Welcome to Old World Garden Farms!

Old World Garden FarmsJust six short years ago on a crisp fall weekend, we began work on what we now call Old World Garden Farms. A little 3 acre plot of land in the middle of Ohio, “The Farm” was little more than an overgrown thicket of small trees, thick brush, and a mess of poison ivy. After a long weekend of clearing the land with a rented walk-behind brush cutter, and a few painful weeks of dealing with poison ivy for Mary – we had carved out a little space to start our dream.

With four kids in their teens heavily involved in extra-curricular activities, and with each of us juggling our own professional career, we wanted to build a place to be able to start to simplify our life – and enjoy our love of the outdoors and all it has to offer.

Let’s set a few things straight right from the beginning on what we are not.

Our ornamental peppers by one of the pergolas
Our ornamental peppers by one of the pergolas

We’re far from “hippies”…. and in spite of our children and friends constant ribbing, we don’t wish to make our clothes from hemp. We’re pretty regular people, we still go out to dinner now and then – we love to travel, and the last time I checked – we still shop in stores for some of our food and obviously those non-hemp clothes.

What we are – are two individuals committed to a more simple approach to life, who want to be responsible for a majority of the food we eat, and conserve the resources we consume. We both came from great families who gardened, and both have fond childhood memories of working alongside our parents in the garden and kitchen.

Homemade bread
Homemade bread

We remember homegrown meals, and great winter dishes made from the food we grew and canned in the summer. We both loved it, and strive to once again create a household that embraces those values responsibly. Simply put – to do things the best way possible for us and the land.

We have tried to incorporate simplicity and responsibility into every facet of our lives as we slowly work on our dream. We grow most of our own vegetables now in a 60 x 40 plot that yielded us over 3000 lbs of vegetables last year. Our chickens have grown up to supply our family, friends, neighbors, and coworkers with fresh eggs every day – not to mention they give us great compost for the garden. This past summer we canned over 200 jars of our own tomato juice, pizza and pasta sauce, salsa, peppers and more. For us, we hope it’s just the beginning.

Old World Garden Farms

The Garden
The Garden

Our goal is to re-use existing structures and products and utilize new only when necessary – and to do so in a way that adds lasting beauty to the property. Too often the image of reuse and recycle conjures up thoughts of cardboard shanties and soda pop structures in what can only be called a junk yard. That’s a stereotype we hope to break with Old World Garden Farm. Showing that you can recycle and reuse with an eye toward creating something lasting and beautiful.

Our chicken coop was built almost entirely of used shipping crates we obtained for free. Same goes for our composting bins. Our “new” barn, was built over the course of a summer by reclaiming 2 turn of the century barns (one of which was my dad’s), and turning them into our Old World Garden Barn. Both barns came only for the price of simply tearing them down.

Our farm is and will always be a work in progress – and always with an eye towards good stewardship of the land and its resources. We have planted a mini apple orchard and grape vineyard on the hillside – and installed a rain collection system from the barn roof for watering the garden and landscape throughout the growing season. The ultimate goal is to build a house on the property, and live the dream!

Thanks for stopping by, and here’s to a more simple life!

Mary, Jim and the Chickens

Its a good feeling to know that everything grown on our farm is based upon pure organic principals
Its a good feeling to know that everything grown on our farm is based upon pure organic principals

14 thoughts on “About Us

  • August 7, 2017 at 7:20 pm
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    Bought a smoker last week and one of the foods wanted to try was a whole chicken. How ever , I have never used a smoker before and decided not to do just one , but I did 6 whole chickens at one time. Filling both grates with 3 birds on each. Made the dry rub from your recipe, after 2 hours in smoker , trying ever so hard not to open the smoker as tempting as it was lol. After the first two hours , I filled birds and rotated the grates , then added pre soaked ( for 6 hrs ) 12 ears of corn , right on top of the birds. Raised temp another 50 deg to compensate for the corn.
    All I have to say is this, the 9 people that I fed with all that did not go home hungry, only had bones and the husks to toss out. No left overs. Your dry rub, prep and all was a bang on hit for sure. Have saved recipie for next time for sure. Can’t wait for thanks giving , going to host my first dinner , and will be smoking two large turkies.

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  • July 11, 2017 at 8:51 am
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    I was excited to try putting down straw to prevent weeds. It didn’t work for me, my garden is full of grass and crab grass. Never had it before i put down the straw. One big mess

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    • July 11, 2017 at 10:08 am
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      We are so sorry to hear that. We put down wheat straw every year and have never had an issue with weeds. Do you know what kind of straw that was used? Hay will cause weeds and grass seed to be planted in the garden, but pure straw should not as it is a dead by-product.

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  • May 30, 2017 at 5:58 pm
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    I done what you said about your strawberry/ rhubarb jam but its runny! I usually add certin to my jams and they come out great. but the flavor of your jam is like mine great! I made two strawberry /rhubarb pies and froze them for later use. So now have to wait for rhubarb to regrow again for sauce!

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  • February 14, 2017 at 11:47 am
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    Thank you for your website which I love.

    The only problem is that I live in Ireland and we don’t measure in cups. We measure in Grams, ,

    or pounds and ounces.

    Because your measurements don’t convert accurately I find that what I bake doesn’t turn out ok.

    Is it possible that you might be able to give recipes in metric rather than cups and also litres instead of cups That would be a great help.

    Thank you and keep up the good work.

    Josephine

    .

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  • December 29, 2016 at 12:18 pm
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    I also just found your website thanks to my sister in Ct.! I have been raising most of the vegetables and now eggs and chickens for several years.. I’ve always had a garden even while living in apartment houses/complexes! we have a little less than an acre of riverfront land… I will be watching and reading as you share your stories of life lessons from the “farm” Do you encourage visitors to your homestead? thanks Debie

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  • December 20, 2016 at 10:11 am
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    Just ran across your Blog. My wife and I , and another couple, Sam and Janie just bought some land here in rural Alabama ,together, mainly to create a organic garden like you have done.. I definitely will be interested in a lot that you and your husband do.. For “starters” I would love your Starter recipe and on-going recipe for your bread and for return I will send you a great marinate for grill chicken.. It has a secret ingredient that most people never use and makes the chicken and even BBQ ribs taste wonderful with it..
    Ill send it this weekend too ya

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  • May 29, 2016 at 9:52 pm
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    I love your site! I just found it. I currently have 7 Golden Comet hens who lay the best eggs! I’m a Master Gardener who loves to garden and put up my food. I do not think that I could kill an animal to eat. I can’t wait to start gleaning your articles.
    Thanks for your very informative site. will be visiting quite often. 🙂
    Maria gardenlady49@hotmail.com

    Reply
  • January 31, 2016 at 6:44 am
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    Love the idea of rain water catchment. Please check the PH usually too acidic, if so add a tbl spoon of baking soda and retest. Enjoy your bit of paradise! A fellow organic gardener.

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  • January 17, 2016 at 6:41 pm
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    Looking forward to digging through the website. Just finished your articles on building the garden. Great plan!

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    • January 17, 2016 at 6:50 pm
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      Thanks Jack! We hope you enjoy !!!

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  • January 17, 2016 at 11:35 am
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    I LOVE the new website! It’s everything you described. And I love the photo of you two. You’re so young, and gorgeous!! Keep up the great work. I can only imagine how many people you are inspiring by sharing your story.

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    • January 17, 2016 at 3:48 pm
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      Thank you so much for the compliments — especially the young part 🙂 I am glad you enjoy the new website and we hope that you continute to follow our journey! Mary and Jim

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  • January 16, 2016 at 8:34 pm
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    I am trying to make my way down this same path. Just found my spot last June and have been working on getting the homestead dry and tight. I have lots of ideas and am borrowing some of yours.
    Thanks for all you do!
    Kim

    Reply

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