About

CincySprouts: Locally Grown Transplants and Seedlings for Farmers and Gardeners and the CincySprouts Team

CincySprouts is an entrepreneurial based learning project started in winter of 2015 to provide farmers and gardeners in the Cincinnati area with plants and seedlings grown locally without the use of chemical herbicides, pesticides, or fertilizers. CincySprouts offers several wholesale possibilities for local growers and customizable retail purchase options for gardeners.

The majority of our seeds are certified organic. Our growing methods are environmentally sound and sustainable. Through our website, here, customers can receive updates on which plants are currently available, future week’s availability, and also custom preorder seedlings with a chosen pickup or delivery date.

CincySprouts is able to start seeds for farmers who do not have adequate space in their propagation houses or simply do not have time to do so. Using the propagation houses at Cincinnati State Community College and on Bahr Farm in College Hill, CincySprouts has bench space available to start additional seeds—either from purchased seed, or from our own stock of organic seed—and can deliver the transplants locally at a desired time.

We offer alternative varieties of popular crops—such as locally bred heirloom tomatoes, peppers, and other cool and warm season crops, as as well as culinary and medicinal herbs.


 

Originated through Our Harvest Research and Education Institute (OHREI, now Cultivate! Ohio Valley), coordinated by Ken Stern, CincySprouts began as an initiative of Our Harvest Cooperative (OHC), a worker-owned farm, foodhub, and CSA centered around Bahr Farm in College Hill. OHREI’s mission is training the next generation of farmers, and CincySprouts also sees itself as an incubator not just for plants, but for young growers as well!

Charles Griffin, a farmer and organic farm consultant with decades of organic growing experience, as well as a professor in the sustainable agriculture program at Cincinnati State, guides the CincySprouts team in the best growing practices for each type of plant.

Rosa Michaels was OHREI’s (now Cultivate! Ohio Valley) first full-time apprentice. Mentored by Charles Griffin, Ken Stern, and two other farmers at OHC, she managed the greenhouse and nursery on Bahr Farm in her second season along with the daily harvesting and general work. During the winter of her first year at Our Harvest, she was given the challenge and opportunity to take a framework provided by OHREI and a grant from the City of Cincinnati, for an entrepreneurial based learning project and make it successful. CincySprouts was born in winter 2015 with Ken as the idea originator, and with the help of Charles, Anna Haas of Ohio Valley Food Connection, and Akshay Ahuja of Cincinnati Magazine, as well as many irreplaceable greenhouse hours from Stefanie Kremer.

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Rosa was asked to return to manage and mentor the two new apprentices for CincySprouts’ 2016/2017 season as the Project Manager. Alex Otto and Olivia Nava-Meinerding currently are apprentices for Our Harvest Cooperative.  Ian Privitera has also joined the team as a Greater Cincinnati Regional Food Policy Council Good Food Fellow (GCRFPC).

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Olivia was born and raised in Cincinnati. She is dedicated to improving her community by promoting diversity, conservation and implementing sustainable and responsible methods for growing food. She recognizes the value in CincySprouts as an educational vehicle to promote Cincinnati’s role in supporting its growing population of future farmers. Cultivate!Ohio Valley has supported her efforts by providing a comprehensive apprenticeship. It has given her the opportunity to learn under the mentorship of established farmers (Steve Deinger, Steve Edwards, Charles Griffin) and former apprentice, Rosa Michaels Christophel, within city limits. Olivia also supports the art community of Cincinnati, having assisted and collaborated with her sisters Rebecca Nava Bauer and Veronica Nava in several projects. She credits her husband Bradley, family and Mexican heritage for fostering and supporting her passion in the arts, agriculture and community pride.

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As a young child, Alex often found himself drawn to the small undeveloped patchwork of forests and gullies meandering below the hilltop suburban streets of his home town . Those adventures through  litter strewn creeks (also strewn with the fossil remains of an ancient sea) synthesized in him a deep appreciation for the natural world. They also stirred  deeper questions about his responsibility for protecting an environment that seemed to be buckling under the pressures of modern civilization. It only took a few seasons helping out at a local farm for Alex to realize agriculture as not only a career path immersed in nature, but also a way to satisfy his desire to live an environmentally responsible lifestyle. In the spring of 2016 Alex was hired on at Our Harvest Cooperative and qualified for the two year Farming Apprenticeship program piloted by Cultivate! Ohio Valley. His is very excited to be on the CincySprouts team this year.

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Ian is currently studying Sustainable Agriculture Management and Entrepreneurship at Cincinnati State. He was selected for the GCRFPC Good Food Fellows Fellowship, which is a program designed to improve food systems in the greater Cincinnati area. Ian’s fellowship project consists of working with a company and completing a presentation on what he learned and accomplished. He is excited to work with CincySprouts this season because Ian plans to start a small business upon graduation, and that is exactly what the CincySprouts team is doing- running a small business! Ian is a Cincinnati native and a major foodie.  He really enjoys seeing the process of where the best quality ingredients come from and how they are created. Ian believes that our country’s conventional food systems are deeply flawed and unsustainable, and that we must make a shift to local, sustainable food producers- and that CincySprouts adds to the ever growing abundance of excellent, locally grown produce of the Cincinnati area, but also provides valuable insight into how we, as proponents and to-be-professionals of sustainable food systems, should go about making this shift.

As a small, local business, CincySprouts is highly responsive to local farmers’ needs.
CincySprouts looks forward to being a resource for you this growing season. Please email cincysprouts@gmail.com for inquiries and visit our vegetable and herb listings on this site!

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