Alan and Betty Nolte
Lee and Jen Miller1082 Hwy 100 Morrison, MO 65061 (573) 294-6235 On facebook@ Nolte Hills Nursery firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com
Nolte Hills Nursery is home to Alan and Betty Nolte. The Nolte’s established Nolte Hills Nursery 28 years ago as a flower nursery and have moved into vegetable production in the last 6 years. Their primary farm location as well as their family home is perched on a hill which looks out on stunning views of the Ozarks in Gasconade County.
The art of cultivation and an emphasis on local food and local business has been passed through many generations of Nolte’s. One daughter owns a nearby restaurant nearby in Chamois which sells local food, one of their sons started a tree business, another grows flowers, and finally, their granddaughter and grandson-in-law help with the vegetable growing operation at Nolte Hills Nursery.
The Noltes’ cultivate roughly 10 acres of land including 10 greenhouses and 1 high tunnel. They grow a variety of produce including: cucumbers, tomatoes, onions, lettuce, herbs, turnips, rutabaga, cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, radishes, zucchini, squash, cantaloupe, watermelon, peppers, strawberries, potatoes, kale, sweet corn, kohlrabi, asparagus, and pumpkins. Additionally, they produce canned peppers, pickles, salsa, strawberry jam, and pickled beets. Although their primary interest now is vegetables, they still grow bedding plants, annuals and perrenials, and create hanging baskets.
Although the Noltes’ had been engaged in the flower business for a number of years, due to economics and the investment required for flowers, Alan and Betty were forced into a fork in the road, forced to make change. Part of that change was switching from floral production to vegetable production. The other part of that change was figuring out how to create cost effective heat for their greenhouses allowing them to grow vegetables year-round.
Alan got on the internet and starting researching potential heat sources. He looked at propane, hay burning stoves, corn burning stoves, manure burning stoves, and finally through the help of some locals in the Mennonite Community, was put in touch with a man named Bob Norland who had extensive knowledge of a gasification furnace from his childhood in the early 1900′s. Many phone calls to Bob later and with Bob’s knowledge of the exact engineering figures for the furnace, Alan was able to source local materials and labor to create the gasification furnace.
Now, the furnace produces 1.4 million BTU’s of heat energy which is used to heat their 10 greenhouses as well as their family home. The furnace uses reclaimed wooden whiskey barrel chips to heat 542 gallons of water through a triple bypass system. The water breaching 170 degrees is routed underground through insulated pipes and is then pushed in front of blowers that heat the air in the greenhouses. In this closed system, the water then returns to the gasification furnace still at roughly 110 degrees where is will be heated again.
The Noltes’ are very interested in keeping money local and investing in their surrounding community. They take pride in the taste and the quality of their products, family, their community, and connections with their customers. They recently hosted their annual open house at their farm which was attended by family, friends, and customers. Additionally, Alan is actively working on creating a database that will enable more direct and effective avenues for small-scale farmers around Hermann to distribute their products.
Stop by their tent at the Columbia Farmer’s Market and say “hi.”