Oberlin: City Fresh connects vegetable growers and buyers in Lorain County and Kaiyahoga County | Way of life

It’s time for the Northern Ohio Vegetable Tour to grow.

City fees Is an Oberlin-based organization that offers fresh, seasonal fruits and vegetables in Lorain and Kaiyahoga counties.

It began distributing inventory for the 2021 season on June 15.

The program deals with global warming, sustainable agriculture, economic justice and healthy eating by connecting farmland to a plate in northern Ohio.

Annakis Mosel Martinez, Executive Director of the New Agrarian Center, says this is community-supported agriculture for all.

It is a non-profit organization that functions as the parent company of George Jones Farm at City Fresh and Oberlin College, which serves as the headquarters of the program.

COVID-19 (novel coronavirus infection)

City Fresh was the flagship year of the novel coronavirus pandemic for the 2020 season as people cooked at home and saw unrest in the supply chain, including food.

“A pandemic is an example of a kind of anxiety that continues to occur in the face of a climate crisis,” Mosel Martinez said.

She said COVID-19 has caused anxiety about where the food is coming from and what people should buy.

Even as the disease eases, droughts, tornadoes, storms and climate change can persist and worsen in Ohio and across the country, Mosel Martinez said.

“All of this will create conditions that will cause emergencies, disrupt food supply chains and destabilize things,” she said. “That is, investing in local food means investing in community resilience and at least building what’s here so you can find something to eat.

“It’s one of the infrastructures that will disappear if you don’t invest now. Hence, it will disappear if you don’t use it.


Customers buy inventory and receive a new bag of fresh produce on the scheduled day, along with program staff, volunteers and Food Justice Warriors nicknamed for their work.

According to Mosel Martinez, City Fresh coordinates food from farm to table, and “fresh” is more than just a name.

Much of the produce comes from an army of Amish producers within 70 miles of Cleveland.

The city’s fresh produce staff select and pack the greens every day, so what the farmer harvests in the morning is part of the shareholders’ dinner that night.

Mauser-Martinez first joined City Fresh as a low income equity buyer in 2007 and volunteered in 2008.

She was the program coordinator from 2014 to last year.

Pete Morris served as a farmer’s liaison for six seasons.

This year Morris is the director and chief producer of George Jones Farm and, if necessary, a “complete action hero”.

New for this year are CityFresh Program Coordinator Chelsea Csuhran and Sarah Edwards, now Farmer Liaison and Principal Driver.

“I think we are very well prepared to support new people,” Mosel-Martinez said. “And they’re really, really talented and we’re excited and excited about these ideas and very excited to have new people.

“It was really great.”


Mauser-Martinez, Morris and Csuhran were awaiting the last delivery to the farm on June 17.

So far the first two days have gone well, according to Mosel Martinez.

“The first week we don’t have a lot of prep until we have the veg,” she said. “Until you actually load things up… it’s all just a theory. “

When Edwards brought the truck in, they unloaded the boxes of vegetables, then repackaged the vegetable slices in waiting boxes filled with plastic bags.

The four were joined by Imani Badillo, a volunteer student from Cleveland and Oberlin College.

Edwards chose some broccoli leaves to use as a bookmark and let them know what was produced in which box.

The group said the lettuce had slugs for boarding, but they were easily picked up.

These stocks go to Ohio City, Old Brooklyn and Lakewood.

Fresh stop

In the first week, Morris ran an Oberlin on-farm pickup site with sophomore volunteer Elizabeth Newman, a Carlyle Township resident and a City Fresh customer for four years.

“I think everyone should get good produce, and I think every farmer should get a fair price,” Newman said.

In addition to the new stops, staff are working with farmers on seasonal food shares based on crops, as well as winter planting trends and seed orders.

Respecting their way of life, Amish producers remain anonymous.

Morris described them as “the most humble man I have ever met in my life”.

“They are transferring land to the children, so they have growth businesses for these generations who are really interested in soil conservation,” Morris said.

“Very, very cool,” he said, inspiring the practice at George Jones Memorial Farm.

Produce will be the star of the show.

The first week’s share included late spring crops ready for harvest: cabbage, radish, beetroot, Swiss chard, romaine lettuce.

There are flower stalks of garlic and meandering green vegetables grown from garlic bulbs, which is a hospitality for those who love the taste.

The pint and pint cartons kept the strawberries very red and almost glistened in the evening sun.

“These are gems and this is the perfect season to get them,” Morris told a stock buyer.

Staff, volunteers and buyers can get advice through a friendly conversation about gardening and recipes, especially during big stops.

“I always tell people that if you don’t like vegetables, you eat them badly,” Mosel-Martinez said.

Oberlin: City Fresh connects vegetable growers and buyers in Lorain County and Kaiyahoga County | Way of life

Oberlin: City Fresh connects vegetable growers and buyers in Lorain County and Kaiyahoga County | Way of life

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