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Connecting Farms & Families In Central Ohio

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connecting food and families in Columbus Ohio

Strawberries at Bird's Haven Farms {Farm Tour}

child picking strawberryThe back of my legs ache with familiar soreness of strawberry picking. Remarkably, almost a whole month earlier than last year, the 2012 season is here!

Picking Strawberries at Bird's Haven Farms

bird's haven farms sign

Thanks to a tip from a friend, Lil and I drove north of Granville to check out Bird's Haven Farms on the first day they opened for picking. The farm is a 40 minute drive from our home in Clintonville and only five minutes from our favorite Windy Hill Apple Farm.

child picking strawberriesfoot in the weeds

Bird's Haven uses black plastic and hand pulling to conquer weeds, not chemical sprays. The paths between the rows show evidence of this as they are full of weeds. During our visit, just a few hours after heavy morning rain, what wasn't a plant was mud or standing water - fun for dirt-loving kids!

The berries themselves are ripe and juicy with fresh-from-the-field flavor that cannot be replicated by out of season fruit. These strawberries had no bitter after-taste that can come from sprayed berries.

berries in paper baskets

Finding red ones took a bit of work as the fruits are just beginning to ripen, but we managed to fill eleven quart baskets in about an hour. I am thrilled that Lillian finally has as much stamina for picking berries as I do.

Our strawberries cost $25, a very fair price for sustainably-grown berries. We will freeze some, make jam, and eat them fresh until we are stuffed.

Vegetables In Tunnels & At Markets

high tunnels at bird's haven farms

When chatting with the clerk at the greenhouse, I mentioned volunteering with OEFFA and she connected me with someone (a former 'big ag' employee whose name I forget - sorry!) to show me around the rest of the farm. Bird's Haven was one of the first family farms in Ohio to use high tunnels to produce greens, tomatoes, cucumbers, and squash.

high tunnel bok choi

High tunnels allow the family farm to apply far fewer chemicals (no spray unless crop loss is imminent) and extend the season. The tomato plants were loaded with green fruits and it's only early May!

I purchased some beautiful tatsoi and bok choi to cook this weekend. I'll share the recipe because I think these sweet greens are highly underused in most home kitchens.

hanging basket at bird's haven

I didn't buy any of their beautiful hanging baskets, though Lil begged for some. Maybe when we sell our house and move!

Bird's Haven Farms is committed to selling only what they produce from seed. Their produce, eggs, flowers, and seedlings are available at the farm and at the Granville Farmer's Market Saturdays from 8:30 am - noon at the intersection of Broad & Main and Westerville Farmer's Market Wednesdays from 3-6 pm at the corner of N. State St. and E. Home St. Additionally, they supply produce to Ella Restaurant, the Granville Exempted Village Schools, The Greener Grocer, and Going Green Store. The farm offers a CSA, though the 2012 sign-up deadline passed. In the fall, they open a u-pick pumpkin patch.

rachel picking strawberrieswiggly tooth eating strawberry

Bird's Haven Farms 5545 Lafayette Rd Granville, OH

740-587-1100

Open: Tuesday - Friday 10 am - 6 pm Saturday 10 am - 5 pm Sunday 12 -5 pm

If you go:

  • Call ahead for field conditions and produce availability.
  • Wear boots (do as I say, not as I do).
  • Bring cash or credit cards as they accept either.
  • Pack sunscreen, a hat, or rain gear, depending on the weather.
  • Bring baskets if you wish, but they provide if you don't have any.
  • Carry a cooler with water and/or snacks in the car. The field is not far from the parking lot so no worries about a backpack to carry into the field.
  • Pack an extra change of clothes and/or shoes for kids who might get muddy.
  • Ask questions. The knowledgeable farm staff is eager to share about their sustainable practices.