Just because there's snow on the ground and area farmers markets have packed up shop for the winter doesn't mean you can't find local, organic produce around North Canton anymore.
On the contrary. Every Thursday, Hazel Artisan Bakery is stocked with tons of organic produce that customers have ordered online the Monday before.
What they're doing is ordering through Breezy Hill Farms in Homeworth and picking it up right here in North Canton at Hazel's.
The collaboration between the two businesses is now in its third year, and it continues to grow in popularity.
"It's worked out really well," said Phil Bartholomae, who owns Breezy Hill Farm with his wife Mindy. "For us, it's a way of keeping in contact with our North Canton customers, because it would be too far for them to drive out to the farm. And it's great for the bakery because it drives extra traffic there."
Lonnie Ball, who owns Hazel Artisan Bakery with Jim Ferrero, agrees it's a win-win.
"Most of our customers are regulars," Ball said. "They come in every week. We've made a lot of friends through this."
The bakery also uses the farm for its salad greens.
The farm and bakery had both participated in the farmers market at Gervasi Vineyard, and a mutual customer suggested the collaboration would be a great way to keep local, organic produce coming into North Canton after the markets closed.
The farm has three pickup locations in North Canton, Akron and at Breezy Hill Farm.
Breezy Hill Farm is a four-season grower, meaning it can grow all year round using high tunnels. (Click here to see what we mean.)
Right now, the farm grows produce that can withstand a freeze, like spinach, kale, lettuce, turnips, radishes, beets, carrots and Asian greens like bok choy.
In the summer in same tunnels there will be heat-loving crops, like tomatoes and peppers that really love the heat," Phil Bartholomae said. "We grow them in a way that allows us to grow them earlier than you can outside."
Editor's note: Breezy Hill Farm will not sell this week but will start again next week.