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Farming in retirement

Keeping busy with berries, eggs, birds


When John Weibel moved to Shelby County in 1994, he bought his son a few chickens and planted a few berry plants and bushes. 

Soon he discovered that once you’ve filled your freezer with berries, you need to find other outlets. He ended up at the Shelby County farmers market selling extra strawberries for two weeks in the spring and blackberries in the summer. One spring he learned the market didn’t have enough eggs. “We had eggs at home,” he says, “So we started selling eggs.” Which led to buying more chickens.

His “hobby” of keeping historic and beautiful turkey breeds like Narragansett and Royal Palm led into more production of turkeys for meat. Then meat chickens.

John retired from his job as an iron worker in Louisville in 2018. You know about retirement. That’s when you dump the schedule, take it easy, travel. But John didn’t stop.

These days, retirement “keeps us pretty busy,” says John’s wife, Susan. They’ve recruited friends to help them sell at markets in Frankfort, Eastwood and Shelbyville, where they sell berries, ground turkey and chicken, along with seasonal birds for the holidays. 

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