Food Consciousness on Jackie O’s Barrel Ridge Farm
What was once a country based almost entirely on agriculture, the United States has seen such a decrease in the farming industry that less than one percent of Americans are currently farmers. Small, organic farms are especially suffering from the sheer scale of large monocrop farms that dominate the industry today.
Barrel Ridge Farm in Southeastern Ohio’s Lodi Township, has been a local food source for Jackie O’s Restaurant and Brewery since 2010, and is evidence of those trying to defy the harrowing odds of survival for small-scale farms. The farm became a part of Jackie O’s business recently in an attempt to make the practice of small farming flourish again. It is run by a small staff and does its best to put what is right for the environment and community over what is right for their bank accounts.
Jackie O’s practices a number of sustainable initiatives in their taproom, brewery, distribution process, restaurant and farm. The practices on Barrel Ridge Farm include 18 goats and a cow that are rotationally grazed to reduce parasite loads and fertilize the pastures. The goat feed is supplemented with spent grain from the brewing process, which is also used for mulch. Irrigation is done through drip tape, which lowers water usage as well as brings the water directly to the roots of the plants. By farming on slopes and practicing cover cropping, soil erosion is reduced, and crop rotation prevents soil nutrient depletion while also reducing insect susceptibility. No GMO crops are planted, and national organic practices are followed. Finally, Barrel Ridge offers plenty of educational opportunities as well as internships, allowing the community to experience and learn from their many sustainable practices.
Alexandria is from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and is a third-year photojournalism major at Ohio University. She is also pursuing an environmental studies certificate as a result of her passion for environmentalism and sustainability. She loves to immerse herself in the local culture of Athens as well as other organizations on campus.
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