Archive for the ‘Buy Local’ Category

Ohio Issue 2, Vote Yes

Friday, October 30th, 2009
Issue 2

Issue 2

I really try not to get political on any aspect of my life nor on this blog. Afterall it is called Ohio Wine and More , what does politics have to do with that? What do animals have to do with wine? Why should you care? Why do I?

Here is part of an article written by John Grimes, OSU Extension Educator, Agriculture and Natural Resources.

Why is Issue 2 on the ballot? Out-of-state animal rights activist groups such as HSUS (Humane Society of the United States) have brought ballot initiatives to states such as Florida, Arizona, Colorado, and California to radically change how livestock and poultry are housed. In general, they are opposed to the confinement housing systems used for poultry, swine, and veal calves. The ballot issues in these states passed in favor of the animal rights groups and now livestock producers in the states are faced with significant changes in their production systems. Ballot initiatives are not the only method in which livestock producers have been impacted. Michigan legislators are in the process of banning many currently accepted housing systems for poultry, swine, and veal through legislation.

A link to the complete article is listed below and on the links portion of the web.

I am in favor of Issue 2 as well as most farmers that depend upon agriculture for their way of life. Especially those who beyond themselves employee people and have an economic impact upon their community in a larger sense than just providing for their family alone.

I run in many “farmer” worlds you might say. I know guys that farm in Ohio and Brazil, I sell produce at farmers’s markets where Mom and Pop and the kids work together. I know both, both are important for different reasons. Both need to be held to the same standards.

The smaller scale enterprises are the ones that mostly feel they are going to be hurt by Issue 2, most of the larger feel they can’t live without its protection from a looming and real threat.

In the end change IS coming, Issue 2 will allow us (actual Ohio producers) to have a greater say in that change compared to what has occurred to date in other states.

I put some links out about issue # 2 read them be informed and please vote. I will be voting in favor of issue #2.

Thanks and take care


OSU Extension educator John Grimes explains #Issue2

Maize Valley @ #Farmers’ Market

Friday, August 14th, 2009
View of the parking lot

View of the parking lot

Set up takes about 15 min.

Set up takes about 15 min.

Farmer Bill the "FunTSAR" in front of his 52' Ford

Well here we go again in 2009 for another season at local farmers’ markets. Let me first start off with a disclamer that goes something like…. I do not claim to be any sort of expert at selling at farmers’ markets. What I do have going on is my father-in-law grows awesome quality produce and I do know how to merchandise product. Basically with produce the saying goes, “Pile it High and Watch if Fly”.

We attend farmers’ markets for two reasons to promote our home farm market, winery and agritourism enterprises and second to sell some produce. Farmers’ markets are a great deal of work for the return compared to a stationary market or stand. But they do fulfill a roll and area piece of our marketing plan.

A huge side benifit is my daughters go and participate in the retailing of our products. It gives them first hand knowledge of what it takes to be a good salesperson. They earn some income and learn more than most kids do these days. I feel it will give them a competitive edge in life, no matter what they choose to do.

We have outfitted a couple of old Ford trucks as seen in the pictures especially for the purpose of attending the markets. The biggest reason is due to the diversity and size of our business a family member cannont always get to every market. We needed trucks set up to minimize the labor required and improve product quality while on the truck. The less you handle a product the better.

We use the trucks for wine pours, and mobile concession stands at our home location as well. They help provide brand identity. I do not believe that true success at a farmers’ should depend upon the grower himself attending. In order for a business to be successful in should be system based and not be dependent upon specific persons to fill necessary roles.

So whatever the case please shop as local as you can when it is competitive and enjoy! Here are a few vids of us on our journey into Canton one Saturday morning.

Maize Valley Hitting Farmers’ Markets Soon!! #farm, #farmers’s markets

Monday, July 20th, 2009

Ready to sell some produce!!

Ready to sell some produce!!

It was warm and wet, now it’s cool and dry but the hearty little crops at Maize Valley are coming thru for you!

We hope to start pulling sweet corn TODAY July 20th, FINALLY!!! Then tons of other stuff is on the way too! We are hitting several farmers’ markets in the area.

Chagrin Falls on Sunday

Canton on Saturday’s

Alliance on Saturday’s

Cleveland Clinic on Wed.

Green on Tuesday’s

Akron on Thursday’s

Plus EVERYDAY at our home market in Hartville.

We have so many new items growing this year I can’t list them all so come check them out!

Sorry no video on this one, just gotta get out from behind this desk Today!!!



Ain’t that America, for You and Me…

Thursday, June 4th, 2009
"Three little pigs"
Pizza guard cat

Pizza guard cat

Calendar from "Way Back in the Day"
Schineders Mill

Schineders Mill

John Cougar (Melencamp) said it well didn’t he? I am told a good blog lets the readership/followers know a little about the person writing it as well about cold hard facts or links or data. I guess I am sort of a unique person always a step off pace witht the rest of the world sometimes ahead sometimes behind.

I am going to post a little something I will call “Ain’t that America” now and then. Of all places I have noticed the City of Detroit is trying to draw people to it with it’s version of basically reality. They say something like “in this pasturized and homoganized world don’t you need someplace real”? Or something along those lines.

In my line of “work” (I love what I do so does that mean I am unemployed?), I have the opportunity to interact and do business with places in America that are vanishing, places that once were the norm. Many places have vanished because they gave lousy service or failed to adapt to a changing american too.

But these places that have texture, places that have true personality derived from within not copied from someplace else, places that do not apologize for who or what they are but fill a niche or a need before the word niche became cool to say or use a marketing buzzword. It probably all started with “Mad Men”?

These places don’t care about blogs, facebook, twitter, e-mail, instant messaging, American Idol, Blackberry’s, You tube, i-tunes, bono, Paris Hilton… get the picture. They care about a handshake, eye contact, time for a story, bartering, quality work, remembering your name & knowing what you got last time, your family, how the last rain hit you and did you get any hail? They fix things that are broken, they get you what you need, they can get you out of a jam.

Good wines and Good Times have the same things going for them, they just come out in flavors, aroma’s, colors and “Legs”. They put an unexpected smile on your face and warm your insides beyond the physical way alcohol can do. They create a desire in you to seek them out and go back there again and experience that feeling again, even though you can’t quite put a finger on what it is.

I Hope you enjoy the view from this character and I hope I can pass this piece of America along to my kids by the examples of life I have witnessed by having the fortune to cross paths with folks that make up the fabric we call America.

1952 Ford F5 Farmers’ Market Truck almost ready to roll!

Monday, June 1st, 2009
1952 Ford F5 Almost ready for the 2009 Season

1952 Ford F5 Almost ready for the 2009 Season

Going to Farmers’ Markets is NOT easy. It is a ton of work and takes a great deal of labor. It takes years to get established and the overhead can kill you if you really figure out ALL your costs. We farm for a living, we don’t live to farm.

Yes it is a way of life for us and I would not trade it for the world but you are fooling yourself if you don’t look at it as a business. There is an old saying how do you make a million dollars farming? Start with two million!!

So as I have said before I like to find old stuff and fix it. Cars and Trucks in particular so to help make the whole farmers’ market thing more fun for us and the customers we plan on using trucks like this one. Plus those little pop up tents and umbrellas look so “flea market” tacky. It’s so much better to look like a circus clown!! That’s just how I roll.

So like the country song says stop by for “Some Good Directions… and Turnip Greens”!!

Follow the links on the side of the page under Farmers’ Markets to find us this summer!

Watermelon Crawl???? Now that’s an idea!!

Thursday, May 28th, 2009
Watermelon planting at Maize Valley

Watermelon planting at Maize Valley

When I was growing up I have vivid memories of my dad bringing in a watermelon and cutting it in half then slicing it in circular sections that covered the whole plate, then cutting into triangles like you would a slice of pizza. We would sit in our pavilion off the back of the house look at the garden and the animals in the pasture.

That is how my dad cut watermelon and boy it was good. I would always break off the sweet tip and eat back toward the rind first then come back to the “sweet spot”!

I guess I am old enough or maybe since my parents that grew up in the depression that such a thing was a real treat. We didn’t drink pop, and my dad who worked a second job down at the local golf course would now and then bring me home a Milky Way candy bar maybe once every week or two. But my sugar intake was pretty low by today’s standards!!

Anyhow memories like that are something we try and help families create today with our fresh from the field local produce we grow at Maize Valley and special events. I hope you can enjoy one too!

Also look for us at some of the local farmers’ markets listed on the right side of the page under farmers’ markets.