June 20, 2014
This Clinton Township property features 2-acres and one can see plants growing on the farm from East Cooke Road. Some of the special garden areas at the farm include hugelkultur, compost area, rain barrels, produce garden, chickens, apothecary garden, kitchen herbs, lots of plants and a hoop house.
Rachel Tayse Baillieul and her husband moved to the property two years ago and began putting together their garden plan right away. They've added a large planting area and pond out front, a friend has a beekeeping hive area and an orchard. In addition to owning Harmonious Homestead, the two participate in Groundswell, a program from City Folks Farm Shop, allowing them to "mentor" others in gardening/sustainability/homesteading.
Rachel said the goal is to show people on the OEFFA (Ohio Ecological Farm and Food Association) tour planned for this Sunday, June 22, from 1 to 4 p.m. what can be done in different kinds of spaces. She indicated she feels it's most sustainable to be diversified.
Rachel started out tour indoors showing off some strawberries she'd canned and was boiling for jam. Since the strawberry crop is constantly producing, she makes it in small batches. She likes to use her own tomatoes to make all of their own tomato-based products to use and also cans and cooks with some other items from the large garden. A friend from Swainway Urban Farm uses the property to grow some plants he sells at the farmers market. Other homesteaders through swapping, class participants or friends and family get some of the other produce they grow and don't use.
Rachel said she tries to keep her own seeds, but also buys, swaps and gets plants or seeds from other gardeners/homesteaders. She said many of her plants she grows on a "trial and error" basis. One example of this is artichoke. She's trying different varieties and growing them in different areas to see which ones do best. She received a degree in geology, but says she's gotten information on homesteading and gardening from people she's talked to at the farmer's market in addition to learning through trial and error.
The farm tour is free. The home is located at 1224 E. Cooke Road (the road doglegs around I-71) and it was kind of muddy during our visit, so plan on wearing shoes you can clean off easily. Rachel indicated that both her, her husband and daughter will be giving information out, but that people are free to spend more time and get information about an area they are most interested in.
To learn more about the OEFFA, visit http://www.oeffa.org/.
To learn more about Harmonious Homestead, visit www.HarmoniousHomestead.com
Other OEFFA tours and events near central Ohio for 2014:
Dairy Heard Health Workshop (pre-registration required) at Pleasantview Farm in Circleville Thursday, June 26 from 1 to 4 p.m. (Pickaway County)
*Urban Agriculture Film Screening Friday, June 27, from 6:30-9 p.m. at the Ohio Union at OSU's Main Campus
Sunny Meadows Flower Farm Sunday, June 29, from 1 to 4 p.m. (3555 Watkins Road, Columbus)
Multi-Species Grazing Farm Tour at Fox Hollow Farm Saturday, Aug. 10, at 1 p.m. (Knox County)
Rooftop Gardening Tour and Fundraiser at The Crest Gastropub Friday, Aug. 22, tours at 6 and 7 p.m. (2855 Indianola Ave., Columbus)
Aquaponics Facility Tour at Fresh Harvest Farms in Richwood Saturday, Sept. 6, from 2-4 p.m. (Union County)
Organic Dairy Farm Tour at DeBruin Family Dairy Saturday, Oct. 4, from 10 a.m. to noon (Fayette County)
*The Farmer's Table, dinner/drinks/tour for $125 per person at Jorgenson Farms in Westerville on Sunday, Sept. 7 at 4:30 p.m.