If you want to enjoy farm-to-table meat and eggs at home, there’s a new option in the metro-east where you can find freezer staples like hamburger, steak and chicken.
Located at 8801 Main St., Main Street Pastures in St. Rose could soon become a destination for more local consumers who want to take the mystery out of their meat.
“It’s comforting knowing where your food comes from,” Jill Vonder Haar said, sitting outside of their Clinton County home. "There's a taste difference."
The Vonder Haar family sells “pasture-raised" meat. That means their cattle, pigs and chickens graze on the food they grow on the farm. The alternative would be giving them feed from somewhere else and housing the animals in cages with concrete floors.
Even though that's a common way of raising livestock, they don't do that at Main Street Pastures. Instead, their animals graze and roam on the pasture – a practice that's not popular anymore, Chad Vonder Haar said.
It’s a labor intensive job, but one that's worth his time because their customers can taste the difference in their meat.
"We're trying to make the right choice at every turn," Chad Vonder Haar said on recent Tuesday morning at the farm.
Farm-to-table isn’t just a trend or a catch phrase for the Vonder Haar Family.
It’s a way of life.
That’s why they want more families in the metro-east to try the meat and eggs from their 100-acre farm.
Their freezer is stocked with chicken, beef and pork. Bacon flies off the shelf.
The family sells the meat in bundles to promote their products. This month’s special includes five pounds of ground beef and five slices of hickory smoked ham (one pound each) for $30.
In their refrigerator, you’ll find eggs – one of their most popular items.
At $3.50 a dozen, the free-range eggs are more expensive than what you’ll find in the grocery store. But the Vonder Haar family believes there’s value in knowing how an animal is raised before it lands on your plate.
“We raise everything on the pasture throughout most of the year,” the Vonder Haar's family biography explains. “We love watching the cattle graze on green pastures and chickens scratching for bugs and seeds. We don’t use any hormones, feed non-GMO corn, and only use antibiotics when necessary.”
They’re becoming well known around St. Rose and Breese for the eggs and meat they sell at the local farmer’s market. They sell the products every week as a family.
The Vonder Haar children, Ashlyn, Caitlyn, Lauryn, and Evan, help out around the farm and tend their livestock. They are the fifth generation of farmers in the family on their father’s side.
“We knew we wanted to do this for our kids, you know,” Jill Vonder Haar said. “We wanted them to experience the animals and have responsibility.”
About 250 animals live on their farm. Half are chickens; the others are cows, goats and pigs. Their customers are welcome to check out the farm, and soon the community could be invited to learn more about their passion if things continue to grow at a steady rate.
“Our goal is to have an open house, open farm day,” Jill Vonder Haar said. “I think it’s neat for people to come and see where their food comes from.”
In addition to the open house, the family wants sell mums on the farm this fall. Working with local restaurants and markets could also be in their future, but for now the family wants to expand their business slowly.
Want to try the meat from Main Street Pastures? Call 618-210-6059 before you stop by the farm or visit Breese Farmer’s Market, which runs from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturdays until Sept. 8 at 500 N. First St. in Breese.
Main Street Pasture products are also available in St. Rose at Wessel's Corner Market, 17909 St. Rose Rd. The store is open from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m Monday through Saturday and 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday.
Historic Collinsville bar and restaurant suddenly closes
A year after reopening under new ownership, an Uptown Collinsville pub and grill has suddenly closed its doors.
Fifth Quarter, located at 118 E. Main St., closed sometime in June, the Collinsville Chamber of Commerce confirmed. David Bookless, director of economic development for Collinsville, said “the city would like to see a new restaurant move into that location.”
For decades it's operated as a bar and grill.
Fifth Quarter Pub & Grill occupied a double storefront built in 1891. It was known as Bomber’s Fifth Quarter for about 30 years before Paul “Bomber” Schuerbaum sold it to his brother, Roger, and sister-in-law, Diana, in 2008.
The couple completed a major renovation, sandblasting plaster walls to expose original brick, replacing deteriorated portions of the tin ceiling and laying a rough-cut hardwood floor.
Owners of Reifschneider’s Grill and Grape in Freeburg and Columbia bought the business in 2015, operating under the name D. Boozers Food and Fire for about a year and a half.
Josh Miller and his uncle, Mike Miller, took over in March 2017. Josh Miller wanted the bar to become a destination for soccer fans.
If you're looking for pizza, there's a new place coming to Edwardsville
The national franchise MOD Pizza is expected to open a new location in Edwardsville at the end of the year.
Charlotte Wayte, spokeswoman for MOD Pizza, said the company hasn't signed the lease yet, but they do expect to open a location in Madison County.
MOD Pizza was founded in Seattle in 2008 and has seven locations in the St. Louis metro area. The Edwardsville site, located at 2300 Troy Rd. Suite A, will be the chain's first location in the metro-east.
The franchise floated around the idea of opening a location at Belleville Crossing, but that plan hasn’t moved forward.
In Edwardsville, MOD Pizza will occupy a space previously occupied by Sears. The department store moved out of the strip mall in September 2016.
MOD Pizza has more than 200 locations nationwide, including restaurants in Wentzville, St. Charles, Ladue, Kirkwood, Ellisville, Maryland Heights and Cottleville in the St. Louis metro area.