Patty Yoder

Hamid Ahmed's biodome project occupies a small space at Mezzacello (photo courtesy of Mezzacello).

Future farm

A stroll through this Ohio farm leads you past a lovely formal garden, a koi pond, and two fountains before you reach the medicinal, culinary, and potager gardens.

Ten years ago, the property was an abandoned 1868 Italianate house and two adjacent overgrown lots. After much planning, digging, and planting, Mezzacello now produces high-quality, nutritious food and serves as a learning lab where Bruner and local students test ideas. The name Mezzacello (“little Monticello”) pays homage to another lifelong innovator: Thomas Jefferson, and his agricultural experiments at his iconic Virginia estate.

The 1996 CompuServe team

Digital pioneer


Wilhite invented the GIF while he worked at CompuServe, an early tech company that was based in central Ohio. Although the name may not mean much to anyone under 40, CompuServe played a pivotal role in the early days of the Information Age. Digital breakthroughs still in use today originated there, including online shopping, stock research, and self-serve airline tickets.

Residents of Safe Haven Farms tend to a variety of seasonal tasks that rely on repetition and routine.

Serene acres

Tucked away in the western part of the state is an idyllic 60-acre farm, complete with chickens, horses, alpacas, and a miniature horse named Jack. The human residents here — like all farmers — tend to a wide variety of daily and seasonal tasks.

ASD is a lifelong condition that affects one in 54 people. Symptoms vary but can include trouble communicating, repeated rocking, and strong reactions to sounds, scents, or tastes. It’s common for an autism diagnosis to include other disorders, such as epilepsy, obsessive-compulsive disorder, ADHD, and bipolar disorder. Depending on the severity of someone’s symptoms, it can be difficult to hold a conversation, maintain a friendship, or keep a job. 

The Box Hop

Skip the hotel

Hotels and campgrounds are perfectly fine places to stay, but travelers looking beyond the usual accommodations have some unusual options these days, thanks to entrepreneurial imagination and emerging technology.

Want to wake up on a blueberry farm? There’s a fine spot near Lake Erie. How about a 1950s railroad caboose? Check Athens. Prefer a tiny home, treehouse, or yurt? Search “Ohio” and “unique stays” to find exactly what you want, from castles to barns.

Ohio accent map

Say what?

Do you say “crick” or “creek”? “Mom” or “mahm”? How about “wash” or “warsh”? Your answers can pinpoint which part of the state you’re from.

“Individual cities and areas develop their own ways of speaking,” Campbell-Kibler says. “Some small changes start locally and then spread, but other changes begin in, say, Toledo and do not happen anywhere else.”

Let’s take a closer look at how Ohioans speak. 

Ohio’s Midland accent

Read this sentence out loud: It will be a merry day when Mary agrees to marry John.

OhioHealth Fore Hope

Volunteering: Good for the soul

Volunteering is not only good for the community — it’s good for you, too. In fact, studies show the act of volunteering boosts physical and mental health and may even help you live longer. 

Get golfers back onto the links

Golfers living with the effects of a stroke, Parkinson’s disease, or other neurological conditions can get back into the game, thanks to OhioHealth Fore Hope. The golf therapy program provides physical, cognitive, and social benefits, but it requires a helping hand, since balance is often an issue. Volunteers tee up golf balls, position putters, and perform other simple tasks that make a big difference. 

Paula Schleis and Stephen Yoder

Streaming consciousness

A week after Paula Schleis retired from the Akron Beacon Journal, she received a text message from her nephew: 

"I know what you’re going to do in retirement — do a podcast with me."

Schleis texted back: "What’s a podcast?"

After several brainstorming sessions, Schleis and her nephew, Stephen Yoder, created Ohio Mysteries, a podcast that explores unsolved crimes, local legends, and interesting stories with an Ohio connection. They use Facebook and Instagram to interact with a growing community of armchair detectives — some of whom occasionally provide additional details or a family connection to that week’s episode.

Freed and Gomez

Healing Inside

Marcus Freed climbs the steps to London Correctional Institution, a medium-security prison 30 miles west of Columbus. He’s carrying only his driver’s license, prison ID, and a clear bag filled with program materials.

It’s a routine Freed has performed thousands of times volunteering for Horizon Prison Initiative, but he doesn’t think twice about the extra steps required just to get there. The retired guidance counselor spends 30 or more hours a week at the prison supporting Horizon’s program coordinator, Richard Boone; more than 30 Outside Brother volunteers; and 56 incarcerated men working to change their lives. Many people never step foot in a prison, but Freed says he feels called to be there.