Last week I had the pleasure of joining Alive Magazine and some local bloggers, chefs, and restaurant owners out at Eckert’s Family Farm for a special tour and dinner. I was so excited to meet the family who owns this incredible business which is such a staple for the St. Louis community. Many St. Louis folk make seasonal or annual trips to the farm to pick their own fruits and veggies, as well as shop the store, eat on site, etc. I made my first trip a few weeks back to pick some peaches, which you can read about here, and can’t wait to go back in the fall for apple season. But for now, I’m going to tell you about my amazing night there and provide you with my favorite blackberry cobbler recipe made with blackberries from Eckert’s!
We started off the night meeting Chris and Angie Eckert, part of the amazing family behind Eckert’s Family Farm. They took us on an educational tour around the facility so that we could see how the produce grown on site was picked, cleaned, packaged, and stored. It was a pretty cool experience to be able to see the behind the scenes of how our produce is handled. I’m sure that not all places handle their produce with as much love and care as the Eckert’s provide, so it was great to see how a family run business can do such large scale production while still providing that extra attention.
After our tour of the main building, we hopped on a tractor-pulled wagon with Chris to head up to his and Angie’s home for dinner. About 3 minutes into our drive Chris hollered at Randy, the best tractor driver out there, to stop the tractor next to the corn field. He then proceeded to have us all get off and pick some sweet corn…that we ate right off the cob! Right there in the field! Some of you might think this is normal business, but for most of us, it was pretty awesome. I never knew how amazing sweet corn could taste right off the stalk. If you’re ever given the opportunity to try some, do it. And yes I died of laughter when Alex, Delish Knowledge, thought the corn stalks were asparagus at first...
Before, we all piled back on the wagon Christina, Dessert for Two, and I may have ran over to take some photos with the sunflowers because they were just too gorgeous not to. When we were wrangled back into the wagon Chris told us some amazing stories of how his family has built the homes on the farm land over 100 years ago. It is just so incredible to see how one family can keep something going for such a long time in our fairly “new” country. Once again Chris called to Randy to pull over the wagon down the hill from the Eckert’s home. This time we picked the most perfect peaches…and I tried not to spoil my dinner by eating more than 1 peach, but too bad, they were just so tasty I ate two!
When we finally made it up to the Eckert’s home, we were greeted by the Alive team around a long table with a beautiful white, peach, and pink table scape. As an event planner I get so stoked seeing a beautiful set-up, so this was the perfect sight to see upon arriving. As for the dinner, we were lucky enough to have been fed some delicious food from Sherrie, With Food + Love, and my girl Julia, My Lavender Blues. We ate while the sun set over the view of the farm and the city. It was a fantastic evening filled with laughter, friends, and good food.
I hope I’ve sold you all now on taking that trip out to Eckert’s. Something fun coming up at Eckert’s Farm in Belleville is the Wine & Apples in the Orchard on September 15th. Find tickets and event information here. Any trip out is so worth it to get your hands on the most amazing local produce to take home and make yummy treats out of…like this blackberry cobbler. I told you we’d get there, eventually. Below is my simple recipe for a cobbler. I hope you enjoy it!
If you make this recipe be sure to post a pic to Instagram (or any social media) and tag #feedmewithamanda. Or if you love a different cobbler recipe, let me know about that too in the comments below!
1 cup flour
1 cup + 1/4 cup sugar, divided
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 stick of butter, room temperature (or a little melted)
1 cup heavy cream (or whole milk)
12 oz blackberries
Preheat the oven at 350° F and grease a pie dish or square pan.
In a bowl (I use my mixer) combine all dry ingredients, including the 1 cup of sugar. Add the butter until combined, then add the cream and stir until the mixture becomes silky.
Pour the mixture into the pie dish and drop your berries on top. The mixture may rise and cover them fully. Sprinkle remaining ¼ cup sugar on top.
Bake for 50 minutes or until golden brown. Remove and let cool.
Serve with whipped cream, ice cream, or by itself.