Sunday, September 30, 2012

Farm Tours Come To A Close For The Year On A Soggy Note

Van Burnette tags a monarch butterfly
The past two weeks have been very busy for the farm and were a great way to end the 2012 tour season.  On Sept. 22 and 23 we hosted the ASAP Family Farm tour.  Around 120 people visited the farm where non stop tours were given by Van for both days.  It is rather grueling but hopefully people learned a lot about what all we do here on the farm.

Hops, as always, seemed to demand the most attention for the Farm Tour.  We also seemed to raise awareness for the importance of creating and maintaining native bee pollinator habitats and with our native blueberry study.  We also tagged a couple of monarch butterflies that were passing through.

The major tagging event for the monarch butterflies was reserved for the next weekend, Sept. 29 and our last official tour of the season.  Around 60 people showed up for this free event.  Folks started gathering early and so did the clouds.

The rain started during the release
 I managed to tag three monarchs and let the kids and adults release them after we taught the butterflies a few crucial words in Spanish.  Not all of the butterflies we eager to fly off as the one seen below seemed to wanted to stay on this young ladies hair.

All in all it was a good year, but we hope next year will be even better and hope to sponsor many fun events and have great Saturday tours with lots of folks.  The last shot seems to be a good ending for this blog.  You can just make out a monarch flying south after being tagged, saying goodbye to the farm.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Wet Hop Beer From The Native Ground Brewery

Earlier in the season, I held a few sessions of "work for learning" at the farm.  I had some home brewers and potential commercial brewers come out to the farm and learn the art and the pains of growing hops with dirt in the fingernails learning.  The rewards are the learning experience and hops from the vine.

Two volunteers from Columbia, SC. came up and helped out quite a bit.  Lee Snelgrove and John Codega were two of those folks.  Lee actually came up again and help at the filming for the UNC-TV show, "NC Weekend" which aired two weeks ago and featured the farm. 

Lee took back some fresh hops a few weeks prior and he and John created a fresh hop beer, the one shown above and sent it to me.  Their hope is to start up "Native Ground Brewing" in Columbia.  After tasting this, the best wet hop beer I have ever had, I am sure that they are going to do well.

  Their label is so funny.  It is from a picture I took of myself, a take off of the Dos Equis ad on TV, "The Most Interesting Man in the World". Good luck yall.