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“Follow the Food” highlights the journey that produce takes from the auction floor to homes, restaurants, healthcare providers, colleges, and hungry mouths across the region.

Since April, one of the Auction’s newest customers has been Firehouse, officially named the Student Cooperative Organization (SCO). Located in Athens, OH, Firehouse is a housing cooperative, meaning residents run the house and property democratically, without a landlord. While there are five residents as of June 2022, occupancy tops out at eight when school is in session at Ohio University.

Since they had received carrots and duck eggs from the auction, residents had the idea to make carrot cake for a guest visiting from another cooperative. Carrots were sourced from the OHIO Student Farm on the Ohio University Campus, while the duck eggs came from Donald Murphy’s farm in Malta, OH. The carrots and eggs were combined with flour, walnuts, sugar, salt, cinnamon, baking power and soda, and vegetable oil.

Carrot cake batter in a glass bowl with a wisk.

Local ingredients not sourced from the CPA included Cloverton Cheese from Laurel Valley Creamery in Gallipolis, OH and light cream from Florence Creamery in Little Hocking, OH. Both were combined with unsalted butter, powdered sugar, salt, and vanilla extract to make the icing.

The batter was then poured into a greased 9 x 13 tray and baked at 350°F for 40 minutes. After cooling down, the icing was spread on top.

You can find out more about Firehouse Cooperative on their website.

Ciaran Lyons is an AmeriCorps VISTA serving with Rural Action’s Sustainable Agriculture Program. They are from Arlington, Virginia but relocated to Athens to serve with Rural Action.


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