Local Food Fest ~ A Homegrown Gathering in Peninsula

2012 07 07_6993_edited-1Sunday, August 4th 2013, join us as we celebrate the 1st annual Local Food Fest – A Homegrown Gathering in Peninsula, Ohio. The Cuyahoga River Valley has a rich history of agriculture, and small farms have been providing nearby communities with food for over a century; this is still true today.

On Sunday you will have an opportunity to taste and explore the Local Food Community in the charming village of Peninsula with a full day of events planned around local food and farms.

The day’s schedule is below and we hope that  you join us for a true Homegrown Gathering in Peninsula!


  • Heritage Farms  Farm History Day
    6050 Riverview Road
    9 am – 5 pm $5 per person admission
    Antique tractors, Women on the Farm display, farm tool display, and talks throughout the day on Heritage Farms’ past, present and future.
    Daylily End of Season sale.
  • Cuyahoga Valley National Park Ranger Rebecca Jones-Macko, Presents a History of Farming in Cuyahoga Valley
    4:30 – 5 pm at G.A.R. Hall as part of the Home Grown Evening Event


Get to know your local farmers! Five Cuyahoga Valley Countryside Initiative Farms will offer 3/30 minute tours of their farms at 11am, 12pm and 1pm. Choose which farms you’d like to tour. The fee is $5.00 per person/per farm and you pay at the farms. Tour Cards can be found HERE. Have the farmers and local merchants sign your card for a chance to win a fantastic gift basket! For tour information contact Tracy at Countryside 330-657-2542 x223

Trapp Family Farm
1019 W. Streetsboro RD
Peninsula, OH 44264
Parking at old Players Barn (please stay away from barn & road for safety)
Neitenbach Farm
3077 Akron Peninsula RD
Akron, OH 44313
Look for parking sign
Goatfeathers Point Farm
4570 Akron Peninsula RD
Peninsula, OH 44264
Please park only in designated areas
The Spicy Lamb Farm
6560 Akron Peninsula RD (only accessible from Boston Mills RD)
Peninsula, OH 44264
Parking along east side of road in front of farm
Greenfield Berry Farm
2485 Major RD
Peninsula, OH 44264
Parking in field to the right of the driveway

11 am – 4 pm
Canning Demonstrations by Beth Knorr, Countryside Conservancy
11am & 1pm
On the Green at Bronson Church
Route 303 in Peninsula
Event Parking at G.A.R. Hall

Visit these area businesses and celebrate locally grown, locally crafted, locally brewed and locally enjoyed products; samplings, tastings & have your tour card signed.

Yellow Creek Trading Co.
1685 Main Street
Kool Things will be selling tasty frozen treats on their porch & samplings of local items

Trail Mix Peninsula
1600 West Mill Street
Featuring local food items sold in the store with samplings/tastings on our patio. Tina Bergman performing 1-3 pm on the patio

Le Seraglio  
1593 Main Street
Complimentary baklava to shoppers

Elements Gallery
1619 West Mill Street
Offering fine porcelain & stoneware tableware; wooden utensils; local honey

Szalay’s Farm Market
4563 Riverview Road
Locally grown corn; Produce; Roasted sweet corn; Fresh squeezed lemonade; Sundaes

Brandywine Country Club  
5555 Akron Peninsula Road
Main Clubhouse featuring Great Lakes Brewing Co. brews
Main golf course open 6 am – 9 pm.  Par 3 open 9 am – 9 pm

Winking Lizard Tavern
1615 Main St.
Hoppin Frog’s Turbo Shandy.in the Cellar   1 – 7 pm

 Skip’s Peninsula Junction
1639 Mill Street
Open Air Market featuring local food and craft vendors

Fishers Café & Pub
1607 Main Street
Serving Ohio Grass Fed Beef Burgers & Thirsty Dog beer



We are honored to have Chef Ben Bebenroth of Spice Kitchen & Bar prepare a dish for as he discusses the importance of using locally grown ingredients. Patrons will have the opportunity to enjoy this dish as Ben demonstrates its preparation.

 This  will be preceded by a wine and craft beer tasting paired with artisan cheeses and other locally produced appetizers while Park Ranger Rebecca Jones Macko speaks on the history of farming in the Cuyahoga Valley.  Cash Bar also available.

Tickets are $30 which includes 3 tastings and one pour of locally bottled wines or local craft beers, appetizers, farm history presentation,  cooking demonstration and the prepared dish from Ben Bebenroth.

 Doors open at 4pm at the Historic G.A.R. Hall at the corner of RT 303 and Riverview Road.(1785 Main Street for GPS users). 

Limited number of seats,  Reservations can be made on line at www.peninsulahistory.org or by calling 330-657-2528

4:00 – 4:30   Wine & Craft Beer with appetizer pairings
4:30 – 5:00  Rebecca Jones,  History of Farms at G.A.R. Hall
5:00 – 5:45  Ben Bebenroth of Spice Kitchen & Bar
7:00 Doors close at the G.A.R. Hall



What’s New on the Countryside Initiative Farms this Spring


Basket of Life Farm
In case you haven’t heard, Basket of Life has a new website this year. Click here to learn more about their farm and CSA program. You will also find great farm photos and recipes there too.
To keep up with the daily happenings at their farm, be sure to LIKE their Facebook page too.

Brunty Farm
Brunty Farm will be at the Countryside Farmers Market of course, but if you miss your chance to shop on Saturday, don’t forget thier Farm Store is open daily until 8 PM and Sundays until 6.
Like them on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/BruntyFarms
Or visit their webpage: http://www.bruntyfarms.com/Brunty_Farms/Home.html

Canal Corners
Rumor has it they have asparagus available! Give them a call 216-624-3916 or visit their Facebool page https://www.facebook.com/CanalCorners?ref=ts&fref=ts  And, returning again this year, the Lantern Theatre Group!

Goatfeathers Point Farm wishes everyone a Happy Spring!
The goats are out a bit each day on pasture and the goat kids will be coming by the end of May! The Bourbon Red and Blue Slate heritage turkeys have moved to their intermediate brooder in the barn. They are gaining in size and will be on pasture soon. Our latest experiment for predation control, a pair of Guinea fowl are patrolling the chicken yard. They are loud and make a lot of wild jungle noise! Feeder calves will be at the Riverview Barn with the bucks. Stop by the farm for eggs (porch fridge honor system) or call 330-657-2726 to pick up a beef bundle.

Greenfield Berry Farm
Check out this really wonderful New York Times  write up about Jonathon Sawyer that includes a great piece on Greenfield Berry Farm! http://www.nytimes.com/2013/05/08/dining/replanting-the-rust-belt.html?pagewanted=all
Visit Greenfield at the Countryside Farmers’ Market or call to plan your PYO visit to the farm or get CSA information! 330-657-2924. LIKE them on Facebook too https://www.facebook.com/pages/Greenfield-Berry-Farm/165503750751?fref=ts

Halko’s Spring Hill Farm
Alan will be returning to the Countryside Farmers’ Market this year with his impeccably perfect produce! He is also adding to his CSA so swing by his booth at the market or give him a call for more information. 330-523-0590

Neitenbach Farm
Do you love herbs? Do you want to learn more about the relationship between our bodies and the foods we eat? Pamela and AJ  Neitenbach  offer a truly unique approach to farming and CSA programs. Visit them at the Farmers’ Markets and check out their Face book page.

Sarah’s Vineyard
The annual Summer Solctice Festival is just around the corner! Check out the region’s best wine festival!
Thinking a glass of wine and gorgeous view would go good right about now? How about a homemade wood fired pizza? Check them out: 330-929-8057

The Spicy Lamb Farm
There is always something to do at the Spicy Lamb! Check out their events here: http://www.thespicylamb.com/ and LIKE them on Facebook for daily farm happenings, regional news on sheep grazing and agriculture, as well as fun musings and photos! https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Spicy-Lamb-Farm/173366318367

The Trapp Family Farm
Out of the gate running, the Trapp farm is really coming along! Stop by their farm for fresh eggs and pick up some information about their Food Guild memberships! 1019 W. Streetsboro Rd. (Rt 303) in Peninsula. The Trapp farm also had a mention in the NY Time’s  Jonathon Sawyer  article: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/05/08/dining/replanting-the-rust-belt.html?pagewanted=all

What’s new on the Countryside Initiative Farms

Spicy Lamb SpringSpring is hopping along! The cold temperatures can’t slow a farmer down, nature won’t wait. The farmers here in the Cuyahoga Valley National Park are busy prepping the ground and planting seeds. Here is a taste of what some of them are up to:

The Spicy Lamb Farm
The Blessing of the Sheep: Saturday, April 20st, 12 to 2pm: Do not miss our annual Blessing of the Sheep with bagpipes and herding demonstrations. $10 for adults and $5 for children.
Our spring hours for picking up lamb or wool products are Mondays from 4-7pm from April 8th to May 20th or by appointment. Please email laura@thespicylamb.com for an appointment.

Greenfield Berry Farm
CSA shares are still available and those interested can find more information at www.greenfieldberryfarm.com or email us for a flyer at greenfieldberryfarm@hotmail.com.

Brunty Farms
We are excited to announce the addition of beef at the farm.  We had our first beef processed two weeks ago and it has been a great success. We will have fresh cuts available at the farmers’ market and on farm throughout the season.
FINALLY, fresh chicken season is almost here!  Whole, cut, and select cuts of pasture raised chicken will be available beginning the first week of May.  We will have fresh cornish game hens available at the market this weekend!
We are taking orders for sides of pork and whole hogs that will be ready for processing in late May.  For more information on cuts and pricing please visit our website: http://www.bruntyfarms.com/Brunty_Farms/Pork.html
Don’t forget that the retail area on the farm is open from 8a-8p Mon-Sat and 11a-6p on Sun. Swing by for fresh eggs, pork, lamb, beef, and poultry.  The farm coolers and freezers are always fully stocked!
The Trapp Family Farm
We currently have eggs for sale at the farm.  Near the end of May we will add vegetables and chickens to a roadside stand.  If you want to insure a steady, abundant supply of our produce, eggs, pasture-raised broilers, turkeys, pork and more inquire about the Trapp Family Food Guild at trapp.family.farm@gmail.com or visit the farm for more details.
 Neitenbach Farm
This season Neitenbach Farm is excited to announce that we will be implementing biodynamic practices on our farm!!! For more information on farming biodynamically please visit https://www.biodynamics.com/biodynamics.html  Also, if you would like to join our family of CSA members please do so…shares are filling up and we only have two left!  For more information on or CSA go to http://www.cvcountryside.org/farmland/documents/NeitenbachCSA.pdf  or http://www.localharvest.org/neitenbach-farm-M48156  You can also contact Neitenbach Farm at 330.321.9026 or neitenbachfarm@earthlink.net for more information.
Goatfeathers Point Farm
Natural, pasture raised beef is NOW available at Goatfeathers Point Farm! Choose a small or large Beef Bundle with a variety of select cuts. Individual cuts – steaks, roasts, ground…….. are also available. Email goatfeathers2@gmail.com or call 330-657-2726 for more details.
Basket of Life Farm
Basket of Life Farm is getting ready for another exciting season.  We have been busy starting seeds and planning for the season.  With over 150 varieties of seeds purchased there is a lot of planning going on! As the weather has finally started to turn everything will be able to start hitting the ground, which is when it feels like spring.
There are still a limited number of CSA spaces available for our 2013 season!  The CSA is filling up fast . As the oldest CSA in our national park & this will be our eleventh CSA season, and we continue to grow and improve.  Please visit our website at www.basketoflifefarm.com for CSA details and photos of previous year shares.  Members can expect an overflowing 1/2 bushel box each week, last year our shares averaged 10 different items a week weighing (on average) 15 pounds a week.  Payment plans are available.  Email with any questions heather@basketoflifefarm.com.
Don’t forget to friend on facebook (http://www.facebook.com/pages/Basket-of-Life-Farm/279073224620)  or join our mailing list (http://www.basketoflifefarm.com/mailinglist) to stay up to date on all our farm events.  We will be teaching a Gardening class with the Countryside Conservancy April 23rd and in May we will be doing a class at the Spicy Lamb Farm on Using the Seasons Bounty.   We will also be hosting an Onion Planting Day, for anyone who is interested in helping us get over 10,000 onions planted in a few hour period.  Later in the season we will have preserving classes, kids days, member potlucks, a variety of workdays, and a fall gleaning day (for donations to the food bank.)
Thanks for your support of our farm and local food!  We are eager for another great season.

Getting to Know the Countryside

The First Countryside Initiative Farmers  RFP 2001
By Tracy Emrick ~ Countryside Initiative Coordinator

halko2Halko’s Spring Hill Farm was one of the first established farms in the Countryside Initiative program. Alan Halko and his family moved into the old Vaughn farmstead at 9570 Riverview Road in Brecksville. The farm is on both sides of Riverview, with the house, historic barn and chicken coop on the west side, and the main crop fields, greenhouse, turkey and other outbuilding on the east side.
Alan grows a wide variety of vegetable crops and raises poultry and sheep. He sells his produce at the Countryside Farmers’ Market and through his fast growing CSA program. Click here to learn more about Halko’s Spring Hill Farm.halko1






Sarah’s Vineyard Winery & Art Gallery was also brought on board in the first RFP round. Mike and Margaret Lytz spent many years planting their vineyard and building their winery before opening their doors for business in 2007. The barn that houses the winery was once located in Medina sarahs2County. It was disassembled and rebuilt on its current site. The gorgeous pavilion being constructed right now was also built with reclaimed materials. Another very interesting note, Sarah’s is one of only a few Ohio wineries that offer wine-on-tap. This system serves wonderful wine by the glass or carafe and it eliminates the use and waste of thousands of bottles and packaging.
They grow nine varieties of grapes in their vineyard, and offer a wine for every palate. While you are there enjoying a glass of wine you can browse the fabulous art that lines the walls and shelves of the winery. And of course, you can indulge in delicious fare including oven-fired pizza! Sarah’s is located at 1204 W. Steels Corners Road in Cuyahoga Falls. You can click here to learn more about Sarah’s Vineyard Winery and Art Gallery.sarahs1

Family Traditions – Katie Myers-Griffith

I am not sure when, how, and why certain activities become traditions, but what I am sure of is the fact that our family traditions are something that I look forward to every holiday season.  My sister and I were sitting at the table trying to think of some of our family’s traditions, and my brother-in-law reminded me that our family has so many traditions…

Since Thanksgiving Day is still fresh in my mind, I will begin there.  Early in the morning, the ladies rise to make sure the turkey is ready to go in the oven.  tableSimultaneously, the men and boys are rising and preparing to hunt.  Rabbit hunting, every Thanksgiving morning.  The funny thing is, for quite a few years, the boys were coming back home empty-handed.  We ladies started to wonder what is actually happening at these rabbit hunts – that happen to take place on the best Greek baker’s farm in Spencer, Ohio?  After talking to said baker, we discovered the truth to these hunting trips.

Yes, the hunters arrive early (dressed in orange game vests and camo) to look for rabbits, but after about an hour…they all head back to the homestead for fresh (and requested) pie!  Oh yes, this baker actually calls them ahead of time to make sure that she is baking the right kind of pies;  Apple, Cheery, Pumpkin, Peach and even the occasional Rhubarb!  As the years have passed, and now that the secret is out, ALL of the men in the family, hunters and non-hunters, go rabbit hunting Thanksgiving morning!

jj rabbits

This year, the young hunters did come home with rabbits – to be smoked for Christmas dinner!

Another tradition at our house is simple, but fun!  Personalized name cards.  Creating these name cards has always been the job of the youngest, but capable girl in the family.  This year, my 18 year old niece was passing the job and tradition down to her 6 year old cousin!  In addition to the name cards, we have drinking glasses (12 of them) depicting the 12 Days of Christmas, and we must designate a glass to a person.  Hours of laughter fill the desicion- making process.  Who will be the lords a-leaping? One last, but very delicious tradition that we enjoy…raising our own Thanksgiving bird and other dishes at the table.   I look forward to carrying down traditions and making new ones.

What are some of your family traditions?

13th Ohio Farmland Preservation Summit (Jan. 2013) – Katie Myers-Griffith

Did you know that Ohio has the largest gathering of Farmland Preservation Enthusiast in the Nation?  That’s right, each year the Ohio Farmland Preservation Summit is held in Columbus, Ohio and 2013 is no different!  Save the date and plan on attending. Thursday January 17, 2013 at the Nationwide Ohio 4 H Center in Columbus, Ohio.  This year the focus is on farmers.  The agenda is packed with useful presentations and the keynote will be given by Denise Franz King, Director of the Office of Farmland Preservation at the Ohio Department of Agriculture.  She will be discussing the “Localized Agricultural Easement Purchase Program; Building Local Capacity and Maximizing Resources”.

We will also hear from a panel of farmers discuss their preservation motivations, hurdles, and benefits.

Additional topics include:

  • Preservation Options for Farmland OwnersIMG_2845
  • Clean Ohio and My Farm
  • Oil & Gas Language in an Easement
  • Sources of Local Matching Funds
  • Using Agriculture as an Economic Development Tool
  • Understanding Federal Farmland Preservation Programs
  • Farm Income Opportunities from Natural Resources
  • Farm Business Succession Planning
  • Long-Tern Farmland Leases on Federal Property
  • Local Sponsor Certification and Scoring under the Local Ag Easement Purchase Program

This is a wonderful opportunity to network with farmers and local sponsors of farmland preservation.  Registration will open soon.  The cost of the summit is only $50..that includes a continental breakfast and hearty lunch!  If you have any questions please contact Mike Hogan at the Ohio State University, Fairfiled County.

Steering Committee Members/Organizations are Black Swamp Conservancy (Rob Krain), Countryside Conservancy (Katie Myers-Griffith), Fairfield Land Preservation Association (Christy George), MORPC (Brian Williams), The Ohio State University (Mike Hogan), Pickaway Progress (Stacey Sark), and Western Reserve Land Conservancy (Andy McDowell).