Friday, August 26, 2011

WLOS TV Person Of The Week

Larry Blunt, co-anchor of WLOS-TV newscast came out to the farm with Emmy nominated cameraman Leighton Grant earlier this week to interview me as the "Person Of The Week" to be tentatively aired on September 9 here on Channel 13. It will be available on line as well.

It was a beautiful day for the shoot and I was fortunate enough to have Agriculture Extension Agents Melinda Roberts, who was interviewed for the segment, and Sue Colucci who came along for technical support. Also on board for an additional supportive interview was my good friend Fox Watson, local celebrity, musician, and movie star.
Melinda is getting set up for her interview in this shot above as I scoot out of the scene.

They interviewed me in three of the sections of my farm, in the butterfly flight house (as shown above), at the hop yard, and around the blueberries. I gave them the history of our small farm and how we were trying to change it to survive with new alternative crops and ideas.

Here is a rare behind the scene shot of the real director of the farm and of the shoot today. None other than the famous Martha Burnette, taking a break from all of the tension of the morning!

During Fox Watson's interview, only one question was ask. Fox did such a good job answering it that Larry said, "Gosh, he just answered anything else I could ever ask!" Fox had to leave shortly after this for his movie role in the up coming independent film, "Ghost Of Old Highways".

We all had a great time as usual as any visitor does that comes to our farm. In between all of the fun, during the serious parts of my interview, I tried to let Larry know about all of the support that my farm gets from folks like the Extension Service, WNC AgOptions Grants, ASAP, a great bunch of volunteers from good friends and especially my wife, my mother, my sister and her son who have helped in just about every aspect of this adventure.

The farm's success is totally due to every single one of those mentioned above. They are all the real "Persons Of The Week" as far as I am concerned. Oh, and I do want to add one more to the list. It goes without saying that I truly do thank WLOS for choosing me to represent the small farms in Western North Carolina and giving me the air time to do so!

All photos credit to Charlene Blevins.

Monday, August 22, 2011

The Wall St. Journal and Hop'n Blueberry Farm

When the phone rang, I carried on a conversation with a female that went something like this....
"The Wall Street Journal, oh yea, what took you so long!"
Turns out, it was for real. She soon realized, after talking for nearly 2o minutes, that it was just my nature to say something like that. It was published today on the "online version" enhanced article about the beer industry in Asheville and me, of course.
Here is the link:

There are some more great media events for the farm coming up very soon.
Meanwhile, there is no stopping how much work has to be done here. It is the peak of weed season and so far it is weeds 4, van 1
We are hoping to improve!

Also, the Biltmore Estate just bought a lot of hops from me for a huge sold out "beer pairing" food extravaganza featuring world renowned beer brewing legend, Garrett Oliver. My hops are everywhere these days including some weddings.

Our Farm And The Wall St. Journal

The Wall Street Journal Got Us

There are some really big media events coming in the next day or so about the farm. Meanwhile here is something just published today in the Wall Street Journal about our farm and growing hops. When they called for an interview, I just carried on like it was somebody "messin" with me and I said, "what took you so long!"
Here is the site, check it out.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Hop Harvest Tour Success

Saturday proved to be a great success here at the Hop'n Blueberry Farm. After three years of supplying Pisgah Brewing Company with fine fresh fantastic hops and promoting their production of that fine beer made from the fresh picked hops from our farm, I decided it was time to cash in on the marketing of that success of that beer, called, non-the-less, "Burnette's Brew".

I approached Pisgah with a great marketing scheme that promoted both our businesses. I suggested that we do a joint adventure with a tour at the farm followed by a sampling of "Burnette's Brew", then letting the crowd leave the farm for a 5 mile journey to Pisgah Brewing and a tour of the their brewery and more beer.

One thing I know from the past is that folks that are interested in hops are also ironically interested in beer! I think everyone here had a great time. I could see their intent facial expressions linger on every word I said about growing hops and the struggle of our small farm.

Then I noticed one guy in the last line of the listeners that eased off toward the beer line.
I tried to speed things up, talking about my farm and all the tours and research we were doing to no avail. It was like a collapsing card house or sand castle. Slowly at first the lines followed suit leaving my hop yard and going to the beer tent.

Within minutes I had an audience of 13 die hard home brewers in front of me and a line of 60 other thirsty folks in the beer line away from me. Oh well, I had basically said my piece, and, really, I was probably more ready for a cold drink of brew than they were.
Martha taking pictures

Hats go off to my helpers for the day. Brent, my sister Vicki, wife Martha, and my mom for manning the money tent and to Seth, who took on the sole responsibility of parking cars coming to the show. There is not a day here on the farm that I don't have the help of some of these folks and I am sure it is the same of most of the small farmers in WNC. Thanks across the board for all of the volunteers that help make our small farms possible!! And thank goodness I have a wife that is most tolerant.
Mom, Seth, and Brent

One last thought, this will not be the last hop tour! Keep in touch!