Brad Cook grew up on his grandfather’s farm near Arnold, Missouri, south of St. Louis. As a child he helped his mom, Louanna, harvest garden produce and gather their chickens’ eggs. In the 1980s, Louanna and her husband, Emory, bought a farm in Monroe County, about 14 miles north of Centralia, where they planted fruit trees and a variety of vegetables.
Eight years ago, Brad returned to his roots and took over the farming duties on his family’s farm. After 30 years as a truck driver, “I needed a change of pace,” he said. Cook has settled comfortably into country life on Cook’s Farm, and he now savors the growing process, from blossom to fruit.IMG_3813
Following the legacy of Cook’s grandfather, Cook grows completely chemical-free fruit. “I am very proud of the chemical-free orchard,” he said. “We grow chemical-free apples, pears, Asian pears, and blueberries.”
Cook calls the market “one of the best markets in the state, because of its focus on a wide variety of local and quality products. We also have some of the best customers. Over the years they have become our friends. We look forward to seeing them each week. We greatly appreciate every one of them, and they appreciate all our hard work.”