Red Beets are a symbol. They are food medicine! Loaded with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, they detoxify the body, reduce inflammation, strengthen the immune system, and fortify vital organs. Eaten by cultures all over the world for thousands of years! Dried, shredded, mashed, pickled, fermented, and preserved in too many ways to count! Beets are a Super Food!!! At Red Beet Row, we hope to imitate the beet – detoxify and heal the land, plants, and creatures around us. It’s a “Row” because we don’t want to be alone!
Agroecology Education Farm
Red Beet Row is a small 7 acre education farm in Jefferson, OH. Agroecology uses principles of biology to understand the ecological balance of nature, and applies those principles to agriculture. We teach classes on how to grow basic needs – healthy food, medicine, shelter, energy – using holistic practices and materials that are nontoxic and freely-available. We teach how to imitate and work with Mother Nature, rather than against her. Other words used to describe these concepts: “Permaculture,” “Sustainability,” “Off-Grid,” and “Living off the Land.”
Nursery, Herbs, Products
We also have a passion for plants! We have an off-grid nursery where we sell medicinal herbs, perennial vegetables, and uncommon fruits. We save the seed from our plants from year to year, building up bioregionally-strong genetics in our stock. As time goes on, our nursery stock gets better and better! We also harvest herbs, roots, and barks from our cultivated and wild plants. We sell these fresh or dried, in small amounts or bulk, and we make products from these to sell, as well. We source as many ingredients on-farm as possible. Buy these items, and your money goes to support our educational efforts.
About Our Land
See our Pictures. Just a few minutes from Lake Erie, we enjoy a buffered micro climate created by the Great Lake. Heavy snow in the winter protects our fields from severe fluctuations. Frequent rains in the fall and spring rejuvenate our aquifers. Our land is flat, wet, and windy. We enjoy some forest, but most of the property is prairie. As we design the farm, we are planning ponds, swales, chinampas, and many wind breaks. Our soils are heavy clay – which is great for building structures using natural materials. We use animals and deep-rooted plants to build up fertile soil and to create drainage paths for all the water on the land.
We acknowledge our land was once inhabited by Erie and Mississauga peoples, and possibly also Kaskaskia and Haudenosaunee. The land was taken by the U.S. in the Treaty of Greenville in 1795, in which most of the future states of OH, IN, IL, and MI were officially colonized. The Trail of Tears proceeded in 1830-1850, in which hundreds of thousands of remaining native peoples were killed or pushed west in forced government removal. In our education practices at Red Beet Row, we seek to reconnect human hands and spirit to nature by teaching how to meet basic needs off the land. We hope to help shift culture toward a more harmonious post-colonial existence with the land and each other!
Who are “We”?
John and Steph are the founders and most-frequent teachers at Red Beet Row. They live on the farm with John’s parents, Kim & John Wright, and grandparents, Delores & Bill Wright. Guest teachers, farm workers, and friends are part of Red Beet Row, as well.
John Wright, Jr
John is a self-taught permaculture expert. He is an excellent teacher and workshop leader for all ages. He also provides private consultations to land owners interested in transforming their property into a permaculture paradise. John was formally trained as a horticulturist at the Ohio State University. He has worked with community gardens and faith-based institutions. He knows from experience how to grow food in anything: tiny inner-city plot, a windowsill, hidden public spaces, on acres and acres of rural land, etc. He is a master seed saver, plant-identifier, creative-thinker, and dreamer. He was born and raised in Jefferson, OH.
Stephanie’s skills lie in grassroots community organizing, teaching small hands-on workshops, and making things. She seeks partnerships with groups and people. She wishes to share nature’s therapeutic power with individuals struggling for meaning. She also loves teaching how to build and creatively construct! Steph came to farming after spending years in the nonprofit sector, academia, and office environments in general. Thanks to her mother, she always kept a garden. When Steph began working for vegetable farmers, she discovered it was the only activity she found completely fulfilling – healing, nourishing, and brimming with wonder. She also loves learning and teaching natural building methods, as well as use of power tools! Steph is from the Kanawha valley of West Virginia.
Steph moved with John back to his childhood home in Jefferson, OH, on October 15, 2014, so they could realize their dreams of teaching permaculture on family land. Farming is their way of constructing the world they want to see, and they really hope others jump on board to help make that world happen!