Everyday Acres: Bringing Heritage Food to Columbus Homes
Just outside Columbus lies a 6.5-acre farm where Maria Losh is making her dreams come true everyday by bringing sustainable food and milk into Columbus and Granville homes and bellies. Losh raises chickens and dairy goats on green pastures and cares for her herd and flock with love and respect. In return, her flock and herd supply Central Ohio with goat milk, pasture-raised eggs, and chicken.
Everyday Acres, Losh’s farm, was born out of a dream she worked hard to achieve. Before she called her farm home, Losh earned a master’s degree in environmental science from Miami University, had a fellowship at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and worked for private environmental consulting firms. She then started working with certified organic farms through the Ohio Ecological Food and Farm Association. All of her academic and professional work were part of her journey home to Everyday Acres.
Losh named her farm Everyday Acres because, “it reminds me how lucky I am to be here every day…and of the gratitude I feel every day for my community of farmers and customers.”
“I wanted to farm long before I bought my own farm,” Losh said. “I started with volunteering at educational and CSA farms, then working with farmers directly at OEFFA. Through OEFFA, I was able to connect with wonderful mentors, bought a property in Granville, and started with chickens and goats.”
While Losh still works full-time in organic certification, she now also manages a Gurnsey dairy goat herd and a flock of Red Dorking chickens. Losh breeds, midwifes, and raises goats to maintain her goat milk herd share. She also raises chickens both for eggs and meat as well as to continue the lines of these heritage breeds. The care and attention to the specific needs of each of her goats and flock of chickens are evident when listening to Losh describe her work on Everyday Acres. She is even able to find humor in some of the harder moments, like breaking a rib while trimming the horn of a buck (male goat) that was growing into its head.
“Learning goat husbandry has been a wild ride,” Losh said. “The extreme lows make the highs even more satisfying. Dairy goats are susceptible to internal parasites that have to be managed in many ways, including really dialing into their nutritional needs. There is also so much to learn about goat breeding and midwifery.”
Losh truly cares for and knows each of her goats in order to give them the best quality of life and to bring the freshest and best goat milk she can into the Columbus market.
“The milk produced for herd share members is therefore probably my favorite item,” she said. “It is truly born from blood, sweat, and tears.”
Herd share members are a special customer of Everyday Acres because they are legally part owners of the goats in the herd share. Due to legal restrictions around the sale of raw milk, Losh started a herd share to make her goat milk accessible to Central Ohioans.
“A herd share allows you to buy shares of a milking animal or herd and pay the farmer to care for the animals and milk them,” Losh explained. “As owners, the shareholders are entitled to the milk from their own animals.”
Everyday Acres’ goat milk herd share members support Losh’s dream to live on a sustainable farm in Central Ohio. Each week, members pick up their goat milk share at City Folks Farm Shop in Clintonville or at the farm. While raw milk herd shares require a little extra paperwork, Losh walks customers through the process and makes it simple. She directs people interested in learning more to her website where more information and the required forms are available.
Losh feels lucky to be in this area and has had much love and support from customers both in Columbus and Granville.
“I feel very lucky to be in such a supportive community. I have no problem selling all the products I am able to produce,” she said. “Columbus has a great market for small farm products…the support in Granville and Columbus for small farmers is very special.”
Losh has already achieved a huge life goal of starting Everyday Acres and maintaining a successful goat milk herd share, but she still has big plans for her farm.
“I dream of continuous improvement,” she said. “I have a small amount of space to work with, so my current dream project is rehabbing an old barn on the property so I can have separate goat and chicken barns. That will give me more room for both and really let me maximize production on my small acreage.”
Support Losh’s continued investment in Central Ohio by joining her herd share or buying her eggs. Eggs are available at the Ross Granville IGA, through Happy Toes Homestead’s CSA, and at City Folks Farm Shop in Clintonville. Potential herd share members can contact Losh for more information on signing up. After becoming an official herd share member, milk can be picked up at Everyday Acres or at City Folks Farm Shop.
For more information, visit everydayacres.com.
All photos courtesy Kelsey Brunner