Ramble On

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

A Kickstarter Hop Farm Project

Today I want to continue on the topic of some of the Kickstarter projects I have supported – this time, I’m writing about John Condzella’s hop farm on Long Island – there’s a link at the end of the post.

Condzella says he saw the rise of craft brews and the need for hops as an opportunity, and committed part of the family farm to growing them.  He’s been growing hops for two years now.

His research showed that New York provided 80 percent of the nation’s hop crop in the 1890’s.  He described the process that was used back then, with families traveling out to help with the harvest – a process that reminded me of the cranberry harvests on Cape Cod when I learned more about it.

I’ve watched my neighbor Dan with his annual hop growing and harvest process over the last couple of years, and know that even on a small scale, it’s a tedious process.  Condzella has acres committed to the crop, and those difficulties only increased with scale.  That led him to research machines that could automate the process.

He found a used Wolf machine (check out how it works on the video linked below) for sale in Germany and formed a Kickstarter project to buy it – raising about $30,000 when all was said and done.

I can’t wait to read more details on when the machine gets to the farm, and how it impacts the Condzella operation.

Kickstarter link to the project:
Here's a link to a company that makes hop harvesters:

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