By Bryn Bird, Photo by Carole Topalian
Ohio boasts of the following farms that are Homegrown by Heroes members, an innovative veteran farmer program that "mobilizes veterans to feed America." Read more about the Homegrown by Heroes program in our summer issue.
Dandelion Lane Farm is an 11-acre farm in Columbiana County in Northeast Ohio. Air Force veteran Lee Lichtenwalner and his wife, Dawn grow a variety of herbs and vegetables, specializing in heirloom products. They’re also working on a line of value-added products using Ohio produce and berries. Lee works full-time on the farm, devoting his attention and experience to his passion for farming.
A family farm specializing in the growth of hops and lavender located in Aurora, Ohio right on the fringe of the Chagrin Valley. Organic crops raised with sustainable methods.
Beth and Brian Duffy farm where Beth’s parents were both raised, an 80-acre older homestead in Meigs County Ohio, near the small college town of Athens, Ohio. The farm began with a “flock of four” and has now grown to thirty healthy sheep that produce delicious grass-fed lamb. Additionally, Find-A-Way Farm has free-range stewing hens and eggs. Brian is currently working on a plan to add broiler chickens and grass-fed beef to the farm.
“Dickie Bird Farm, LLC is a convergent effort of a displaced Yankee and a wandering Texas cowboy,” reads their website. Raising free-range chickens, heritage breed turkeys, goats, and honeybees, Dickie Bird Farm grows heirloom vegetables, fresh fruit and nuts. The breeds that call Dickie Bird Farm Home include Buff Orpington, Silver Laced Wyandotte, Welsummer and Black Australorp chickens and Blue Slate, Bronze Standards, Red Bourbon, and White Broad Breasted turkeys.
Wood Family Farm in Kenton, Ohio
Wood Family Farm in Kenton, Ohio is a partnership between four veterans: Shane (Army/OIF) and Victoria (Army/OEF), here with their children, Shane’s Grandfather Robert (Korea), and Great-Uncle James (WWII).
Starting in 2002, Shane served in Germany and Kosovo before his tour of duty in Iraq, where he was injured by an improvised explosive device. After nine surgeries, he returned to fight in Fallujah before coming back to his hometown of Kenton in 2005. But through all of this, he maintained a desire to return to the 70-acre farm owned by his grandfather, a Korean War veteran. Having time to be alone and care for his animals has helped him deal with the stress he experienced during his service.
Bush Valley Farm is owned and operated by Scott and Jean Bush, who are both retired from the U.S. military. Bush Valley Farm provides quality, farm‐raised pork, sheep, and poultry that can be custom ordered to any specification. Bush Valley Farm animals are raised in open pastures and forests in as natural and healthy an environment as possible. The animals happily spend their days grazing Ohio-sweet pastures.
Other participating farms include Arrow Creek Farm in Mechanicsburg, Ohio run by Dale Thompson and a retired nursery known as Friebel's Greenhouse in Shelby, Ohio. Visit farmvetco.org to share this program with a veteran you know.