Annual Grow Ohio Valley Harvest Festival held at Lincoln Meadow Farm

Vendor at the Grow Ohio Valley Harvest Festival.

The annual Grow Ohio Valley Harvest Festival took place in Wheeling on Saturday, Oct. 23 at Lincoln Meadow Farm. This event was free to the public. Some of the attractions included pumpkin picking, a campfire, guided tours, food vendors, live music and games.

The events included many activities for children such as the “Fun-Raiser” pumpkin painting and “smoothie bikes” where people blended smoothies by riding stationary bikes.

The live music performers included local bands such as New Age Adenas, Ezra John Hamilton, Adrian Niles and Matt Heusel, The Jim and Bailey Band, Jeff Sperl, David Widder-Varhegyi and The Sunflower Brothers.

Grow Ohio Valley is an organization that supports local farmers and ensures that everyone has access to healthy foods. According to their website, “we are working to improve the health and economic opportunity of our region by building a robust, integrated, locally-owned food system. Through collaboration at all levels, we increase access to the healthy foods our community desires and support the local businesses that can provide it.”

Grow Ohio Valley works to improve “five levels of our local food system.” They seek to improve local production by growing quality food, supporting local farmers, and training the next generation in agriculture. They support “value-adding processes.” According to their website, “We work to turn fresh food from the farm into market-ready products of all kinds. Value-Adding is about turning maple sap into a beautiful jar of maple syrup or turning grain into freshly baked bread. We are building the infrastructure to allow local food entrepreneurs to create new products and scale-up production to reach wider markets.”

They also support local markets to ensure that healthy, high quality food is available and affordable to everyone in the community. Their mobile markets and downtown Public Market prioritize getting fresh food to areas that would not otherwise have access to fresh food. Grow Ohio Valley also seeks to increase community engagement by encouraging the general public “to learn more about our local food system, gain the skills necessary to improve it, and to celebrate the good food we produce together”. The organization even supports protecting the environment and public health.

For more information about the Harvest Festival or Grow Ohio Valley, go to Grow Ohio Valley’s website or visit their Facebook page.