I’ll be honest and say that during my cake hunting adventures, the cake locations usually fell into one of two categories – either visiting the location to see the cake was probably the only time I was ever going to be at that location again, or I knew upon sight that I was definitely going to have to explore the location a second or a third time in the future. And Eckert’s Belleville Country Store (or really Eckert’s Farms) fell into that second category.
Eckert’s has different locations throughout Illinois, but the Belleville location, where the cake was placed, is where it all started. In 1862 Michael Eckert started planting fruit trees in an area called Drum Hill southeast of St. Louis, and in 1890 his son Henry followed his father’s lead and began planting fruit trees on a plot of land called Turkey Hill Farm which became the location for the current Eckert’s Farm in Belleville.
In addition to the apples, peaches, strawberries and blackberries that the Farm is known for, Eckert’s Belleville location also has a Country Store that is filled with glorious amounts of delicious looking food, a shop with cute little knick-knacks, a place to grab a bite to eat and most importantly, a window where you can walk up and order ice cream, which Mama Monster sampled as we walked around taking in the locale. The Farm also puts on different events throughout the year as well as the ever popular pick-your-own options for many of their fruits and vegetables.
And so even though Mama Monster and I only spent a few minutes in each section of the Country Store, looking through all the seed packets and lawn ornaments they had for sale, I still knew there were so many things we didn’t even know we weren’t getting to see. Plus walking around the Farm on a warm spring or early summer day picking fruit to take home and enjoy sounds like a lovely way to spend an afternoon.
So after we had some nice patron of the Country Store take our picture with the cake, and we were driving away from the Farm on our way to the next cake location, I knew that even though the Farm was slowly disappearing in my rear view mirror, it would not be the last time I took a look around this particular Illinois attraction.