Hop and Blueberry Production – Grant Award: $6,000
“Just applying for the grant was the best thing I could have done. I learned so much — the cost, the activities, just narrowing what I wanted to do with the farm. It’s about the most valuable thing I could have done. And then getting the grant — I probably wouldn’t have gone quite as far with expenses, such as putting in the irrigation system.” ~ Van Burnette
Van is the seventh generation of Burnettes to live in the North Fork Valley. He grows medicinal herbs, native plants and apples on his land.
With his award, he will transition a portion of his farm that was in cattle production for 60 years into hops and U-Pick blueberries, incorporating a native highbush variety cultivated from the wild. Van hopes researchers will benefit from the outcome of his hops production, contributing to the growing interest in hops-farming in WNC.