The Wind Ridge Farmers Market in Eolia wound up its first season on Saturday, Sept. 28 with a strong display of locally-raised poultry.
“With the produce winding down we can go farther in the year with livestock and poultry,” said market organizer Kelly Klober, of Silex.
Klober helped build the successful Eolia Farmers Market, which also relies on poultry and livestock to attract customers from all over the state and beyond.
“This is sustainable agriculture,” Klober said. “We’re seeing people take care of their own diets now,” with home-raised chickens.
“The money spent here on poultry stays in these little towns. It doesn’t go to Benton, Ark.”
“I’m raising stock right now,” said Linda Covington, of Wentzville, who was selling Silver Sussex chickens. “The English won World War II with this bird.”
“Unlike a factory farm bird, these chickens will lay eggs for three to four years,” Klober said. “This is a good success story to keep these birds alive.”
“I invested in good stock, Plymouth Hard Rocks, Plymouth White Rocks and New Hampshires,” Covington said.
“I’m taking them to shows and to give to FFA kids so they can raise and show them. “I want to see kids involved in poultry. They’ve got too much electronics going.”
At the other side of the Scotty’s Market parking lot, Aaron Burgin and father Allan Burgin, of Higbee, were selling pigeons.
“There’s good people over here and you make friends,” Aaron said.
“I’ve had pigeons since by 11th birthday on July 20, 1961,” Allan Burgin said.
“I had barn pigeons but then my dad came in with black fantail pigeons and that started me on fancy pigeons.
“Some people have them to have them because of their calm cooing sound,” Burgin said.
Other people show, race or raise pigeons for meat, Burgin said. The squab is sold for dinner plates “because people are getting better about their diets,” he added.
The poultry display was fine with Scotty Muckerman, owner of Scotty’s Market in Eolia, who donates his large, graveled lot to the farmers market.
“It’s a win-win situation for both of us,” Muckerman said. “They’re selling something and in return, I get people to come in the store.”
Lots of people who attend the farmers market in Silex used to stop in at Muckerman’s convenience store there.
When the idea came to open a farmers market in Eolia, “I had this lot and said ‘why not?’ ” he added.
For more information on next year’s Wind Ridge Farmers Market, contact Klober at 573-485-7261.