Todd Combs

Castle Ford Hops
Grant Award: $6,000

Todd is diversifying his farm, where he recently planted 2.5 acres of ginseng, with one acre of hops. Several new local microbreweries recently opened in the Boone area, and no local hops farmers grow at the scale to adequately serve them. Hops can provide Todd with cash flow in the years leading up to the ginseng harvest, which he won’t profit from for another seven years.

“I anticipate the supply of local hops lagging behind the demand for a long time,” Todd said. “I want to try to fill that gap.”

Todd is first planting .75 acres in hops on a well-drained slope, and plans to expand to an acre if successful.

One purpose of the farm is to provide enough income to prepare Todd for retirement. He has worked as an independent building contractor for 20 years. He’s also sold to individuals in his community eggs and vegetables from a one-acre garden, which he started in the 1970’s.


Watauga County

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