The first hint of autumn color has touched the trees along US Highway 60 and seasonal temperatures in the region are inspiring cooks to prepare comfort foods. Whether that's a pot of chili or chicken and dumplings, a roast or bacon and eggs, area residents can find farm fresh ingredients at Reiboldt Farms Market. Meat purchased here comes from the farm to the freezer to the table. Adjacent to the market, fields, barns and silos are visible and in the rural setting it's possible to hear the chickens or see the cattle.
In any season, at Reiboldt Farms just east of Neosho, it's business as usual on the working farm that spans both sides of the highway and has been in the same family for generations, since 1942.
Bryan and Heather Reiboldt operate Reiboldt Farms Market. Bryan's the farmer and Heather, a former teacher, is in charge of the market.
At Reiboldt Farms Market, they sell what they raise. That includes beef, pork, chicken. and eggs as well as fresh produce in season including sweet corn, tomatoes, peppers, green beans, cucumbers and watermelon, squash, and pumpkins.
In fact, offering farm fresh fare to the public began with pumpkins.
In the summer of 2019, the Reiboldts offered fresh produce for sale and by last October, that led to the market with the farm raised meats, eggs, and more. They also offered local honey for sale but are quick to note it's not raised on this farm. They also offer some country themed home decor and the occasional T-shirt. Their farm to table approach appeals to many customers, all the more so in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. Earlier this year, when some consumers found shortages, Reiboldt Farms Market still offered meat, eggs, and produce.
"We realized people really want to know where their food comes from these days," Heather Reiboldt said. "People have gone back to that. We raise all the meat here and lots of produce. We just decided maybe it was time to share that."
When the market opened, they sold only hamburger but customer demand soon had them add the other meats as well. Bacon and sausage are among the most popular items.
"It's hard keeping up with the bacon (demand)," Bryan said. "People don't realize there's just a certain amount of bacon on a pig. They think you can make bacon with any cut. So we have pork chops, brats and ham steaks too."
Chicken is another item in demand and for the curious, all the meat sold is USDA inspected.
"I was raised butchering our own chickens," Bryan said. "It seems odd to me to load chickens up in a trailer and take them to get processed. Every chicken goes down an assembly line and a USDA inspector inspects every bird. Beef's the same, it's inspected. He's there when they butcher, when they cut up, when they package. All the meat is frozen. It's butchered, frozen and vacuum sealed when fresh. Speaking of chickens, we have white eggs and brown eggs. An egg's an egg but people like the difference."
The market offers whole chickens, breasts, thighs, wings and drumsticks. Beef lovers will find hamburger, steaks and roasts. There are also pork chops, brats, ham steaks and whole hams.
Customers range from local folks to those who drive from as far away as Miami, Oklahoma and other parts of Missouri. At this time, shipping isn't an option but inquiries have been made by many.
"When people buy our meat, they come back and say they never tasted a pork chop or steak like that," Heather said."They've never had anything fresh from the farm. We have a lot of people who come back and say this is all they want now. We like that."
The market celebrates their first year in business this month and the Reiboldts are pleased with the customer response.
This weekend, Reiboldt Farms Market will also be part of a fun event - Road Tripping Down Highway 60. The event takes place along US Highway 60 from Neosho to Billings with 15 different businesses. There's the chance to win gift cards and prizes along the way. Passports will be available at each stop and customers who get 10 or more out of 15 locations stamped will be entered to win. The event is from 10 a.m. through 5 p.m. both Friday and Saturday, October 2 and 3.
The farm is a true family operation, with a agricultural heritage and a bright future.
"It's three generations at this location," Bryan said."With the boys now growing up, it's four generations. We're basically trying to make the farm more profitable for the next generation. If you look around, there's not a whole lot of land left to buy."
For those with a taste for food fresh from the farm in any season, Reiboldt Farms Market can meet the need with their locally raised pork, beef, chicken and eggs. For a full price list and updates on any specials, follow their Facebook page, Reiboldt Farms.
Reiboldt Farm Market is located at 15947 Business Highway 60 just east of Neosho. Hours are 10 a.m. - 6 p.m. Thursday, Friday, and this week Saturday. Customers can also arrange other times or place orders in advance.
Farm to table doesn't come any fresher than this.