Agriculture continues to serve as the number one industry in Ohio, with nearly 78,000 farms pumping over $105 billion annually into Ohio’s economy. To celebrate the important role agriculture plays in our lives, the Delaware Soil and Water Conservation District (DSWCD), in cooperation with the Delaware County Board of Commissioners and OSU Extension, are pleased to announce the 2019 Delaware Farm Tour stops. The “drive yourself” tour, which is free and open to the public, occurs Saturday, July 20, from 12:30 to 4:30 p.m. The 2019 Delaware Farm Tour showcases four diverse agricultural businesses and families in our community that contribute to Ohio’s top industry.
With 800 piglets born weekly, Dawson Farms (2831 Bowtown Road, Delaware) encompasses 2,500-plus acres. Observe a mother pig (called a sow) and her cute piglets, and taste fresh pork samples. Watch a farrowing video that shows a sow giving birth. Doug Dawson, owner, is nominated to receive the 2019 American’s Pig Farmer of the Year award from the National Pork Board. Peruse displays by The Ohio State University Extension, Ohio State University Department of Animal Sciences, USDA Farm Services Agency, and Ohio Pork Council.
Soine Vineyards (pronounced soy-knee), the only family estate-owned and operated vineyard/winery in Delaware County at 3510 Clark Shaw Road, Powell, consists of a six-acre farm containing thousands of grapevines. Founded in 2003, estate wines produced from the vines include multiple red, white, and rose wine varieties. Tours of the vineyard will be presented at 12:30 and 2:30 p.m., with winery tours offered at 1:30 and 3:30 p.m. Taste wines for a nominal charge, and dine at Dan’s Deli food truck. Kids will enjoy building their own sailboat, constructed from winery corks! The Ohio Grape Industries Commission and Nationwide Insurance displays round out this stop.
MadMax Farms, a family farm committed to land stewardship and improving soil health, strives to build healthy soils, conserve natural resources and protect pollinators. They operate their farm at 4140 Clark Shaw Road, Powell, with a holistic, regenerative approach and utmost respect for nature’s ecosystem. These first-generation farmers grow corn, soybeans, sweet corn and pumpkins. A hi-boy clearance rig for applying cover crops (to conserve soil resources) is used on the farm. This piece of equipment, as well as other types of large farm machinery, can be viewed up close during the tour. Visit with The Nature Conservancy, Bird Agronomics, USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service, and local Future Farmers of America Chapter groups.
Goodson Gardens and Orchard, a small family-owned operation with 11 varieties of apples, contains 200 apple trees. The historic farmhouse that lords over the orchard was built by the current owner’s great grandfather. A vintage standing corn crib on the site harkens back to a time when farming was simpler. Four mother sheep (called ewes) and their lambs call the farm home, which visitors can watch. Delaware County 4-H program members will provide information and educational displays. The orchard is located at 7956 Steitz Road, Powell.
Remember to visit the DSWCD’s website (soilandwater.co.delaware.oh.us) or Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/DelawareSWCD) (or call (740) 368-1921) for up-to-date details on our free Farm Tour. We hope to see you there.
Kim Marshall is the communication specialist for the Delaware Soil & Water Conservation District. For information, go to www.delawareswcd.org.