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CoMo S.O.S.: Root Cellar, Chert Hollow Farm showcase Sustainable, Organic, Savory living

Links in a new food chain

COLUMBIA, Mo 5/1/15 (Reprint)
Eric and Joanna Reuter of Chert Hollow Farm are familiar to plenty of Columbia residents who enjoy their organically-grown produce and other farm-raised foods.

Chert Hollow offered
fresh leeks, herbs, heirloom tomato seeds, and a new item at their CoMo Earth Day 2015 booth this year: hand-made cedar birdhouses designed to appeal to specific species according to Audubon Society standards

The Columbia Green Chamber of Commerce was on hand to check them out -- and two other links in the sustainable agriculture food chain.  

"Agroforestry is an important aspect of our overall farm management" Eric explains. "We only use & sell wood cut & milled on-farm, using methods that help preserve soil and enhance biodiversity on our land."

For people with multi-story houses, especially old houses with plenty of nooks and crannies, Reuter offers his "Wren box," which mounts under roof overhangs or other places wrens -- which can get super-annoying when they try to nest in the wrong spot -- like. "The goal is to encourage wrens to use the box rather than a location you don’t want them to be," Reuter says.

He also offers a Bluebird house, to mount in an open area; and a Phoebe shelf. Like the Wren house, Phoebe shelves are "designed to encourage nesting in a desired place."

Following Chert Hollow's Twitter feed is a great way to keep up with the many activities and products they offer.

Columbia's famous Root Cellar, an organic market in the trendy North Village Arts District that sources and sells sustainably-raised foods, hosted a booth next to Chert Hollow. 

A second link in the sustainable ag food chain, they bring farm to table with innovative products like their popular subscription food boxes.

Fresh, organically-grown, locally-sourced lettuce, carrots, pumpkin, apples, winter squash, and herbs fill Root Cellar's "
weekly local produce experience," the Bounty Box.

The Barnyard Box goes all high-protein. "
Each week, participants can expect a half-gallon of local milk, a dozen farm-fresh eggs, two high-quality meat products and a handcrafted dairy item from around Missouri."

Finally, the Ploughman’s Box celebrates the English Ploughman’s lunch, "traditionally a seasonal combination of meats, cheeses and vegetables." They add an additional artisan food item (handcrafted cheese, jams, fresh salsa, etc).

Putting sustainable ag principles into legislative action, the Farm Resettlement Congress wants to restore liberty and prosperity through land stewardship.  An advocacy group, they're a third link in the food chain.

Their 20--year mission includes rehabilitating distressed land to increase nutrients without chemicals; a young farm apprentice program; a national network of small and mid-sized producers; reduced water usage and carbon emissions; and strong lobbying for small-farm friendly regulations, a big issue in today's corporate ag-dominated political environment.

Staged along Peace Park on Elm Street between 9th and 6th Streets, the popular annual Earth Day fair included dozens of different businesses the CoMo Green Chamber -- an official chapter of the US Green Chamber of Commerce -- will be profiling in the days and weeks to come.

Disclaimer: Columbia Green Chamber coverage of organizations, groups, and businesses is not an endorsement, but rather, part of our public information and education mission.

-- Reprinted with permission of the US Green Chamber of Commerce, Columbia, Missouri Chapter

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