Thursday, October 1, 2015


Just a quick note about our monarch tag and release event.  It looks like a downpour is very possible for Saturday Oct. 3, the day of our event.  I am going to cancel the event and do it on Sunday, Oct. 4 at 2 pm. It is still a weather related event so your best bet is to call ahead to make sure.  One thing for sure is that they will be released on the next break in the weather.

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Pollinator Workshop And Our Annual Monarch Tag And Release Coming Soon

The Pollinator Workshop

Eastern Bumble Bee and Tiger Swallowtail
Have you ever wondered how come you never see any butterflies or bees on your property?  Now you can find out how to attract these beautiful creatures to your own yard or farm.  Our Pollinator Workshop is a great way to learn how to build native bee habitats that will now only attract the most efficient pollinators to you gardens but attract many different species of butterflies as well.

Did you know that native bees are 10 times more efficient pollinators than honey bees and require hardly any maintenance on your part.  At the workshop you will learn how to build "bee hotels" and to make seed bombs and have a hands on experience doing so.  You will also learn what kind of plants to plant to attract not only these native bees, but many species of butterflies as well. 

Join us on Sept. 26 at 11 pm.   The tickets are $12/person and will include materials to make seed bombs and bee hotels.  Tickets are available on our website, on the farm store tab.  Reservations are required.  The event takes place here at the farm under shelter.

The Annual Monarch Tag and Release

Male Monarch Butterfly
This is one of our more popular events held during the year.  The Monarch Tag and Release event is free to the public and is very family friendly offering lots of hands on experiences.  At this event, we net live monarchs from one of our pollination fields full of zinnias and we take out our own monarchs that we raise during the year from our butterfly house.  Then small tags are placed on their wings.  After the information is recorded we let them go on their long journey down to central Mexico.

Kids really like the opportunity to hold a butterfly and place the tags on them.  They sure get a kick out of trying to catch the butterflies as well.  All data is recorded along with the special numbers that are assigned to each butterfly released.  We hope to tag 50 butterflies this year, but nature governs the event, so be advised that the number of butterflies tagged may be smaller.  

The event takes place here at the farm on Oct. 3 at 1 pm., rain or shine.  It is an outside event so bring an umbrella if needed.  Butterfly nets are optional, we have a few on hand.  We will also have a few milkweed plants and nets for sale.

Monday, August 10, 2015

Our Annual Hop Harvest Tour Is Coming August 22

Large three finger Cascade hops
It is time once again for our Hop Harvest Tour this year coming up on August 22 at the Hop'n Blueberry Farm starting at 1 PM.  This year our harvest all went to Lookout Brewery in Black Mountain.  Owner John Garcia made sure that our hops went into the boil the minute I took them over to the Brewery for one of the freshest hopped beer ever made from my hops so far.

John Garcia from Lookout Brewery pours a fresh hop sample
The beer will be called Van's Front Porch Ale which is a truly "fresh hop" beer.  It is also a very local  beer with malt coming from barely grown in the next county over and malted by Riverbend Malt in Asheville.  The water comes directly from under the ground in Black Mountain, and the hops--well, they from our farm located 3.6 miles from the Brewery!  If that ain't fresh, then the world is flat!

The tour will start with a tour of the farm and hop yard, with details given to the hop yard.  We will be cutting down some vines during this tour so visitors can get a real feel of what it is like to pick hops off of the vine.  After the tour, we will be sampling Van's Front Porch Ale and having drawings to give away hop plants, and hops.
The hop tour
This year we are going to have an Americana/Alternative Country style of music played by Company News, a great local group of three guys including Hunter Begley.  Hunter has been a part of the farm now for two years, helping out with the growing and harvesting of our hops.  We can't wait to have this addition to our tour.

We will be wrapping things up around 2:30 PM and hopefully directing folks down to Lookout Brewery to purchase more of their delicious beer varieties.  We will have some other things for sale at the farm during this time including a great hop stained glass piece made by my wife Martha and of course plants from our magnificent gardens.

Tickets are $12 and can be purchased on our website, under the farm store tab or can be purchased on the day of the event.  Be sure to bring your camera as the farm is truly beautiful this time of the year with new additions to our pollination gardens and our butterfly house full of native butterflies.