Wednesday, December 7, 2011

We Have Been Awarded a New Grant for Organic Broccoli Study!

This is Emily in our 2010 organic broccoli study in Waynesville
I am just beside myself with excitement!  My program has been awarded a new grant by the Organic Farming Research Foundation to conduct a project entitled "Participatory Screening of Broccoli Varieties for Organic Systems in Western North Carolina."  The two main objectives of this project will be 1)  to identify the best new and existing broccoli varieties adapted to the organic farms and markets in western North Carolina and 2) use participatory varietal selection to facilitate farmer involvement in choosing and evaluating the broccoli varieties.  Varieties will be trialed at the Mountain Organic Research and Extension Unit at the Mountain Research Station in Waynesville, NC.  We will be proceeding with our organic certification on that research land now.  We will be working closely with the New River Organic Growers up in the high country because of their extensive experience in growing organic broccoli. This study will dovetail with the broccoli research we are already doing at that station as part of the Eastern Broccoli Project.  I am especially excited about the timely of this project because Amy's Kitchen, who is starting a new plant in Greenville, SC, just announced that they want to buy lots of organic broccoli from this region!  Credit for this grant really goes to the research specialist in my program, Emily Bernstein.  She is the one who developed this idea and wrote the proposal.  Congratulations, Emily!

Monday, December 5, 2011

NC Craft Beverage Meeting: Hop Growing & Enzyme Use in Beverage Production

Commercial and aspiring brewers, winemakers, hop and grape growers, distillers, and anyone involved in fermented/craft beverage production are invited to the 2012 NC Craft Beverage Regional Exchange Group meeting series.

Join us January 12, 2012 at Catawba Valley Brewing Company, Morganton, NC for a combined presentation on hop production in North Carolina and enzyme use in commercial beverage fermentation. Speakers include NC State hop specialist Dr. Jeanine Davis, and David Maradyn, Staff Scientist in Brewing Solutions for enzyme professionals Novozymes.

Supported by the North Carolina Biotechnology Center and organized by Appalachian State University, the mission of this Regional Exchange Group (REG) is to foster collaboration among members of the growing and dynamic fermentation/craft beverage industries of North Carolina. Meetings feature speakers focused on fermentation technologies and scientific practices for use throughout the production process. 

Take the following link to register:
or contact Franya Hutchins (, 828-262-8158)
There is no fee for this meeting.

Agenda January 12, 2012 at Catawba Valley Brewing Company, Morganton, NC

Hop Production Introduction and Discussion 9am-12pm:

Topics covered include: establishing a hop yard, variety selection, growing, harvesting, drying, packaging, enterprise budgets, marketing, organic options, and scaling production. Presentation led by Dr. Jeanine Davis of NC State University. 

Enzyme Use in Craft Beverage Production 1:30-4:30pm:

1:30 - 2:00 Greeting and Introduction to the Craft Beverage REG
2:00 - 2:30 Incentivizing Craft Beverage Businesses in your Community- Alan Clark, Burke County Tourism Development Authority
2:30 - 4:30 Enzyme Use in Beverage Production- David Maradyn, Novozymes; additional speakers, open discussion of industry experiences, and question / answers.

4:30 Craft Beverage Reception, Catawba Valley Brewing Company Tasting Room (light snacks provided)

Mark your calendars January 12, 2012 for this opportunity connect with other industries/industry members, share experiences, concerns, and needs of these industries, and discuss some technical aspects of production that may benefit your business.

These meetings are intended to be casual and input from attendees is highly encouraged.

For more information see or contact Franya Hutchins,, 828-262-8158

Thanks to support from the Golden LEAF Foundation, the NC Biotechnology Center, and the Small Business Administration, the Appalachian State University Enology and Viticulture program will be holding 8 workshops in 2012 on science-based, practical production techniques for the craft beverage industries of North Carolina.

Topics to be covered include yeast management, enzyme use, NC grape harvest 2011, filtration, sensory evaluation, and lab techniques; meetings feature industry professionals as well as academic experts. Join us throughout 2012 for these exciting gatherings open to wine/grape, beer/hop, distillate, and other craft beverage producers!

See for the schedule outline.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Hops in North Carolina and New York

My staff harvesting our hops in 2011 (first year planting!)

I just had to post links to a recent article about a North Carolina hops grower in Yadkin County and a video about hops growing in New York.  I am quite envious of the New York situation.  They now have a full-time hops extension specialist.  And check out the harvester!

December 2, 2011 article in the Winston-Salem Journal about Cedar Ridge Hops in Yadkin County, NC.

CNN Money video on New York hops industry.
Some of the hops we harvested in July