In 1890, a German immigrant named John Utz settled in Waterville Township and established the Riverside Fruit Farm located along the river at Noward and River Roads (old Rt. 24). His son Marion and grandson Bernard continued the tradition of producing high quality apples, cider and peaches as M.L. Utz & Son Orchard Fruits. Bernard semi-retired from farming and retired Utz's Orchards in 1976.
A generation passed, not without family missing the easily accessible, tasty fruit. A passion for healthy food and eating led one of Bernard's six daughters, her husband, their oldest son and daughter-in-law to the decision to resurrect the farm.
Bersée & Utz Heirloom Farm began in the Spring of 2010 with a planting of 315 dwarf and semi-dwarf apple trees and vegetable market gardens.
Our first few years have been eye openers. Farming, and especially farming sustainably (without the use of toxic and harmful chemicals) to protect our soil and provide clean healthy produce, is hard work and a lot of it - - not for the faint of heart or body! Still, we relish in being close to the land and being able to work outside (for the best workout ever!), witnesses to beautiful skies, awesome cloudscapes, soaring eagles and hawks, approaching storms and, of course, magnificent sunsets. On top of that, we never stop learning and Mother Nature wouldn't have it any other way. She tends to throw farmers different curve balls each year, but that's the name of the game: how well we can adapt to the diverse conditions and still bring product to harvest.
2013 provided a first taste of an apple harvest from the 2010 orchard planting. We look forward to much more yield this year! Again, these apples are organically produced, clean and healthy.
For 2014, we are offering shares for 150 partners and plan to have a farm stand onsite, as well.
We invite you to peruse our site or make an appointment for a farm tour as the season progresses.
Welcome to our farm!
Our CSA is currently accepting new members for the 2014 season.
Utz family farm, circa 1960s, showing the original apple orchard of 90 standard sized trees.