Art and Vera Gelder
6800 North Kircher Rd
Columbia, MO 65202
Facebook: Walk-About Acres, LLC
“Walk-About Acres – a small diversified farm with a big emphasis on honeybees.”
Art and Vera Gelder were both raised on Iowa farms. After pursuing other professions and raising their family, they decided to move back to the land. They say, "you can take the kid out of the farm, but you can't take the farm out of the kid." After a few years of searching, they found the perfect plot of land where they built up their farm, Walk-About Acres.
Nowadays, their farm is somewhat of a menagerie hosting cats, dogs, goats, pigs, ducks, chickens, emus, peacocks, guineas, turkeys, geese, Jimmy the mini donkey, and of course honeybees. They have roughly 80 bee hives in Boone County. Typically, they check on each hive once a month and harvest honey. The drought this year has taken a toll on the bees and honey producti0n. Many people contact the Gelders to have a hive on their property. There are a variety of reasons that people do this, among them are environmental concerns and increasing crop pollination.
While Honey Ice Cream is their most popular product, the Gelders sell others as well. The sell wildflower honey and creamed honey as well as Chevon (Goat Meat), Missouri Mule Foot Pork, and Emu meats. They also have the biggest bee-keeping supply store in the state of Missouri. Additionally, peacock feathers, beeswax and beeswax candles are also available from Walk-About Acres and their stall at the Columbia Farmers' Market. Every April, they host the Package Bee Pickup where people come from all over the state to pick up a 3lb package of bees. This year, over 400 packages were picked up from the farm.
A large emphasis of Walk-About Acres is education. Every year, between April 1st and November 1st, Walk-About Acres hosts 2,500-3,000 visitors. Most of the visitors come to visit on school field trips, but individuals and private groups, encompassing infants to the elderly, pay visits to the farm. Sustainable Agriculture classes, animal behavior classes, teenagers from the Rainbow House, and youth from the Juvenile Justice Center are some examples of groups from the community that have come to visit. They also work with the 2 mile Prairie School as part of the Partners in Education Program. Visitors are always welcome, but please call ahead to schedule a time to visit.
Art and Vera are also involved with many organizations around the area. They hold a strong belief in Agri-Tourism which promotes farmers to tell their story and works to connect children and adults to their environment, and their food. Specifically, they are members of the Mid Missouri Travel Council, Missouri River Bluffs Association, Missouri State Beekeepers, Boone Regional Beekeepers, Farm Bureau, and Agri Missouri. Art and Vera also teach beekeeper classes through the Boone Regional Beekeepers and through the Columbia Area Career Center.
Stop by their booth at the Columbia Farmers' Market for some Honey Ice Cream, or give a call to Walk-About Acres to schedule your very own walk-about.