Local Hops C.S.A.?
Tuesday 10 February 2009 Filed in: Hops
February 10, 2009
This is still in the embryonic stage, but I've been in contact with two certified-organic farmers on Long Island's north fork about the possibility of growing hops using a CSA model. If any local brewers (homebrewers or commercial) are interested, let me know via my contact page
For those not familiar with what a CSA is, those letters stand for C
griculture. Essentially, folks buy shares in an agricultural venture. This is generally mutually beneficial to both the farmer and the members of the CSA: The farmer gets financial benefits up front, and the members get good, local produce. Both risk and benefits are shared, as there is no guarantee of outcome -- something that farmers usually have to face on their own.
If you care about where your food comes from, and are interested in keeping at least parts of Long Island agricultural, then a CSA might be for you. (For more about local CSAs, you might want to check http://www.localharvest.org).
What I'm envisioning for the hops CSA is that members would be responsible for picking and packaging their own hops. Perhaps there could be a hops harvest party, with members picking and weighing out the harvest together. (This seems like a good opportunity for an after-harvest beer party, with brewers bringing along some of their brews to share.) Something to keep in mind is that it usually takes more than one season to get a decent yield.