Make It A Hoppy Harvest in Maine!

An experienced northern Maine family-owned hops farm needs a sprayer and mechanical harvester to get our hops to local brewers.. and into your pint glass!
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Krista Delahunty
Food
Westfield, Maine
United States
1 Team Member

Short Summary

Aroostook Hops is a small family farm in northern Maine, founded in 2009 by a husband and wife team of Jason Johnston & Krista Delahunty.  At the time we started growing organic hops commercially, we were one of only three hops growers in the state of Maine.  We started out small, and now have 4 acres of hops (with 5 varieties to offer).  Some of our mature hops plants are 5-years old.  

We have both worked hard at our venture, and are proud of what we have accomplished up to now.  We have been recipients of two separate USDA Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education grants, been invited to present at the 2013 annual UVM Hops Conference, been featured in magazine and newspaper articles, and have been a part of a Maine state agriculture legislative tour of our northern-most Maine county, Aroostook county.

We were excited recently to have our hops featured in the “Crown Breaker Artisan Ale”, the 2013 Beer Advocate Extreme Beer Fest brew in collaboration with Dogfish Head Brewery, where all ingredients were sourced from small “mom and pop” operations like ours.

We have managed to pick by hand the last four seasons, but can’t sustain that kind of labor-intensive method with our increasing hops plant acreage and plant maturity.  We are launching an Indiegogo campaign to fund a small-scale commercial hops harvester and a tow-behind sprayer, which we need in order to continue to manage well what we grow.

 

What We Need & What You Get

Despite all the sweat and hard work we’ve put in the last five years, we are now at a point where we need help to move to the next level.  With four acres of hops to harvest in the coming years, it is imperative that we acquire a mechanical harvester to accomplish this.  Hand picking is just not feasible at this level!  

There are plans available through the UVM Hops team that we will use in collaboration with local experts to build.  The UVM-designed machine has been built initially for $35K, but we think we can tweak the design to be finished for under that – around $25-27K.   This will be the first commercial hops harvester in the state of Maine, and will represent a leap forward for the industry.  We also have plans to cooperate with other small hops growers for them to utilize the machinery and help them to grow. 

We also need to purchase a bigger sprayer than what we currently use to combat the biggest threat to our organic crop: downy mildew.  We use organic growing methods, and will use the sprayer for OMRI certified products that will produce the best quality hops cones for our brewing customers.  This will cost about $3600 to purchase.

As a contributor to our fundraising campaign, you will receive unique perks that will allow you to publicly show your support.  Our logo will be added to some very stylish t-shirts, caps, pint glasses, and keychains, and handmade hops soap.  Depending on the reward level you choose, you can select the merchandise that most interests you. 

Also, some reward levels provide you with a unique opportunity to experience the best of times at Aroostook Hops – how does an evening steak dinner for two with samplings of fresh hoppy beer sound?  Or are you interested in a personal tour of the hopyard?  How about an engraved brass plate mounted on an end pole that permanently names a full row of hops after you or someone special?

Your support will help us to accomplish our goals and further the hop growing effort in Maine, and we hope that the reward we offer will be meaningful and worthwhile to you, in turn.  Check out our Indiegogo campaign now, and join in this exciting venture as we “grow” together!

 

The Impact

There is an increasing interest in local and organically produced hops in the Northeast, as well as in craft brewing.  With our experience and knowledge, we are positioned as leaders in the field and are happy to share with others what we have learned. 

We have a successful track record of receiving grants, publishing scientific papers, and delivering talks on in our field.  We will approach a successfully-funded Indiegogo campaign in the same way we have approached every other project we have taken on together – with responsibility, hard work, and true integrity. 

Your contribution to our campaign will have a huge impact… we have worked so hard and called on every generous volunteer to get the fall harvest in the last couple of years, but without mechanized harvesting, we cannot continue to keep up to the amount of vines to be picked.  We need you to help – and every contribution will be greatly appreciated!

 

Other Ways You Can Help

We understand that not everyone can contribute financially to a campaign.  However, your greatest value may be your voice – you can make a huge difference if you get the word out and make some noise about our campaign!  Use the Indiegogo “share” tools, use Facebook and email, whatever gets more people involved.  Encourage your contacts to also share with their contacts – we only have 50 days to make this happen, and every person reached helps.  Thanks for your support in revitalizing the hops industry in the Northeast!

 

Find This Campaign On
$5,876USD
raised by 52 people in 1 month
20% funded
0 time left
$30,000 USD goal
Flexible Funding This campaign has ended and will receive all funds raised.
Campaign Closed
This campaign ended on July 23, 2013
Select a Perk
  • $16USD
    The Pint

    Pledge to share a virtual "pint" with Aroostook Hops, and we'll send you an aluminum keychain bottle/can tab opener with our logo engraved on it. Choose between black, green, or silver. A functional and attractive way to show your support!

    9 claimed

    Estimated delivery: August 2013
  • $34USD
    The Stein

    Lift a "stein" with us, and you will receive a heavyweight preshrunk 100% cotton t-shirt with our Aroostook Hops logo (choose from dark chocolate brown, dark heather grey, stonewashed green, or athletic heather grey). You will also receive an aluminum keychain bottle/can tab opener with our logo on it (in black, silver, or green).

    14 claimed

    Estimated delivery: August 2013
  • $48USD
    The Yard

    After drinking your virtual "yard" to Aroostook Hops, sport a stylish washed chino twill cap with our logo stitched on it (choose between stone or olive cap colors). You will also receive an aluminum keychain bottle/can tab opener with our logo on it (in black, silver, or green).

    1 claimed

    Estimated delivery: August 2013
  • $64USD
    The Growler

    Pick up a "growler" and you can use your brand new pint glass with our Aroostook Hops logo on it to pour up a pint! After you uncap it with your aluminum keychain bottle/can tab opener with our logo on it. While you are wearing your choice of a cap or a t-shirt with our logo on it, of course!

    3 claimed

    Estimated delivery: August 2013
  • $100USD
    The Cornelius keg

    If you just can't choose between a cap or a t-shirt with the Aroostook Hops logo, you can buy a "Cornelius keg" and have both! We'll also send you a keychain and a pint glass for the complete "Cornelius keg" package...

    11 claimed

    Estimated delivery: July 2013
  • $100USD
    The Pony keg

    If you are close enough to visit us at Aroostook Hops in Westfield, Maine, purchase the "Pony keg" and you will be rewarded with a private tour of the hopyard capped off with a taste of some hoppy beer brewed with our own hops. You will also get a pint glass, a keychain, a handcrafted bar of hops soap, and your choice of a cap or a t-shirt to take home after a very unique experience.

    0 claimed

    Estimated delivery: August 2013
  • $100USD
    The Firkin

    Tap a "firkin" to unlock a truly memorable event at Aroostook Hops - an evening steak dinner with all the extras, served in style right in the hopyard! You will see the hops vines up close, check out fresh beer made with our own hops, feast on grilled strip steak and local Maine baked potato, served with salad right from our own garden. You will also get to take home a pint glass, keychain, and a hat or t-shirt. A unique dinner out, guaranteed!

    2 claimed

    Estimated delivery: August 2013
  • $100USD
    The Kegerator

    A homebrewer's dream - the "kegerator" provides you with two 4 ounce vacuum-sealed packages of our own hops (your choice: (Cascade, Centennial, Nugget, or Willamette), an Aroostook Hops t-shirt to wear while you brew, a pint glass to pour your homebrew in, and a keychain to open your bottles with and show your support.

    0 claimed

    Estimated delivery: September 2013
  • $250USD
    The Keg

    If you are prepared to do some heavy lifting, purchase a "keg" for Aroostook Hops and receive a whole 250 foot row of hops permanently named after you. A brass plate engraved with your name (or someone you choose to honor) will be mounted on the end pole of "your" hops row. You can choose from Cascade, Mount Hood, Willamette, or Centennial hops. You will also receive a cap, a t-shirt, a pint glass, a keychain, and handcrafted hops soap. You can come by and check on "your" hop row anytime!

    5 claimed

    Estimated delivery: August 2013
  • $500USD
    The Barrel

    Use your muscles to hoist a "barrel", and you will be rewarded with 2 pounds of dry hops of your choice! We will also show our gratitude by naming a row of hops after you and marking it with an engraved brass plate. Of course, you'll receive lots of Aroostook Hops merchandise: three t-shirts, three hats, ten keychains, and three pint glasses.

    0 claimed

    Estimated delivery: September 2013
  • $1,000USD
    The Brewery

    This reward level includes 5 pounds of dry hops of your choice! And a full row of your favorite variety of hops named after you (which you can personally tour at any time and then dine in style at Aroostook Hops). You will also receive enough Aroostook Hops merchandise to share around - six t-shirts, six hats, twenty keychains, and six pint glasses.

    2 claimed

    Estimated delivery: September 2013
  • $5,000USD
    Name the Harvester!

    Besides getting to pick the permanent name of Maine's first mechanical hops harvester, we'll invite you to come see it in use, host you for a full hopyard tour (complete with some hoppy beer sampling), and a delicious evening dinner. You will also receive 10 pounds of dry hops of your choice of variety after harvest! Of course, we'll name a row of hops after you as well, and include TONS of Aroostook Hops merchandise...

    0 out of 1 claimed

    Estimated delivery: September 2013
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