About Eric & Joanna Reuter

Please visit our freelance business site to learn about our writing and data consulting services.

SONY DSCAs geologists, we were trained to think long-term and to consider the effects of human activity on natural landscapes. As travelers and history buffs, we explored how the natural world has been shaped by human influence and appreciated both the presence and the lack of a human touch on the landscape. As citizen scientists, we discovered the joy of hands-on investigation that relates to our personal lives and observations. As organic farmers, we demonstrated how food production and ecosystem management can be integrated to the benefit of both. As modern homesteaders, we developed methods for raising, preserving, and preparing local seasonal food to produce a year-round healthy, diverse, and tasty diet. As small business owners, we learned that politics, economics, and history can be more significant barriers to sustainability than knowledge, skill, and hard work.
We believe in self-education as the key to a diversified skill set, taking us beyond academic training. For example, people commonly assume that the skills of farming must be learned from one’s family, at least based on the frequency with which we’re asked, “So, did you grow up on a farm?” The answer, for both of us, is no. We have the desire and ability to learn whatever we need or want to know by reading, research, attending conferences, networking, experimentation, direct observations, common sense, and critical thinking. We’ve developed our formal and informal educations into wide-ranging background that suits us as a couple eager for knowledge and confident in our ability to learn.

  • Communications: writing, editing, graphic & web design, speaking, teaching
  • Scientific: observation, hypothesizing, investigation, record keeping, data analysis, programming, spatial analysis/GIS, data management
  • Naturalist: field geology, species identification, birding, photography, local weather prediction & analysis
  • Ecosystem management: landscape monitoring, rotational grazing, timber management, prescribed burning
  • Agricultural: integrated diversified farming, soils management, growing vegetable/fruit/grain crops, seedling production, seed saving, composting, pastured livestock & poultry management, slaughter & processing, mushroom production, biochar, fresh crop harvesting & handling, marketing & distribution
  • Food & cooking: preparing diverse meals from scratch, experience with diverse cuisines and culinary techniques, using fresh seasonal ingredients, efficient kitchen management, food preservation (freezing, canning, dehydration), fermentation, cheese making, meat curing
  • Travel: navigation and orienteering, finding & exploring remote or obscure areas, reading landscapes, physically fit & comfortable outdoors, diverse interests & knowledge about the world
  • Small business: budgeting, accounting, tax preparation, regulatory demystification & compliance, worker management
  • Hands on: chainsaw, power & hand tools, basic construction & woodworking, knots/lashing, scythe use, tool sharpening
Eric’s Formal Education Joanna’s Formal Education
  • University of Vermont, Burlington, VT. Master of Arts, Teaching (Geology concentration), May 2004. Full coursework in geology & education. Lab curriculum development for Earth Hazards course. Middle school science teaching experience. Multidisciplinary science & history curricula and interpretive media development.
  • Beloit College, Beloit, WI. B.S., May 2001. Major in Geology.  Minor in Russian language. Thesis: Timing and Metamorphism of the Central Gneiss Complex, B.C.


  • University of Vermont, Burlington, VT. M.S. in Geology, May 2005. Thesis: Erosion rates and patterns inferred from cosmogenic 10Be in the Susquehanna River Basin. Thesis pdf and defense presentation.
  • Carleton College, Northfield, MN. B.A., summa cum laude, June 2000. Major in Geology with distinction. Concentration in Environmental Sciences. Thesis: Apatite (U-Th)/He thermochronometry in the Bighorn Mountains, Wyoming.
  • Arkansas School for Mathematics and Sciences, Hot Springs, AR. Diploma, May 1996.
Eric Joanna


Geologic field work for Shenandoah National Park, Virginia.


Pallid sturgeon habitat research with USGS on the Missouri River.

writing & publications (as a couple)
We have written a variety of stories together about agriculture and other topics. Visit our freelance writing page for an up-to-date listing.
Eric’s Selected Publications Joanna’s Selected Publications
 Butler, E.,  2006, Character and condition of geologic resources of interest to the Rock Outcrop Management Project. Private report to Shenandoah N.P. on completion of consulting work, 63 p. plus 50 field reports.romp2
Butler, E., Bierman, P., and Gajda, R., 2003, Investigation-stimulated discussion sections make geoscience more relevant in large lecture class, Eos, Trans., AGU, Vol. 84, No. 47, pp. 517, 522.eos
Reuter, J.M., Jacobson, R.B., Elliott, C.M., and DeLonay, A.J., 2009, Assessment of Lower Missouri River physical aquatic habitat and its use by adult sturgeon (genus Scaphirhynchus), 2005–07: U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Report 2009–5121, 81 p.sturgeon_report_cover
Reuter, J.M., Jacobson, R.B., Elliott, C.M., 2003, Physical stream habitat dynamics in Lower Bear Creek, Northern Arkansas: Federal Government Series: Biological Science Report 2003–0002, 49 p.bear_cr_report_cover
Selected speaking engagements (as a couple)
start_csaReuter, E. and Reuter, J., 2012, Starting a CSA. Missouri Beginning Farmer webinar series.
Reuter,crop_choices E. and Reuter, J., 2011, Assessing the Economics of Crop Choices on a Start-up Market Farm. Great Plains Growers conference, St. Joseph, MO.
Reuter, E. and Reuter, J., 2008-present, educational tours of Chert Hollow Farm conducted for groups and individuals, both paid and unpaid.
Eric’s Selected Appearances  Joanna’s selected Presentations
Reuter, E., 2015, Agroforestry at Chert Hollow Farm, landowner panel discussion, 6th annual Agroforestry Symposium, 1/8.agroforestry
Reuter, E., 2014, “Right to farm”, radio interview with CBC’s “As It Happens”, 8/4.
Reuter, E., 2012, “How much is organic certification worth?”, radio interview with Harvest Public Media, 12/6.
Reuter, E., 2011, Panel member for Citizen Jane Film Festival screening of Farmageddon.
Reuter, E., 2009, Developing Business Plans & Practices for Chert Hollow Farm, LLC. Grow Your Farm program sponsored by Missouri Extension.growYourFarm
Classification of meso-scale habitat in the Missouri River with bathymetric terrain
modeling, Missouri River Natural Resources Conference, Nebraska City, Nebraska, 2007.terrain_model
Erosion of the Susquehanna River Basin: Assessing relations between 10Be-derived erosion rates and basin characteristics, NE/SE Geological Society of America, Tysons Corner, Virginia, March 2004.NESE_GSA
Linking 10Be estimates of erosion with landscape variables: Compilation and consideration of multiple data sets from around the world, 32nd International Geological Congress, Florence, Italy, August 2004.global10be_sm