Rural Missouri - November 2017 - 21

ooms

all farming

Left: Narragansett turkeys roam Roger and Joleen Edwards' pasture near Winigan. The breed dates back to European immigration to America during the early 1600s. Above: Rod Belzer tends his 2-acre "jungle" of heirloom tomatoes and peppers on his
family's farm. He sells most of Winigan Farms' produce at the farmers market in Kirksville. Below left: Joleen moves turkeys
from one brood shed to another before an impending storm. Roger restored and reinforced the more than 60 year old structures,
remnants of Winigan's heyday as a center for turkey farming. Below right: Rod checks on a Red Brandywine in his vegetable
garden. This year, he had heirlooms grafted to hybrid root systems for hardier, disease resistant tomatoes. Bottom right: Rod
grows four kinds of heirloom garlic with friends Jeff and Robin Morelock. The braids are color coordinated with zip ties and a
flavor profile chart on the package, which helps buyers choose the right clove when cooking certain dishes.

patch over is stocked with fall plantings: cauliflower,
beets, green beans, cabbage and bok choy.
"A lady came up to my booth a month or so ago
and said, 'I love your booth, you always have such
random things,' " Rod says with a laugh. "And I
do. Maybe I should have called my farm 'Random
Farms.' "
Helping fuel some of the verdant growth is another recent addition to Rod's organic arsenal - bees.
Like the Borron buildings, Rod's hives and swarm
traps speckle the edges of pastures and tree lines
around town. His homemade traps, baited with lemongrass oil and beeswax, have attracted about 15
wild swarms this year. He sells the resultant honey
under the Winigan Farms label, and has helped a
handful of friends and neighbors start their own
apiaries. It's all part of a "deep-seeded" belief in
helping as many people as are interested become
self-sufficient.
"If I give this person a swarm of bees that I
caught, that hive might have produced me another $200 next year," Rod says, "but five years from
now you'll probably remember more what you did
for somebody rather than the extra few bucks you
would have in your pocket if you didn't."
Be it meat for the holiday table or veggies for the
Mason jar, the fruits of Rod's farming all fill one
common need; providing buyers with fresh, unique
flavor. They're also a good example of how the small
farmer fits back into today's agricultural market.
The more people that become involved, he says,
the more they help bolster an emerging agricultural
community.
"I like working with other people. I like that
camaraderie, and I believe real strongly in sustainability and self sufficiency," Rod says. "When you go
to the farmers market, that's what you see: a lot of
people who have taken small acreages and are going
back to some of the old ways of raising produce or
livestock and finding that there's actually demand
for that product."
To order a turkey or for more information on Winigan Farms, visit www.winiganfarms.com or like
and follow them on Facebook.
NOVEMBER 2017 | RURALMISSOURI.COOP

21


http://www.winiganfarms.com http://www.RURALMISSOURI.COOP

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Rural Missouri - November 2017

Rural Missouri - November 2017 - Intro
Rural Missouri - November 2017 - Cover1
Rural Missouri - November 2017 - Cover2
Rural Missouri - November 2017 - 3
Rural Missouri - November 2017 - 4
Rural Missouri - November 2017 - 5
Rural Missouri - November 2017 - 6
Rural Missouri - November 2017 - 7
Rural Missouri - November 2017 - 8
Rural Missouri - November 2017 - 9
Rural Missouri - November 2017 - 10
Rural Missouri - November 2017 - 11
Rural Missouri - November 2017 - 12
Rural Missouri - November 2017 - 13
Rural Missouri - November 2017 - 14
Rural Missouri - November 2017 - 15
Rural Missouri - November 2017 - 16
Rural Missouri - November 2017 - 17
Rural Missouri - November 2017 - 18
Rural Missouri - November 2017 - 19
Rural Missouri - November 2017 - 20
Rural Missouri - November 2017 - 21
Rural Missouri - November 2017 - 22
Rural Missouri - November 2017 - 23
Rural Missouri - November 2017 - 24
Rural Missouri - November 2017 - 25
Rural Missouri - November 2017 - 26
Rural Missouri - November 2017 - 27
Rural Missouri - November 2017 - 28
Rural Missouri - November 2017 - 29
Rural Missouri - November 2017 - 30
Rural Missouri - November 2017 - 31
Rural Missouri - November 2017 - 32
Rural Missouri - November 2017 - 33
Rural Missouri - November 2017 - 34
Rural Missouri - November 2017 - 35
Rural Missouri - November 2017 - 36
Rural Missouri - November 2017 - 37
Rural Missouri - November 2017 - 38
Rural Missouri - November 2017 - Cover3
Rural Missouri - November 2017 - Cover4
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