Shared Legacy Farms: Our Story
Shared Legacy Farms is a small, 20 acre organic vegetable farm located in Elmore, Ohio. It was established in 2008, as a subsidiary of Bench Farms, St. Rte. 2 — a family farm serving the local community for 30 years. Owners Kurt and Corinna Bench started the farm with the premise that “every vegetable tells a story.” Sadly with the advent of Big Agriculture and the growing dependence on processed food, many Americans have lost touch with the local farm and its roots. Shared Legacy Farm’s vision is to help people rediscover this lost story and “bring the local farmer back to the kitchen table.” Kurt and Corinna are passionate about growing great produce, educating consumers about the world of agriculture, and reviving a spirit of community through their farm. They have two young sons, Jed (age 5) and Josiah (age 2), who love to farm and play tractors, and are an integral part of the farm operation.
Kurt brings over 15 years of experience growing plants and managing large-scale horticultural operations. And Corinna spent 12 years directing programming and adult volunteers for a large student ministry program. They have found that the CSA model is uniquely suited to their strengths and gifts. Although they love to grow vegetables, what really motivates them in their CSA is growing people and building connections and relationships. Anyone can grow vegetables. But they like the satisfaction of getting to know their customers, learning their stories, befriending their families, and seeing how their local product is enhancing their lives.
2013 was an exciting year for the Benches. With the help of hundreds of families in the Toledo area standing behind them, Kurt and Corinna made a huge leap of faith and became full-time farmers. In their first year in 2008, they started with only 12 customers, and have managed to double in size every year since. It is the fulfillment of a lifelong dream. This season, they plan to open up a vegetable stand along Schultz-Portage Rd and the North Inland Coast Bike Trail to offer their produce to local Elmore residents. We hope you’ll join us for the 2014 season, which promises to be another exciting chapter in the quest to tell the story of our food!