Located in central Missouri, Chert Hollow Farm is a diversified homestead farm that focuses on sustainable, quality food production for our customers and self-sufficiency for ourselves. The farm was founded by Eric and Joanna Reuter in 2007. We’ve raised a wide variety of vegetables along with smaller amounts of mushrooms, fruits, small grains, dairy/meat goats, poultry/eggs, and more. Farm management involves integrating fields, pastures, timber resources, and natural habitats into an environmentally and economically sustainable whole. The farm’s name comes from our setting in a narrow, Ozark-type valley (colloquially known as a hollow). Chert is an abundant rock type here, known more commonly as flint once it’s been worked into stone tools and points. Such tools turn up regularly in our soil, a reminder of the long history of humans here before us. We strive to manage the landscape in a way that will be looked upon kindly by those who come after us.

Earning a sustainable living

Our farming methods and personal lives are integrated into the same core principles of sustainable independence: minimizing off-farm consumption, emphasizing self-reliance, respecting the local environment, and maximizing food diversity & quality. We’ve worked to produce much of our year-round food supply on the farm, including virtually all vegetables, along with mushrooms, meat, and eggs, and some legumes, grains & fruit. We use little energy and produce minimal trash, while focusing our spending in our local economy. We heat and build with wood harvested from our land, and in many other ways emphasize the sustainable independence we deeply value.

Our business model is based on a fiscally conservative, conservationist ethic that seeks to minimize debt, spending, resource consumption, and off-farm inputs/purchases while emphasizing sustainable land management, ecological diversity, and personal income. The farm’s diversity and organic methods help close loops by producing on-farm fertility, minimizing soil-degrading equipment use, reducing oil consumption, and raising the quality of life for farmers and farm workers. By keeping costs down, we can keep a higher percentage of the income we earn, thus making our customers’ investment in the farm more directly beneficial to the local economy and our shared farm ethics. We generally charge high prices, considering our products to be of very high quality and worth more than average produce.