Jay Hiebert is a new face at the Farmers Market who went from the corporate grind to Deep in the Heart of Texas country farm living. Hiebert previously enjoyed a long career in sales and marketing for The Coca-Cola Company in Eastern Europe.
Fond memories picking wild grapes for his mom inspired a return to his Texas roots. He purchased a 40-acre farm abundant with wild grapes and berries in Lexington. “I came home and went organic,” said Hiebert who does all the picking and processing.
He crushes, pulverizes and cooks the fresh fruit. Natural sweetener and pectin are added from sugar cane and orange peels. Placed into 8-ounce jars labeled under Ma-Mere’s Maison Specialty Foods from ABJ Farms, his jam is now available each week at the market.
His signature jelly is Ma-Mere’s Mustang Grape. Hiebert recommends mixing it with barbecue sauce. There’s Orange Marmalade for bagels, toast and English muffins and adventurous palates will enjoy Mango Papaya and Cranberry Habanero. As a specialty produce grower in Lexington, ABJ Farms also specializes in watermelons and other produce for market.
Hiebert’s farm follows the principles of sustainable agriculture practices advocated by the “Slow Foods” or “Local Foods” movements, using OMRI approved soil fertilizer and amendments.