Columbus Urban Farm Foraged & Sown Wins Federal Farm Grant
Will grow their sustainably-grown, handmade herbal tea and salt blend business
COLUMBUS OHIO (November 15, 2016) US Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack recently announced 2016 USDA Rural Development grant awardees including just two recipients in Ohio. Kate Hodges and Rachel Tayse of Columbus urban farm Foraged & Sown are among this year's Value Added Producer selection, for their project Preserving Wild Flavors and Nordic Traditions.
“I’ve always been intrigued by heirloom and lesser known crops, and that curiosity steered me naturally towards the pursuit of new flavors,” says Hodges. She began Foraged & Sown to provide culinary herbs, berries, and produce to Clintonville Farmers’ Market customers. Tayse and Hodges manage market gardens using organic practices on three properties in the North Linden neighborhood of Columbus and forage private property in the surrounding area to supplement their cultivated offerings with wild foods like paw paws, acorn flour, and ramps.
To complement their fresh produce, Hodges and Tayse dry some herbs for tea and salt blends. Their $17,000 USDA award will allow them to expand this work through use of a commercial kitchen, marketing and small business support, and a 2017 study tour of Norway and Finland.
“We're interested in putting the culture back in agriculture,” Tayse says. That's why she and Hodges proposed visiting farms and processors in Scandinavia, where there are strong traditions for preserving unique flavors and where both women have family ties.
Foraged & Sown will use Facebook and Instagram to document their discoveries in Norway and Finland during peak harvest season and as they navigate expansion of the teas and salt blends. Taste their offerings at the Clintonville Farmers’ Market, Boline Apothecary, City Folk’s Farm Shop and on locally-sourced restaurant menus at GoreMade Pizza, Skillet RUF, Rook’s Tavern, and more.
About Foraged & Sown:
Foraged & Sown is a work of adventurous urban food production. Farmers Kate Hodges and Rachel Tayse are building a system of high-quality annual and perennial herbs, berries and nuts in their gardens while enriching the earth with organic practices in the North Linden neighborhood of Columbus Ohio. The produce, herbal teas, and salt blends are available at Clintonville Farmers’ Market, local restaurants, and retailers.
Video updates from the trip: