• Kendall Hills in summer bloom by Jeffrey Gibson

    Cuyahoga Valley

    National Park Ohio

There are park alerts in effect.
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  • Towpath Trail Closure

    Towpath Trail is closed from Mustill Store to Memorial Parkway for riverbank reinforcement. Detours posted. Closure will last 1 - 4 weeks into August. More »

  • Other Closures

    Valley Bridle Trail south of SR 303, across from golf course, is collapsed by river. Hard closure. Plateau Trail Bridge, north of Valley Picnic Area is closed. No detours. Plateau & Oak Hill trails are open. More »

  • Riverview Road Repaving

    Riverview Rd is being repaved from the Cuyahoga-Summit Cty line to Peninsula through Mon, 9/15. Road is open but there are still delays due to construction. Allow extra time. More »

Growing Vegetables

Beets and beans.

Courtesy/Countryside Conservancy

Farming vegetables in Cuyahoga and Summit counties began with American Indians as early as 800 BC. Ohio's American Indian cultures grew corn, beans, squash, melons, apples, and a variety of garden produce. Corn remained the most important crop for 19th century farmers, who also grew wheat, oats, potatoes, apple trees, and other garden plants and vegetables.

As the industrial boom of the early 20th century lured farmers away to Cleveland and Akron, agriculture in the valley became more focused on truck farming. Truck farming meant that the farmer grew a wide variety of fruits and vegetables, and sold these products on a smaller and more local scale. Truck farms and gardens often provided families with all the food they needed for themselves, as well as provided additional income from roadside stands and markets.

 
Szalay cornfield.

Szalay cornfield.

NPS/Arrye Rosser

Corn has been grown in the Cuyahoga Valley for almost 1,500 years, beginning with Ohio's American Indians. Valley farmers in the 19th century continued to raise corn and passed the tradition along to later generations. Since 1931, the Szalay family has picked and sold sweet corn at their farm along Riverview Road. The cornfields are a familiar sight to visitors in the Everett area. In Sagamore Hills to the north, the Polcens also operate a full-time sweet corn business, which Gerald Polcen's grandfather founded over 90 years ago. Gerald and his wife Marilyn sell their corn from a stand on SR 82 during the summer.
 
Oral history audio.

In Their Own Words
Click the topics to hear stories about Cuyahoga Valley life.
Click here to read the text file.

Hunt Farm Truck Farming (40 seconds)
Helyn Toth describes her family's truck farm operation in the 1930s.

Szalay Farm Truck Farming (18 seconds)
Irene Kusnyer talks about truck farming on the Szalay Farm in the 1930s, before the business grew in scale.

The Fulltime Farmer (17 seconds)
Gerald and Marilyn Polcen describe what it takes to work as full-time sweet corn farmers.




Did You Know?

Dragonfly image by NPS volunteer John Catalano.

Dragonflies and damselflies look almost alike while flying. However, if you wait until they land, dragonflies lay their wings to the side while damselflies lay them back and above their bodies.