Beautiful Edibles Farm, the passion project of Newburgh, Indiana natives Mary and Roger Winstead, is the result of a lot of hard work and a little serendipity.
In 2016, while living in Lake County, Illinois, the Winsteads made a trip to Newburgh en route to Florida, where a potential job opportunity awaited Roger, a landscape architect and Purdue grad. Mary, a long-time gardening hobbyist, had launched Beautiful Edibles in Lake County the year before, partnering with several farming groups in the area to grow produce on two acres for farmers markets and for a pilot program at the local health department.
“Roger’s mother had passed away, and his father, who is turning 85 this year, found himself with two acres in Newburgh that he could no longer maintain,” Mary says. “We had a family discussion while we were there visiting and decided we’d use about half the acreage, and then my father-in-law wouldn’t have to move. Sometimes life gives you an unexpected twist, but we knew it was what we were supposed to do.”
The Winsteads wasted no time building out their fertilizer- and pesticide-free produce farm, which currently spans three-quarters of an acre and teems with tomatoes, leafy greens, mushrooms, berries and an assortment herbs and edible flowers. They decided to carry on the Beautiful Edibles name, and are approaching their second growing season with several projects in the works including a rainwater collection system for low-rainfall months.
“We know the property here has not been sprayed or treated and that it’s clean,” Mary says of the land Roger’s father purchased 65 years ago. “We’re trying to do a bio-intense operation that has healthy soil and healthy plants. We want the farm to be a place where we can live and support ourselves.”
And the couple isn’t stopping at just growing veggies and fruits on their own property – they’ve already helped create a pesticide-free community garden at their church in Newburgh, and have been asked to lead several local educational events on sustainable growing practices and healthy food choices.
“We as a society don’t always give food the relevance and importance that it should get when we feed ourselves,” Mary adds. “Proper food choices are so important and we want to impart that to as many people as we can. We know our farm will come and go, but we want to stress the educational part of it, because that’s so important in the long term for individuals and communities.”
Order up fresh produce direct from Mary and Roger’s farm, delivered to you, right here on Market Wagon.