Boulder Belt-Eco Farm—just one mile north of Eaton, Ohio— offers CSA shares and a farm store to Preble County residents. Their story really all begins with “digging in the dirt”— they met each other working as archeologists in Ohio. In a way, the farming idea sort of dropped into their laps—even though they have put in countless hours of hard work and dedication over the years. Initially, Eugene and Lucy weren’t really looking to farm; however, the plot of land that they began renting was located on a 20-acre farm. So, they start out with a garden and what they thought was an inordinate amount of vegetables that they needed something to do with.
In 1993, they set up a 25 by 60 foot market garden and began to sell produce at Richmond Farmers’ Market the following year. Even though they didn’t make any money and they didn’t even keep records to show whether their efforts were economical or not, they had a ton of fun learning how to farm, working on the farm, and selling what they reaped at the local market.
This was enough to encourage them to expand. Their gardening endeavors grew and grew—spurred on by the doubts that many people had about the possibilities of their success. Eugene and Lucy rose to the challenge, getting their farm certified organic in 2002 after a long, drawn-out process. Lucy explained that organic was really all about having a healthy soil, “Soil is soul. When you treat the soil correctly, everything follows.”
In 2005, Boulder Belt-Eco Farm moved 15 miles to Highway 127, the place where it resides today. They have always been faced with the challenge of conventional agricultural that is so prevalent in their county, and they rise to this occasion in their efforts to change the way the Preble community thinks about agriculture and food.
Boulder Belt Eco-Farm offers six week long CSA shares (actually they are 12 week) throughout the summer season, some members even continue their membership throughout the winter. Beyond that, their mission is to leave the farm in far better shape, ecologically, than it was before they got there. They strive to provide quality, nutrient-dense food to the community and to educate people about why eating whole foods—like raw fruits and vegetables is so important. They are proud examples to young farmers in their area and are always happy to mentor those farmers who choose to leave the conventional agricultural scene for small, local, community farming.
Cheers to Eugene, Lucy, and Boulder Belt-Eco Farm—Local Hero Farmers/Farm—for their efforts as champions of local food in the Ohio Valley to plant, grow, and harvest nutritious, local food for their community.