Trevor. A place where the products produced are not only made locally, but also have locally grown product included in each recipe. Most recipes have 100% locally sourced products. Not to mention, all the ingredients are ingredients you can find in your own kitchen -- no unnecessary stabilizers, preservatives or fillers. The farm kitchen has also evolved and produces are a variety of products that have been Fresh Fork Favorites -- seasonal fruit pies, buttercream sugar cookies, whole wheat breads & crackers, pepper butter, a line of salsas & hot sauces, canned fruits, seasonal jams and grape cider.
As for the produce, Wholesome Valley Farm is transitional organic. Meaning they are using all organic farming practices (this also includes the pastures for the livestock) to receive their organic certification. The produce team partners with local vendors that provide organic fertilizers to boost the overall health of the soil + nutrients in the produce as it's growing. Organic produce comes with it's challenges to bug defense and every year we work on improving this. Some of our favorite products include: leaf lettuce (pretty much all season long), tomatoes (so many tomatoes -- romas, heirlooms, cherries), peppers, and potatoes.
We are fortunate to have this farm as part of our family of companies. Trevor has learned so much more about farming, good growing/raising practices and how to be sustainable by actually being "the farmer". This is as direct the saying "farm-to-table" can get!
Levi is a certified organic farmer located in Apple Creek. He and his daughter Emma are in charge of the 30-acre produce farm. Emma is one of the strongest 15-year-olds we have ever seen. She's a go-getter and full of hustle. She even helped us at the farm to harvest potatoes, and she was the quickest on her feet! John & Emma provided us with beautiful red potatoes for multiple weeks in the shares, as well as yukon golds and beets. Their beet greens were some of the best we have ever seen.
David has been with us since the start (2009). As a Swartzentruber Amish, David has more limitations than most of our farmers. This means no phone what-so-ever and not even a loading dock. As Fresh Fork has grown, we've worked with David to adapt our business to his religion. For example, we don't like to hand load 3,000 watermelons on a truck, so we ask David to grow lighter things like heirloom tomatoes, collards, rutabagas, and sweet potatoes. David is one of the most resourceful and reliable guys we work with and even supplies us all winter out of his root cellar.
Is our main supplier of corn, supplying approximately 6,000 - 8,000 ears of corn per week when corn is at its peak. Not only is his corn supplied fresh in the shares, but he also grows the corn for us that we process for freezing. While sweet corn is easy to find in Ohio, certified organic is not. Most sweet corn is heavily sprayed to relieve it of bug pressure. We work with Jonas to ensure that our corn is not sprayed and grown only in accordance with organic standards.
is one our longest standing farmers. We have worked with Eli since year 1. Located in Fredericksburg, Eli & his brother bought the family farm. His farm is pristine (I swear there's never a weed in between the rows when I visit), and he's able to grow large quantities for us. He's also helped us with various substitutes along the way when we're in a pinch. Some of our favorite products to get from Eli include broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage and kohlrabi.
Morning Glory Produce
Joined us in 2020. Trevor met him in Millersburg at the local Farmers Market that he had attended as Wholesome Valley Farm. Joseph is also certified organic and our first product from his was some of the large leaf swiss chard. He has also supplied us with green peppers, eggplant and spaghetti squash. John and his family farm 8 acres and most enjoy growing strawberries in June.
Was our main supplier for the beautiful lacinato kale, red russian kale & green curly kale that was consistently available for special orders in 2020. He has a small team - he & his wife plus 5 field workers - that have 12 acres of certified organic fields. They are expanding their products for us in the future -- growing beans, zucchini, beets, red peppers & Brussels sprouts.
Green City Growers
A 3.25 acre hydroponic greenhouse that supplies us with a variety of lettuces mostly during the winter season. Their greenhouse can produce 3 million heads of lettuce each year. Located in Cleveland.
The Oravets family is the 5th generation to farm their land in Kent, OH. When Rebecca & John took over the farm, they knew they wanted to bring cows back to the land. There is no better way to constantly improve the fertility of farmland while also providing steady, year-round work & income than dairying. However, it's not easy to made a go of it as a small dairy farmer. The Oravets turned to cheesemaking as a way to make the farm profitable. Their raw milk cheeses are made with the milk from their herd of Ayrshire cows. All cheeses are aged of beechwood boards (cut from their own woods) and have an earthy, edible natural rind, whether it be clothbound or brine washed.
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