Our family has eaten from these same fields for more than seven generations. The Eckert farm started back in the 1800’s when Michael and his son Henry bought land and started growing fruit trees. Today, seven generations later, the land they bought in Belleville, Ill., is still our largest orchard where we grow apples, peaches, strawberries, blackberries and other fresh fruits and vegetables. This also is where you’ll find our Country Store and Restaurant.
Chris and I, as well as nearly all our immediate family members, attended the University of Illinois. Chris has a degree in Agricultural Economics and I have a degree in Ornamental Horticulture and Agriculture Education. Both of us loved plants from a young age, so it’s fitting that we both continue to work with them every day!
Sustainability in agriculture means meeting the food needs of the present without comprising the ability of future generations to do the same. For more than a century, members of our family have labored in this soil to produce the finest, most nutritious fruits and vegetables possible for our local community, as well as our own family. Every day, we seek to find the best, most thoughtful answer to one simple question: how can we provide the most nutritious, delicious food for ourselves and ensure the same for future generations? While this answer has evolved over the years, our commitment to finding the best farming methods has not. And this commitment was made long before the term “sustainable” was ever coined.