Sunday, June 13, 2010

Crop Mob Invades The Farm

Wow, what's it like to have a controlled mob at your place? Usually the term mob is associated with chaos and destruction. Well, that's not entirely wrong when it happens at your farm. Only, the destruction is usually done to weeds and to the mental stability of the farm boss, me! And, the chaos is present only when the farm boss, me, leaves the mobbers to free will resulting in mass exiting of the fields to the surrounding cherry, mulberry, and blueberry plants.

No, really, all kidding aside, the crop mob is a free membership of those that are mostly city dwellers that have little or no opportunity to work at a farm and learn about all the aspects of what it is to be a farmer/producer of one crop or another.

I usually try to tell people it is the modern day version of an ole fashion barn-raising. A time when people of varied interest just get together, and put in a good half-day of hard work to get a job done at a farm with the only reward being the camaraderie of others and of course a home cooked meal at the end of the work period.

I went to the initial crop mob meeting early this spring to help get the idea going, but missed the first 2. It was like a "catch 22" for me. I had so much work here on the farm that I couldn't get away. I finally realized that I needed to get away for a half day to get involved with the mob. Besides, you can only get a mob at your farm until you participate in a mob. That's how it works.

It was fun from the start. My first experience showed me that these "mobbes" worked rain or shine. I also met a bunch of folks that I had something in common with. A great way to tangle with a bunch of folks and enjoy an ole fashion spirit of community, which sadly, is so lacking in today's society.

What I didn't realize was that it is a lot more fun to have them over to your farm. The amount of work that gets done with everyone seemingly having a good time is something that I rarely, if ever, see over here for sure. It was great. And, if I must say, so was the food.

My wife, Martha, fretted forever about this thing for two day, but ended up putting on the best show of the day with a dinner ( southerners eat dinner usually on Sundays in the afternoon) that was spectacular if I must say. A fresh ham, greenbeans, corn, pasta salad, green salad, fresh fruit, rolls, spinach dip, cut vegetables, and cookies. Nobody complained, even after a thunderstorm cut us short for the day.

My advice. Join a crop mob and have some fun, we sure did. To get in touch with our mob go to

Saturday, June 12, 2010

North Carolina State University Article

This is a posted article in the NCSU Perspectives On Line about my hops farm.

My farm continues to be envolved with as much reseach as we can get our hands on. I am very excited to be a part of what may be a new and upcoming food industry here in the state.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Beer City Festival Was A Hopping Success!

It was amazing how the scene at the newly renovated Asheville City County Plaza transformed. What started out as a scene of 20 some white tents spread out over the commons in front of the Buncombe County Courthouse and the Asheville City Building with people busily setting up kegs of beer and children playing in the fountain, quickly grew into a mini-city of wall to wall people smiling, talking, listening to music, and of course, sampling some of the finest brews in the country.

The Hop'n Blueberry Farm was there with hops on. Our farm, along with the other 3 farms that are part of the Southern Applachian Hops Guild, set up shop along with the brewers. With our new banner flying in the hot afternoon breeze, folks started noticing and coming up to our tent to learn about the mysterious flavor ingredient of their favorite beverage in between filling their cups with fresh beer samples.
Pictured above with our new banner are John and Rita Pelczar with Blue Ridge Hops Farm, yours truly, and Scott Grahl and Stephanie Wilis of the Winding River Hops Farm.

Stay tuned for more about this festival and pictures coming this week.