Growing Vegetables

Beets and beans.

Courtesy / Countryside Food and Farms

Farming vegetables in Cuyahoga and Summit counties began with Native Americans as early as 2,800 years ago. Ohio's Native American cultures grew corn, beans, squash, melons, apples, and a variety of garden produce. Corn remained the most important crop for farmers in the 1800s, who also grew wheat, oats, potatoes, apple trees, and other garden plants and vegetables.

As the industrial boom of the early 1900s 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 Indigenous peoples. Valley farmers in the 1800s 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.

 
 
 
 

Last updated: November 9, 2021

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