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Family-owned since 1855

About Us

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What is Carriage House Farm?

We are a farm.  We have been single family-owned since 1855.  We are located in North Bend, Ohio, located 20 minutes outside of Cincinnati.  We supply the best chefs and local retailers in the region.  We host on-farm dinners.  We try to help develop a regional food culture that defines who we are.  We work with local organizations to help preserve old and native breeds of plants and vegetables.  We work to help build the local community and support locally-owned busineses. 

 
 

Our History

Field Crew circa 1900.  Drovers would move hogs into Cincinnati and then work local farms as they head back out from Cincinnati.  Here they are pictured harvesting wheat at the foot of Mt. Nebo.

Field Crew circa 1900.  Drovers would move hogs into Cincinnati and then work local farms as they head back out from Cincinnati.  Here they are pictured harvesting wheat at the foot of Mt. Nebo.

 
 

Late 1700 history

The general history for the farm goes back to the Revolutionary War when Captain Joseph Hayes was given a land grant in the Indiana territory for his service to the country in the war for independence. This initially brought the Hayes side of the family to southeast Indiana and southwest Ohio.

Late 1800 history

The foundation of the current family farm began in 1855 when Joseph H. Hayes, son of Captain Joseph Hayes, purchased a 50-acre farm, located on the south side of the Great Miami River where the Whitewater River enters the Great Miami. This section of the farm contains all the farm buildings: the house, barns, and additional outbuildings. In 1869 Joseph purchased an additional 89-acre farm, again on the south side of the Great Miami River, west of the 50-acre farm, separated by approximately a quarter mile. The original farm was primarily river bottom, while the second, larger purchase was on high ground and consisted of a 50-acre flat with 39 acres of treed hillside. There was no further change in the size of the farm until the mid 1990’s.

In 1884 the farm was willed to Job Hayes, one of Joseph Hayes’ two sons. He worked the farm for at least another ten years, until 1894, at which time ownership of the farm was transferred through a will to his wife Missouri Hayes. Job and Missouri had one child Georgeanna.

Missouri operated the farm for over 25 years after Job’s death. The farm ownership was transferred to Georgeanna through a will in 1923.

1900’s history

Georgeanna married Dr. Charles Saur and relocated to Norwood, Ohio. She still retained ownership of the farm and found local farmers willing to work the farm on shares. In 1930 Georgeanna and her family returned to the farm. Georgeanna had two children, Louis and Louise. Louis, born in 1906, never married and took over operation of the farm as an adult, continuing farming through the 1960’s. Louise Saur married Marion Stewart and moved to Price Hill, a suburb of Cincinnati. Louise had two children Georgia May and Richard Marion. Georgeanna died in 1969, and ownership of the farm was transferred to Louis Saur and Louise Stewart as half-owners.

During the 1970’s Richard (Dick) took over the management of the farm. Louis, who had been working the farm for over thirty years, was ready to retire. Dick and his wife lived in Cincinnati with their two children Richard Michael and Amy Elisabeth. Family farms during this time period were losing out to competition from the large corporate farms. Dick Stewart was employed full-time off the farm and his sister Georgia May Conner lived in Washington D.C. with her family and had no real interest in operating the farm. For the second time in the farm’s history the land was worked on shares with local farmers. In 1988 Marion Stewart passed away and Dick’s mother decided to transfer her half-share of the farm to her son with the promise from him that he would share ownership with his sister in the future.

1990-2000 history

During the life of the farm the Great Miami River had been kind to the family. In the deed for the original 50-acre farm bounded on one side by Great Miami River had a moving boundary based the on channel of the river. The river over the 140-year history of the farm had moved in its favor. The size of the farm, as stated in the deed, “was plus or minus 50 acres based on the low water mark of the Great Miami River.” Dick Stewart had the farm surveyed in the early 1990’s and discovered that the original 50-acre farm had grown to 132 acres. With the additional 89-acre purchase, the farm had grown to 220 acres in size.

In 1993 the Cincinnati Gas and Electric Co. (CG&E) was interested in purchasing the hill portion of the 89-acre piece of the farm. The farm property between the two sections of the family farm had been mined for gravel, and the land was then purchased by CG&E to be used as a fly ash landfill. They needed clay to cap the landfill and wanted to purchase the 39-acre hill section of the original 89-acres. Dick Stewart worked out a deal with CG&E, which brought new life to the family farm. He was planning to retire in the year 2000 and was looking at farming as his next occupation.

The 1993 CG&E deal

It was a land deal with CG&E that began our family farm’s rebirth. For the 39-acres CG&E desired to purchase, they traded a piece of 130-acre river bottomland, adjacent to our farm, the use of the 100 acres of the capped landfill for the production of hay, and a sum of money. The family farm had now grown to 316 acres and we had the use of an additional 100 acres for hay. By the end of 1993 Dick Stewart was managing the family farm operation of 416 acres. The landfill property could only be used for hay production. With the money from the CG&E deal he was able to purchase hay equipment and began selling hay; the tillable farm land was still leased to local farmers; the family farm was on its way back and the hay production led to a new business – horse boarding.

A group of the farm’s best hay customers had long hoped to run a horse boarding facility, and following discussion, we entered into an agreement with them: within a year we were well on our way to completing the first of three horse barns.

There was, however, a dark cloud on the horizon and in the farm’s case it turned out to be the Three Rivers School System.

1997 Three Rivers School Board

There is a saying, “If the world deals you lemons try making lemonade”. In 1997 the Three Rivers School Board decided to eminent domain the level portion of the original 89-acre section of the farm, a move which precipitated a two-year, very public, fight with the school board. Eventually Dick Stewart won the fight, selling the mineral rights to the property to a local gravel company. The resulting gravel pit turned out to be a good thing for the farm. It supplied the cash flow to support rebuilding the farm infrastructure and enabled Dick to bring his son Richard Michael Stewart into the operation.

The farm had lost approximately 50 acres of tillable land to gravel production and eventually also lost the right to harvest hay off the CG&E property, but with the income from the leasing of gravel rights we were able to build two additional horse barns and buy the farm equipment necessary to take over the farming of the bottom land. Horse trails were created, an outdoor arena was constructed, and new pasture land was seeded in the bottoms.

2000 a new century and direction

Dick Stewart retired in March 2000 and started on his new career as a full-time farmer. Even though there was a decrease in the number of acres the farm was working, the amount of income was increasing and the farm, for the first time in a long while, was supporting itself.

In 2002, Louis Saur died at the age of 96. Upon Louis’ death Dick Stewart and, as promised to his mother, Georgia Conner became the next owners of the family farm. In 2002 Carriage House Farm Services LLC was created and became the official name and owner of the original 50-acre section of the farm plus the property received in the deal with CG&E. The gravel pit, the remainder of the original 89-acre section of the farm, was transferred to Lostbridge LLC. Four partners, Dick Stewart, his wife, Karen Stewart, Georgia Conner and her husband, Nelson Conner, now own both of the family LLC’s that include the total acreage of the original farm. During this time Richard Stewart began to diversify the operation. Each generation has new ideas regarding the direction of the family farm. Dick Stewart continues to follow his original direction as a grain farmer. Richard Stewart has added organic vegetable production and beekeeping to the business, supplying local restaurants, delis, markets, and artisanal producers with fresh produce and honey. Father and son manage their individual portions of the farm and support each other’s efforts. Carriage House Farm remains, to this day, a Family Farm.

 
 
 

Testimonials

 
 
Carriage House Farm is a family owned independent business, just like us, and it’s an honor to put their products on our menus.
— Mike Florea, Executive Chef, Maribelle's Eat + Drink
Every year when spring approaches, we begin to think about the bounty, soon to be available from our good friends at Carriage House Farms. The care put into every product they grow is unparalleled, and the love for their craft shows through in every plate that we send out to our guests.
— Jose Salazar, Executive Chef and Owner, Mita's & Salazar
We pride ourselves in being an idealistic restaurant- so Carriage House Farm’s product’s fit right in at the Sleepy Bee. Quality, local and sustainable (not to mention delicious) produce, honey and grain on an idyllic farm, close to the city with an amazing, positive team to back it up. What more could you ask for?”
— Frances Kroner, Executive Chef, Sleepy Bee Cafe
Carriage House is a fine example of what a modern farm can and should be. Their deliberate and thoughtful approach to their land and what comes from it is refreshing and inspiring. Richard and Kate’s enthusiasm for their craft rubs off every time they walk in our door, bundled down with their jewel-like radishes, brilliant honeys, and rustic grains.
— Patrick Hague, Executive Chef, Dutch's Larder
 

In The News

Over the years Carriage House Farm has been found in local news. 

Here are some links to the various pieces.

 

Carriage House Supplies The City’s Best Restaurants With The Freshest Of Produce

by  Brian Planalp
December 27, 2017

Behind every thriving metropolitan restaurant scene is a standout local produce supplier. Well, Cincinnati’s restaurant scene certainly is thriving, and behind it is North Bend's Carriage House Farm.

Carriage House Farm

Posted by Phoebe
Sept 21, 2017

One glorious and convenient upside of living in rural Midwest America, is that you are completely surrounded by farms. Some, like the ones close to where we live, are dairy, or corn. A lot are soy bean. But the hidden gems are the multitaskers, the jack of all trades, the ones that provide a few seasonal products to the best restaurants in the Tristate. And Carriage House Farm is one of those.

Dinner on the farm: Chefs, diners leave the city to dine under the stars

Jenny Burman, WCPO contributor
May 13, 2016

NORTH BEND, Ohio -- The first time Carriage House Farm hosted an on-farm dinner, it was November. The seating, according to Richard Stewart, was hay bales. The day started at about 60 degrees, but by the time people sat down at the table, the temperature had dropped “to about 33,” said Stewart, who is manager of the 161-year-old farm.

MadTree debuts beer with nasturtium flowers and cucumber

By Akron Beacon Journal Staff
April 7, 2016

MadTree Brewing Co. has created a special beer with the Cincinnati Horticultural Society featuring nasturtium flowers and cucumbers in honor of the upcoming Cincinnati Flower Show.

    Carriage House Farm Announces “2015 On-Farm Dinner Series”

    Charlie Harmon
    March 27, 2015

    Carriage House Farm has announced a series of dinners they will be hosting through fall 2015. Each event will bring on local culinary legends to serve an intimate meal (just 13 diners) emphasizing the character of the chef and seasonality of the ingredients.

    MadTree Uses Local Carriage House Farm Ginger

    Ginger is typically found growing in warmer climates like Asia and Hawaii, but local Carriage House Farm is bucking trend by growing their own.

    Maija Zummo
    Oct 23, 2014

    Ginger is typically found growing in warmer climates like Asia and Hawaii, but local Carriage House Farm is bucking trend by growing their own...

    Farm Fresh

    Chef Ryan Santos provides a literal farm-to-table al fresco dining experience at Carriage House Farm

    Anne Mitchell
    Jun 19, 2013

    Richard Stewart says he always envisioned a dinner series at Carriage House Farm, his family’s North Bend homestead about 20 miles west of Cincinnati, near the Miami River. With more than 300 acres of idyllic farmland, Carriage House produces vegetables, herbs, honey and specialty grains for local restaurants, retailers and farmers markets. But to truly appreciate the beauty of the farm...

    Carriage House Farm

    By Eden Canon
    Aug 01, 2012

    Switching from conventional farming to using no pesticides or chemical fertilizers—why small farms are not certified organic—how large agricultural corporations try to gain advantages over small independent farms.

     

    Awards

    The following is list of awards the farm has received through the hard effort of its employees and the community.

     
     

    Best of Cincinnati 2016: Best Local Farm People's Choice

    Best of Cincinnati 2015: Best Local Farm People's Choice
     

    Edible Ohio Valley 2014 Local Hero Award

    Edible Communities Local Hero Award winners are selected by a tally of nominees identified by Edible Ohio Valley readers.  This award is given in recognition of outstanding contribution to the local food movement in our region.

    Edible Ohio Valley 2013 Local Hero Award

    Edible Communities Local Hero Award winners are selected by a tally of nominees identified by Edible Ohio Valley readers.  This award is given in recognition of outstanding contribution to the local food movement in our region.

    Edible Ohio Valley 2012 Local Hero Award

    Edible Communities Local Hero Award winners are selected by a tally of nominees identified by Edible Ohio Valley readers.  This award is given in recognition of outstanding contribution to the local food movement in our region.

    2012 Made: In America, American Culinary Treasures Award

    The American Treasures Awards are presented annually at the American Treasures Culinary Experience to individuals and small producers in recognition of a singular and significant contribution to our Nation that both preserves and fosters a unique All American craft and tradition. The 2012 awards were presented to organic growers and craft producers. The winners were carefully selected and vetted through a deliberative process by a National Advisory Committee consisting of individuals with relevant subject matter expertise. A special Congressional Honorary Steering Committee supports the yearly initiative.