Grab a jar of Fritz Miller’s Organic Strawberry Jam and read the label. You’ll get an instant idea of the type of farmer Fritz is by reading his motto:
“Glory in Garden” Hands in dirt, Sun on head, Heart in nature.
In 2003, Fritz became one of the first farmers in the area to receive a USDA Organic certification. He always farmed his berries and produce organically, but found that the actual “certified organic” seal was important for some of his customers.
Certifying his crops was a little challenging at the time, according to Fritz, while having his jam certified was a bit more involved. Each jar of jam on Fritz’s shelf can be traced back to the day it was picked, the patch the berries came from, and the day the jam was produced.
When you ask Fritz about his jam, he will first talk passionately about his berries.
“This is my highlight, to prepare the ground, plant, watch it grow — hand weeding—look at the results,” he said. “Once fully ripened, you go along and pick those first strawberries, but now and then a berry disappears (Ummm). I cannot find the words to express the feeling — to bring the fruit to the market for repeat customers and new ones as well, with full satisfaction.”
Fritz is confident one taste of his jam will transport you to the berry patch where the fruit was grown.
“If you put my jam on your toast or bread, I am assured you will have the ‘real’ strawberry flavor,” he said.
Fritz’s jam’s first ingredient is organic strawberries followed by three additional organic ingredients. He admits to having a special mixture of strawberry varieties that includes up to three types.
Fish Lake jams are all one-third less sugar or no sugar-added. While this shortens the shelf life once the jam is opened, the flavor ensures the jar is empty before it would need to be discarded.
Fritz’s jam attracts loyal customers. “I have tried many other strawberry jams over the years and not only is (Fish Lake Organic) ‘s the best tasting, but it also has less sugar and — very important to me — is made with organic strawberries! I usually have rye crackers with strawberry jam at breakfast and dinner,” states Ross Riker, a loyal customer.
Fish Lake Organic Berry Patches
Fish Lake Organic Berries is Grower/Producer certified for Good Agricultural Practice (GAPS) and is Produce Safety Alliance (PSA) grower trained.
You can purchase Fish Lakes Organic Strawberry Jams every Saturday year-round, 8-1 p.m. and Tuesdays, from May – October 3-7 p.m. at Goshen Millrace Farmers Market, or by mail by emailing Fritz at [email protected] and phone 574-642-3014.
“This is my highlight, to prepare the ground, plant, watch it grow — hand weeding—look at the results. Once fully ripened, you go along and pick those first strawberries, but now and then a berry disappears. I cannot find the words to express the feeling — to bring the fruit to the market for repeat customers and new ones as well, with full satisfaction.”