John Wood & Homecoming Farm - Amesville
John Wood is a farmer, woodworker, and owner of Homecoming Farm with his wife in rural Athens County. During the spring through fall, the farm produces fruits and vegetables for sale at markets, and the Woods are growing their cut-flower business.
During the winter, Wood builds custom furniture and kitchenware. He's looking for ways to break into the Columbus market and import more dollars from the city to the country.
Wood, a former backcountry guide with Outward Bound, says that being an entrepreneur is a lifestyle choice. He believes that entrepreneurship in Athens County will be a factor in battling "brain drain" by keeping talented people in the region while offering meaningful work that can pay.
Staying busy year-round is not a problem as the "To-Do Board" is constantly filled with work determined by the season.
Fruit trees idle in the winter at Homecoming Farm.
Inspiration on the wall of the woodshop
Homecoming Farm practices organic farming. Wood acknowledges that organic practices use a lot of plastic, and he seeks other ways to reduce his footprint - such as going solar and building a new energy-efficient home.
The new home is just up the hill from the family's soon-to-be old home. The Woods are considering turning the old home into an Air BnB-style rental to pull in extra income while offering folks from the city easy access to nature, quiet starlit nights, and the outdoors while still having creature comforts like a kitchen and bathroom.
Sawdust engulfs a 55-gallon drum outside of the woodshed on Homecoming Farm.
Aptly-named Wood churns out a leg for a custom chair in his woodworking shop on Homecoming Farm.