Fresh local produce and meat
The Luther family has been farming this land in Richfield since 1900. Back in 1993, Eddie and Gale Luther started selling fresh, hand-picked sweet corn in front of their home on Alger Road which marked the start of Luther's Farm Market.
Over the years, the market has expanded not only in size, but also in what we have to offer. We sell fresh, locally grown produce to our loyal customers at reasonable prices. We grow a large portion of our goods on the land that we farm - 90 acres of our own and 400 acres in surrounding communities. We raise our own livestock which we offer year-round. We also supplement our own produce by visiting Ohio auctions where other local producers and Amish farmers sell their goods. Guaranteed fresh, all from the Great State of Ohio!
In Richfield since 1900
Standing (left to right): Rudy, Louise, Elmer, Arthur
Seated: Edward, Ellen, Eva
The Luther farming legacy in Northeast Ohio actually started before 1900. Swiss-born Rudolph Luther was 11 years old in 1868 when he and his family immigrated to America and settled in Stark County. Rudolph spent his adolescent years there before marrying and moving to Akron where he distributed milk and dairy products. He even provided the milk and cream at 1886 wedding of Thomas Edison and Mina Miller.
Rudolph moved to Richfield in the 1890s to manage the Brush and Stouffer farms before finally buying 100 acres of his own for $3,600 at a sheriff's auction which is now Luther Farms. Rudolph's eldest son Edward was 18 when his father purchased the property and started farming alongside his father in 1901. Edward married Eva White who grew up on the White farm on the southwest corner of Broadview and Boston Roads. The young couple moved into the white farmhouse on the farm and started raising their family. Disaster struck in 1915 when the house burnt to the ground. While it was being rebuilt, they lived in the granary just behind his Uncle Harvey's house which stands next to the present-day farm market.
Edward and Eva raised five children - Louise, Rudolph (Rudy), Elmer, Arthur, and Ellen. All grew up on the farm and had chores. The boys each had to milk three cows before school. The girls had to pull weeds, pick strawberries, shuck wheat, husk corn, pick potatoes, and hoe thistle from the field. After completing their chores, they would ride to Richfield School on the "kid wagon". All five children graduated from Richfield High School.
Above: The farm with only the original farmhouse and barn
Below: In 1949, Edward's sons all built homes on the farm
While originally a dairy farm in the early years, things started to change. In 1930, Eva began the chicken and egg business. She would trade eggs for groceries in town. Electricity came to the farm in 1936, and Edward was able to buy an electric milker. Then in 1940, the first tractor was puchased - a Farmall H. The Luthers said goodbye to their last team of horses, Dick and Dock. With the sale of the horses, they had to scale back what was a large maple syrup operation due to the tractor being unable to navigate the narrow paths that the horses could. Rudy also decided to upgrade his mother's egg business and built the double decker chicken house which is still on the farm today. He used wood from the Cleveland Air Show to build the structure and started selling fresh eggs door-to-door in Brecksville and Parma which continued until 1970.
Meanwhile, the two sisters Louise and Ellen began working at BF Goodrich in Akron where they befriended Helen Boughton who grew up on the Boughton Farm in Copley. They soon introduced Helen to their brother Rudy and the two married in 1945. With his sons starting to marry, Edward had the foresight to allow each son to build a home on the farm to raise their families. Rudy and his brother Art established a partnership to run the farm. In 1957, they heard that the Newtons over on Broadview Road were going to tear down their beautiful white barn. Rudy wrote Mr. Newton a letter offering to buy and move the barn. It only cost Rudy and Art $500 to buy the barn, but $4,500 to move across what were then empty fields between Broadview and Alger Road using logs to move the structure which still stands on the farm today.
The 1950s also saw the switch from dairy to Black Angus cattle along with installation of the silo on the farm. Edward was named "Farmer of the Year" in 1957 by the Cleveland Farm Club.
Rudy and Helen had seven children between the years of 1946 and 1961 - Dorothy, Barbara, Robert, Ronald, Betty, Marilyn, and Edward. Like their father and his siblings, they all had daily chores. In 1964, the Luthers built a top-notch chicken house which was home to 9,000 hens producing more than 6,000 eggs each day. The children were responsible for collecting the eggs while the wives of the Luther brothers were in charge of washing, grading, and packaging the eggs for sale, a process that took three to four hours daily.
In 1970, Robert (Bob) married Diane and started their family of five - Scott, John, Timothy, Daniel, and Sarah. Tragedy hit the Luther family in 1972 when Rudy fell from a ladder while dismantling a grain bin in Medina. He was paralyzed in the accident, and Bob became a partner in the farm operation after his father's injury. Even though Rudy could not walk, he still did his part beekeeping, sharpening tools, and giving Art and Bob advice. Eight years later, Art retired and Rudy's youngest son Eddie bought Art's share of the farm to run with brother Bob.
On a cold, windy day in January 1982, the red barns that had stood so long on the farm burned to the ground due to an electrical short from old wiring leading in the buildings. The fire was fought by seven local fire departments for over 13 hours. The efforts of the firemen saved the white bank barn from certain destruction. The scorch marks from the fire are still visible inside the barn which remains standing today.
In 1989, Eddie married Gale, and they moved into his great-uncle Harvey's house which stands next to the current farm market. They had four boys - Edward, Andrew, Brian, and Cody. In 1993, the Luther family decided to get our of the poultry and egg business and instead focused on cash crops and beef. That's the same year Luther's Farm Market was opened. It initially was just a small stand in front of Eddie and Gale's house. As community interest grew, the Luthers upgraded the stand first to a lean-to off their garage and eventually into a separate building that serves as the market today.
Bob and Eddie continued farming the land they were raised on and in 2000, Luther Farms celebrated 100 years of farming in Richfield.
In 2003, Eddie was diagnosed with ALS, commonly known as Lou Gehrig's disease. Eddie sold his part of the partnership to Bob's son Tim. While unable to physically work on the farm, Eddie was able to give his opinion and directions to his nephew. Tim grew up on the farm and already knew what hard work was, but he was always grateful for the advice his uncle gave him. In 2006, Eddie passed away and was laid to rest in a plot next to his grandparents in West Richfield Cemetery.
Bob is now semi-retired from farming. Eddie's son Andy stepped into his shoes to run the farm and market with Tim. They're not alone - they have the help from numerous family members. Chances are if you stop by the market, a Luther will be helping you out.
The farm has seen over 120 years of love, loss, determination, and heartache. However, she continues to hum along thanks to the unfailing tenacity of the Luther family and farmers that have tended to her. We hope you stop by and visit soon.