Honoring Cuyahoga County Century Farms
ODA Deputy Director Janelle Mead recently attended the Cuyahoga County Soil and Water Conservation District’s annual meeting to meet two of the county’s longest-running farm families. The Foote and Giere families have registered their farms in the Ohio Bicentennial and Century Farms program.
The Foote Family
The Foote Farm in Brooklyn Heights was founded in 1820 by Edwin Foote, a surveyor for the Connecticut Land Company. The farm today is co-owned by Joy Foote (her husband, Clayton, was 5th generation of the family), and son, Les and his wife Ann (6th generation). Joel, Joy’s grandson and 7th generation family member, helps with production. Fruits, greenhouse products (tomatoes and lettuce), and flowers were originally grown on the farm. Today, ½ acre is rented out for growing raspberries, with the balance of the 7-8 acres operated by the family for growing vegetables and various types of corn for local sale.
The Giere Family
The Bourne-Giere family’s Maple Crest Farm dates back to 1839 when founder Chessman Miller purchased land in Brecksville. The farm originally produced potatoes, corn, dairy cattle, hogs and poultry. Today the farm includes a horse training, boarding and riding facility operated by 6th and 7th generation family members Meredith Giere and Stacey Giere. Seventh-generation Brant Giere and Carol Sahley reside on the family homestead, and raise a flock of rare breed chickens and several pygmy and Nigerian dwarf goats.
(Photo, From left) ODA Deputy Director Janelle Mead; Foote Family: Diane Seman and Joy Foote; Giere Family: Meredith Giere and Brant Giere; and Cuyahoga County SWCD District Administrator Jan Rybka. Photo courtesy of Cuyahoga County SWCD.