Year-Round Farming Pioneers Receive Statewide Stewardship Award

KipStartHouse

Longtime Rural Action partners Kip and Becky Rondy of Green Edge Organic Gardens have received the 2014 Stewardship Award from the Ohio Ecological Food and Farm Association for their work on year-round farming and sustainable agriculture practices in Ohio.

The Amesville, Ohio farmers received the award on Saturday night at the Ohio Ecological Food and Farm Association’s (OEFFA) annual conference in Granville, Ohio – an event that brings together hundreds of sustainable agriculture participants from around the state and the region.

The Rondys received the award for crafting a farming model over the past decade that makes year-round vegetable production profitable, fulltime employment possible, sustainable in multiple ways, and most importantly replicable at other farms.

With the help of Rural Action, Green Edge has become a state-wide educational model for four-season production with high tunnels in what is now being called the “Season Creation” model. The farm has educated hundreds of farmers, agriculture educators, and natural resource professionals over the last three years.

According to the OEFFA community, which consists of hundreds of farmers and other businesses integral to sustainable food systems, this award for the Rondys was well deserved.

“Kip and Becky have done a spectacular job at making organics work. They’ve set up a fantastic production system, while growing a business that supports its employees through a living wage and good benefits. At the same time, they continue to help the community by sharing what they’ve learned during on-farm educational workshops,” said Mick Luber, owner of Bluebird Farm and 2007 recipient of the Stewardship Award.

The workshops, coordinated by Rural Action, lay out the Season Creation model for the participants and equip them with educational tools needed to replicate the system and to teach others throughout the Midwest about winter growing.

Recently created educational pieces include a Season Creation data-rich manual and video that showcase and explain how the farm grows all year. Both of these are available from Rural Action and Green Edge.

Upcoming workshops on the farm – part of a partnership between Rural Action, Green Edge, and USDA SARE – will take place on March 13, June 20, November 13, and December 11, all from 10:00 am – 4:00 pm.

To register, contact Tom Redfern at 740-677-4047 or tomr@ruralaction.org.

To order your copy of the Season Creation manual and video, contact Tom Redfern or click here to purchase online.

Rural Action is a membership-based organization working with communities to rebuild sustainable economies in Appalachian Ohio. To learn more and become a supporting member, visit www.ruralaction.org.

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