About Us

Red Beets are a symbol. They are food medicine! Loaded with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, they detoxify the body, reduce inflammation, strengthen the immune system, and fortify vital organs. Eaten by cultures all over the world for thousands of years! Dried, shredded, mashed, pickled, fermented, and preserved in too many ways to count! Beets are a Super Food!!!

At Red Beet Row, we hope to imitate the beet – detoxify and heal the land, plants, and creatures around us. It's a "Row" because we don't want to be alone!
Come take a class! 

Agroecology Education Farm

Red Beet Row is a small 7 acre education farm in Jefferson, OH.  Agroecology uses principles of biology to understand the ecological balance of nature, and applies those principles to agriculture.  We teach classes on how to grow basic needs - healthy food, medicine, shelter, energy - using holistic practices and materials that are nontoxic and freely-available.  We teach how to imitate and work with Mother Nature, rather than against her. Other words used to describe these concepts: "Permaculture," "Sustainability," "Off-Grid," and "Living off the Land."

 

Nursery, Herbs, Products

We also have a passion for plants!  We have an off-grid nursery where we sell medicinal herbs, perennial vegetables, and uncommon fruits.  We save the seed from our plants from year to year, building up bioregionally-strong genetics in our stock.  As time goes on, our nursery stock gets better and better!  We also harvest herbs, roots, and barks from our cultivated and wild plants.  We sell these fresh or dried, in small amounts or bulk, and we make products from these to sell, as well. We source as many ingredients on-farm as possible.  Buy these items, and your money goes to support our educational efforts.

 

About Our Land

See our Pictures page.  Just a few minutes from Lake Erie, we enjoy a buffered micro climate created by the Great Lake. Heavy snow in the winter protects our fields from severe fluctuations. Frequent rains in the fall and spring rejuvenate our aquifers. Our land is flat, wet, and windy. We enjoy some forest, but most of the property is prairie. As we design the farm, we are planning ponds, swales, chinampas, and many wind breaks. Our soils are heavy clay – which is great for building structures using natural materials. We use animals and deep-rooted plants to build up fertile soil and to create drainage paths for all the water on the land.

Who are “We”?

 

John Wright, Jr., and Stephanie Blessing

john n steph croppedJohn and Steph are the founders and most-frequent teachers at Red Beet Row.  We live on the farm with John's parents Kim & John Wright and grandparents Delores & Bill Wright.

John is a self-taught permaculture expert. He is an excellent teacher and workshop leader for all ages. He also provides private consultations to land owners interested in transforming their property into a permaculture paradise. John was formally trained as a horticulturist at the Ohio State University. He has worked with community gardens and faith-based institutions. He knows from experience how to grow food in anything: tiny inner-city plot, a windowsill, hidden public spaces, on acres and acres of rural land, etc. He is a master seed saver, plant-identifier, creative-thinker, and dreamer. He was born and raised in Jefferson, OH.

Stephanie's skills lie in grassroots community organizing, and teaching small hands-on workshops. She seeks partnerships with organizations and individuals so she can share the benefits of nature with others. She wants to bring nourishing food to those who need it most. She also wishes to share nature's therapeutic power with individuals struggling for meaning. Steph came to farming only recently, after spending years in the nonprofit sector, academia, and office environments in general. She has always kept a garden, even when it was all containers. When Steph began working for vegetable farmers, she discovered it was the only activity she found completely fulfilling – healing, nourishing, and brimming with wonder.  She is from the Kanawha valley of West Virginia.

Steph moved with John back to his childhood home in Jefferson, OH, on October 15, 2014, so they could realize their dreams of teaching permaculture on family land. Farming is their way of constructing the world they want to see, and they really hope others jump on board to help make that world happen!

 

Isaac Coblentz

isaac profileIsaac is a teacher at Red Beet Row.  He has many skills to share including basket weaving, felting, plant and fungi identification and some of their practical uses. More recently he has returned his focus to composting, and the cultivation of living soil, plants and fungi. Isaac grew up in rural Ashtabula county working alongside his mother and father in their gardens, and learning to compost at an early age. He has a deep love for nature and the web of life.  This love has been the foundation that has motivated most of his interests and pursuits throughout life.  Composting and the cycling of elements and nutrients is one of his greatest life long passions. His parents always encouraged him to explore his creativity, resulting in many years of life focused on learning and practicing creative process involving basket weaving with natural materials, spinning and weaving of animal fibers.  He now embraces the recycling of materials as a means of giving new life and function to what had been discarded as trash.