Witten’s History

1958 – Settling the Farm

Ralph & Frances Witten move from Fly, OH to the farm in Lowell where they raise their seven kids, operate a dairy and sell vegetables at a farm stand in the front yard.

1969 – Welcoming the 2nd Generation

Jerry Witten, Ralph & Frances’ oldest son, returns home from The Ohio State University and marries Bonnie Sutherland Witten.  They go on to have 5 children while Jerry expands the vegetable production on the farm and Bonnie works as a nurse.

1980’s – Changing Directions

The milk cows are sold and Ralph retires from dairy farming.  Jerry focuses on wholesaling sweet corn and other vegetables to mom and pop grocery stores across Southeastern Ohio.

1986/87 – Getting the kids involved

To instill work ethic and an entrepreneurial spirit in their kids, Jerry and Bonnie open their first satellite produce market in Marietta, OH to be managed by their oldest daughter.  Seeing its success, they add two more satellite locations in the early 90’s.

1994 – Picking Sweet Corn at Midnight

The demand for fresh-picked sweet corn is rising.  Picking by spotlight in the middle of the night sets Witten’s corn above the rest.   .

1996 – Growing Flowers

Julie Witten, Jerry & Bonnie’s second daughter, returns home from The Ohio State University and starts a greenhouse.  Inspired by her Grandma Frances, she opens the first flower market at the Marietta location selling hanging baskets and bedding plants.

1998 – The Beginning of Wagons

With customer convenience and accessibility in mind, the farm adds a satellite location with a new look.  The first roadside produce wagon, made from an old watermelon wagon, opens in Barlow, OH.

2003 – The Red and White Stripes

The produce wagon with the red and white striped awning makes its first appearance in Southside Parkersburg, WV. along with three others in southeastern Ohio as the farm’s focus continues to move towards retail sales.

2007/2008 – Growing the Family Business

Bonnie and Jerry retire from vegetable farming .  The third generation of farmers, Julie, Tom and Scott, grow the farm to include 15 satellite farm markets ranging as far south as Ripley, W.V. to as far north as Lancaster, OH.

2010 – Welcome to the Farm

Some farm markets are now located 100+ miles away from the home farm.  The first annual Employee Farm Tour is held to meet the family and educate the market teams about the farm and its growing practices.  

2011 – Adding an Agricultural Landmark

Julie, Tom and Scott purchase the famous Smith Farm Market, a produce market and bakery that has been a staple in Columbus since the 1970’s.  They also open a produce wagon in the neighboring community of Gahanna.

2014 – Out with the Old, In with the New

To accommodate the expanding farm, 14 small barns and buildings, including the old milkhouse and packing shed, are torn down to make room for a new building that houses the office, machinery shop and warehouse in one centralized location.

2015 – High Tunnel Heirlooms

Eight different varieties of heirloom tomatoes are successfully grown for the first time using a 2.5 acre high tunnel, which helps protect against cold spring nights and rain damage.

2017 – Getting into the Berry Business

___ acres of berry fields are planted including blackberries, blueberries, black raspberries and red raspberries.  Using a trellis growing system to help protect against cold, Ohio winters, these berries will reach full production in _____ years.

2018 – Let’s get Baking

Julie fulfills her lifelong dream of owning and operating a bakery.  The bakery at Smith Farm Market is remodeled and re-opens its doors in April of 2018, with a classic variety of freshly baked sweets and new signature pies.

Address

Farm Address: 16670 State Route 60, Lowell, OH 45744
Mailing Address: P.O. Box 13 Beverly, OH 45715

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Hours

Farm Markets OPEN DAILY

8am - 8pm