Benne's Best Farm, located at 850 S. Breeze Drive in St. Charles County, is a 127-acre farm where the Benne family raises cattle, pigs and chickens in a natural and sustainable manner. You can buy meat directly from the farm. (The farm is always "open," since the family lives there, though they would prefer no drop-in visits on Sunday.) The chickens roam freely during the day, and the cattle are hormone- and antibiotic-free and are fed both grass and corn. Call 636-926-9364 for more information.

If you're in the mood for a pleasant drive through the countryside, consider a day trip to visit Goatsbeard Farm in Harrisburg, Missouri. On this 80-acre farm, the Muno family produces truly fantastic goat cheese. (You can find it at area farmers' markets as well as some grocery stores.) To arrange a visit, call 573-875-0706.

Whether you plan a trip outstate or simply pay a visit to a single farmers' market sometime this summer, you'll be surprised at the potential rewards. Not only can you save money, but you'll also feel better about yourself and your impact on the environment. Those summer barbecues will taste that much sweeter. 

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