Imagine knowing the exact farm your fresh Ohio produce comes from or eating at a local restaurant that produces appetizing meals with locally grown products. In Athens County, consumers can know exactly where their food products originate from along the 30 Mile Meal.
The 30 Mile Meal is the nation’s first “super-local” food campaign which highlights foods and spirits produced within a 30-mile radius of Athens. Over 160 local farmers, farmer’s markets, restaurants, breweries and wineries collaborate to produce locally grown farm-to-table dining and drinking experiences.
My inner foodie was salivating at the opportunity to taste the regional flavors and sip on a locally crafted beer or glass of wine. But first, I wanted to see the source of the locally grown ingredients, so I ventured out to Green Edge Gardens. With 120 acres and eight hydronic heated greenhouses, Green Edge Gardens produces 40-70 different products year-round! Becky, co-owner of Green Edge Gardens, and I spent a few hours touring the farm and tasting the delicious produce fresh from the organic soil! Walking alongside the farm owner while learning about Ohio’s sustainable agricultural practices, a sense of pride came over me, knowing that Ohio farmers still maintain the traditions of Ohio’s rich agricultural history!
With dozens of local restaurants along the 30 Mile Meal, I spent the rest of the weekend eating my way through Athens! Athens is referred to as a “Garden of Eatin’” and I quickly realized why as I tasted numerous delightful and locally sourced meals from Casa Nueva Restaurant & Cantina, Lui Lui, OMG! Rotisserie, Sol and Village Bakery & Café. I enjoyed a few local crafted libations from Jackie O’s Brewery, Little Fish Brewing Company, Pleasant Hill Vineyards and Shade Winery. My inner foodie rejoiced and it was love at first bite as I could taste the freshness of local ingredients, feel the sense of community spirit of Athens, and know there is a pride that comes from producing quality food and spirits!
Yes, the 30 Mile Meal encourages visitors and locals alike to consume locally sourced products, but what I found along the way is the friendliness and sense of community pride among the locals of Athens. Take a weekend getaway to map out your own 30 Mile Meal, to meet local Ohio farmers and growers and to nosh on scrumptious regional foods. Whether a romantic escape for two or a family adventure to learn about sustainable agriculture, the 30 Mile Meal will make you fall in love with locally grown Ohio products and convince you to support local eateries. Isn’t it time you start eating local?