Chert Hollow Farm taste test

Eric and Joanna Reuter are farmers now, but they’re still scientists at heart. They eat mostly food grown and raised on site, and feel it’s not only better for them, it’s just plain better. But being scientists, they wanted to test it out. They wanted data. That’s where we came in. “We,” in this case, was nine very lucky souls invited to serve as guinea pigs for a 16-course blind taste test.

Some highlights for me were:

  • Cheese – The Reuters’ goat milk cheddar was funky and distinctive. Barnyardy. A big winner with testers.
  • Soup beans – The home-grown beans were so much better – spicy, creamy – than the store-bought that it wasn’t a fair fight. Too bad it’s such a pain to grow and harvest in quantities…these were amazing.
  • Goat – It’s probably the most underrated meat in America, and was much preferred over Eric’s venison. Both roasted and ground were favored over venison counterparts.

Eric’s assessment of the meal:

Overall, our farm products held their own or beat the best store-available alternative, in March when they’ve all been frozen or stored for many months, and with far more known growing, handling, and harvest methods with far fewer food miles on them. If we can match the stores even in winter, I know what we can do in summer (and what customers can do with our products).

Not all farm products were preferred, however, which only makes things more interesting. Full results, and Eric’s excellent write-up, here.

It was a real treat to be a part of the meal and I enjoyed meeting some interesting and very cool people. And slogging around a farm with a beer in had is never a bad way to spend a cool, dank Sunday afternoon.


Author: Scott

I am a married father of two. I graduated from Rock Bridge High School and then Mizzou before spending six years in the Washington, D.C. area. We returned to Columbia, Missouri in 2006.

2 thoughts

  1. I thought it especially interesting that multiple people wrote the word “funky” after sample B (our cheese). That word is such a great example of the flexibility of the English language. Given the ratings, I assume they all meant it your way πŸ™‚

    Ground conditions really were funky as well, in the other way, mud everywhere. Glad everyone made it in and out ok, with no worse than muddy pants and shoes.

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