A vendor with Countryside Farmers' Market since 2004.
People: Seville Berry farm is operated, managed, plowed, disced, planted and picked by Bob and Maryann Mathis. Jams are handcrafted by Bob.
Products: The farm produces strawberries, black and red raspberries and blackberries. Bob makes about 20 different flavors of jam.
Certifications: All fruit and jam is Grandson Certified
Farm History: We bought the house and land in August 1997. We planted the black and red raspberries in the spring of 1998. Strawberries were added in 2007.
Soil: The soil is a loam/clay mix, but mostly clay. Ten years ago the organic matter was at 1.9%; today, the organic matter is 4.9%. This increase is the result of years of manure applications. The cation exchange capacity and base saturation have also been improved.
Water Use: The farm is not capable of irrigating the fields. Usually I try to control water by digging drain ditches.
Weed Control: In April 2013, we will plant 9,000 strawberry plants. The preparation work included the manure application and planting a cover crop of rye grass. The rye will be plowed into the soil and hopefully increase the organic matter. The cover crop also acts as a weed barrier.
Pest Control: I subscribe to the idea that healthy soil produces healthy plants that are disease and bug resistant. Healthy soil produces good tasting and nutritious fruit.
Jam History: The jam making started in the fall of 1998 - the red raspberries were really producing. I needed a way to use them; my wife and I started giving the jam as gifts and the rest is history.
Jam Sourcing: All of the jam is made in our kitchen as a cottage industry product and carries the Home Produced Statement. Most of the fruit for the jams comes from my farm - the best fruit makes the best jam.
Jam Methods: As the labels state, "fruit, sugar, pectin". The fruit is brought slowly to a boil, the pectin is added, the mix is brought back to a boil, the sugar is added and everything is heated to a rolling boil.
Fun Facts: Black Raspberry Jam is my favorite. And apparently everyone else's too - it sells as fast as I can make it.
When I was a Professional Guide on Lake Erie, I caught at least four 11-pound plus walleyes.