First-time Ohio organic farmers forced to change course with pandemic
Published: October 6, 2020
Category: COVID-19 Pandemic Impacts, The Organic & Non-GMO Report Newsletter
Launching an organic farm business—even an inherited farm with a 20-year history—can be a daunting venture. But when spring floods and a lock-down pandemic hit your first growing season, you’ve got to reposition yourself quickly.
Kim and Taylor Wiggins bought Northridge Organic Farm in Johnstown, Ohio last year—and fulfilling a dream, renamed it From Scratch Farm. Holding onto their full-time jobs they did early morning chores, went to work, then farmed till 9 pm each night and all weekend.
“It was our first growing season, and it’s been tough,” said Taylor. “We
wanted to go to the farmers market, but I am immune-compromised, and we couldn’t. So we had to go ‘direct to the consumer.’ ”
The couple began offering online sales to local families and neighbors, and has donated over 500 pounds of harvest to the Mid-Ohio Foodbank. The farm has successfully grown beans, lettuces, peppers, tomatoes, broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, cantaloupe, peas, asparagus, and much more. It also sells free-range eggs, pastured chicken and turkey, and pastured beef. Of the 20 tillable acres, they’ve only planted one.
“The zucchini and squash have been growing …a foot long or more,” said Kim. “People were surprised how quickly we were able to do this.”
The Wiggins are working on building their subscription and customer base for next year, and will eventually get their organic certification. “We’ve made some mistakes, and learned from them. We can make this work,” Taylor said.
Source: The Columbus Dispatch