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Old 02-17-2013, 03:54 PM   #1
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Default possible large scale hop farm found - can I knock on the door?

my wife and I were out for an 18 mile run on Friday here in sunny pennsylvania when the temperatures were in the high 40's instead of freezing ice death like today. We were running between waynesboro pa and our home in State line and i look to my left and see about an acre + of what appear to be commercial hop trellises - big treated posts and top strung wires with what look like last years bines still clinging to some of the climbing ropes.

I think this is a hop farm startup or a serious hobby grower - it is visible from the road, is next to a very nice home, and doesn't appear to be a front for meth production or weed.

I want to talk to this guy/girl but I have some reservations based on my own feelings about visitors. I don't really like uninvited visitors so I just assume most other people don't either. I had planned on filling up a six pack and driving over sometime this week hoping not to get shot.

what's the appropriate etiquette here? "hey i saw what look like hop plants, do you sell locally?"

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Old 02-17-2013, 04:04 PM   #2
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I used to talk to farmers all the time about photographing buildings on their land which I think is a bit more invasive, so heres my suggestion..

Knock on the door and just talk to them, ask if they sell local or would be willing to sell a small amount locally (under a half ton wet is small for most) and figure a price if they will. Treat them the same as you expect to be treated by any other person and if they are not receptive apologize for disturbing them and move on.

And for gods sake offer them a mans handshake when introducing yourself, firm but not crushing while looking him in the eyes. City people have the lamest handshakes ever, like a dead fish.

A farmer is a man just like any other, might be a bit more to the point than some but no different.

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Old 02-17-2013, 04:04 PM   #3
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Go for it. Local political, religious, and money-seeking organizations visit my door throughout the year. A fellow brewer would be a nice change up. The 6 pack in hand is a good idea.

If nothing else, you could just leave a friendly note with your contact info (and 6 pack of course).

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Old 02-17-2013, 04:06 PM   #4
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"Excuse me sir, I'm new to the neighborhood and was in the middle of making beer and I ran out of hops, could you spare a cup?"

I say go for it, the beer would be a great icebreaker. I don't see anything bad coming from asking. Maybe leave the beer on the front seat just in case you were mistaken and they have no idea what you are talking about. Good luck!

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Old 02-17-2013, 04:16 PM   #5
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Why not just write them a letter instead? You obviously know the address and there won't be any fresh hops until August or September, so there is no rush.

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Old 02-17-2013, 04:42 PM   #6
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Try to get a contact number and call first. This should be done asap so you can line up a visit. Don't arrive unannounced especially during growing season. We in agriculture don't mind visitors in a timely manner. During growing season most of us work 7 days a week, it is the nature of the business. Taking along something you have made up is not a bad idea. Take it with the intent of leaving it, not sharing it the first time out.

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Old 02-17-2013, 05:15 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nightshade View Post
I used to talk to farmers all the time about photographing buildings on their land which I think is a bit more invasive, so heres my suggestion..

Knock on the door and just talk to them, ask if they sell local or would be willing to sell a small amount locally (under a half ton wet is small for most) and figure a price if they will. Treat them the same as you expect to be treated by any other person and if they are not receptive apologize for disturbing them and move on.

And for gods sake offer them a mans handshake when introducing yourself, firm but not crushing while looking him in the eyes. City people have the lamest handshakes ever, like a dead fish.

A farmer is a man just like any other, might be a bit more to the point than some but no different.
Quote:
Originally Posted by thaworm69 View Post
"Excuse me sir, I'm new to the neighborhood and was in the middle of making beer and I ran out of hops, could you spare a cup?"

I say go for it, the beer would be a great icebreaker. I don't see anything bad coming from asking. Maybe leave the beer on the front seat just in case you were mistaken and they have no idea what you are talking about. Good luck!
+1 !

What could it possibly hurt? The worst thing that could happen would be to have them tell you to get lost. If this happens, I personally wouldn't want anything to do with them anyway (no harm, no foul). Then again, you could possibly meet someone that is interested in the same things you are, and end up being friends, a customer, brew partners....the list goes on. Leave the beer in the car (you can always bring it out if it seems appropriate AFTER you meet them), dress neat (but suitable for walking through a field if they offer), and grow a pair.
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Old 02-22-2013, 02:42 AM   #8
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I live in Halifax and i thought you were talking about my place. It might be sly fox hops. There great people nd just trust me I always let homebrewers stop by that just see my place, it is kind of why I started it. I had about a dozen bines growing and 3 dozen people stopping by. I was going to start homebrewing, but why when I can trade hops for homebrew. Had some of the best brew and the worst kills slugs or gets rid of visitors quickly. I would knock.

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Old 02-22-2013, 02:55 AM   #9
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Not sure what the OP's question was. Couldn't get past the 18 mile run part. Really!?! 18 miles? That's ridiculous.

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Old 02-22-2013, 03:10 AM   #10
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I would drop them a letter and ask if they are in fact a hop farm, what they type they grow, and if they sell locally. Mention you are a homebrewer, and would love to see the operation first hand. Maybe even offer to help at harvest time (assuming you would want to)

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