We are Jerry and Liz Eaton, and we’re the full-time vocational farmers of the Eaton Farm. We raise a variety of high-quality meats, including 100% grassfed beef and lamb, non-GMO, silvopastured pork, non-GMO, pastured turkey, chicken, and eggs. After many years of growing fruits and vegetables using organic methods, in 2015 we decided to pursue USDA certification of our produce through the Ohio Ecological Food and Farming Association (OEFFA). Finding nutrient-dense foods grown with integrity can be confusing! The certification process provides a known level of accountability to our customers, and ensures that farmers who use the label are indeed following the strict program standards. In addition to having a direct relationship with the farmers who grow your food, when you join our produce CSA or buy produce from us at market, you can also be assured that our growing practices have been verified by a third party system.
Our farming methods draw on a rich and productive agricultural past, with a focus on soil health and ecology. For fertility, we utilize the manure from our own animals in the form of a carbon and nitrogen-rich bedding pack, as well as cover crops. To control weeds, we have traditionally relied on shallow cultivation and hand hoeing. We are transitioning many of our tilled fields to no-till, permanent raised beds, made possible by deep composting. In addition to the amazing benefit of suppressing most weeds, deep composting also increases the soil’s organic matter, biological activity, drainage, and water holding capacity. The compost is also an invaluable tool for preventing diseases and pests, as is crop rotation and the use of floating row cover. If a problem arises after preventative measures have been taken, certified organic, OMRI-approved pest control methods are employed, but only as a last resort, and with the protection of pollinators and other beneficial insects in mind. This can mean spraying a target bacterium to kill cabbage worms, or using diatomaceous earth to discourage flea beetles. We’ve also incorporated some newer techniques that help ensure our odds of success in a world of variables, including drip tape when times are dry, and limited use of plastic mulch in certain crops, such as strawberries. The plastic acts as not only a weed barrier, but it also prevents fungal diseases, which are very common in organic strawberries. In our “tool box” of crop production methods, you won’t find harmful or toxic chemical fertilizers, pesticides, herbicides, fungicides, or GMO’s because we never use them!
In addition to the meat, eggs, and produce we offer at our market booth year round at both the Hyde Park Winter and Summer markets, we also operate a CSA program. We have options for both meat and produce with convenient pickup during market hours. Our meats and eggs are also available through the Good Eaton Club in Clifton each month. For more information about our farm, please visit www.theeatonfarm.com and find us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter!