The Hop Farmer's Year:
The Seasons, Tools & Methods of Hop Growers
in New York State's Golden Age of Hops
by Albert C. Bullard
ISBN-13: 978-0-9856926-7-4 / ISBN-10: 0-9856926-7-7
LCCN: 2015949931 / Product #: SCP-0055
Retail Price: $21.95
Physical: 158 pages, 7.5" x 9.25", softcover, B&W interior, illustrated
Publication Date: September 19, 2015
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Publication Information Sheet
In the 19th century, New York State experienced a “Golden Age” of hop growing. During that time, The Empire State was an agricultural powerhouse that produced almost 90% of the hop crop of the United States. But the dominance of this market, which lasted for nearly six decades, was achieved by vast numbers of small, independent hop growers, for whom hops were only a part of their overall agricultural production. How did they do this? What were the methods and tools they used? And what were the external factors and mistakes made that caused New York to relinquish its leadership in this lucrative, but labor-intensive market?
With the craft beer renaissance in New York now in full swing, the interest in growing hops commercially for craft and farm breweries has surged once again. What could today's small-scale hop growers learn from their predecessors? Hop historian Al Bullard answers these questions by focusing on the handful of counties in Central New York that were the center of hop culture. Using the farm diary of one successful Upstate farmer, the author provides a guide to the seasonal cycles of running a hop farm. He presents a fascinating survey of the unique hop tools used by the growers, and gives us insight into how they were used, and at what time of the year.
With over 200 illustrations and supplemented with a brief overview of the styles of hop kilns found in the region, this first-ever study to focus specifically on New York State's legendary hop industry is sure to become a classic in the field.
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About the Author
Albert C. Bullard earned his B.A. in History from Lebanon Valley College, and his M.A. in Folklife Studies and Museum Management from the Cooperstown Graduate Program of the State University of New York at Oneonta. From 1968 to 2001, he was a teacher at the Cooperstown Central School. His interest in hops and hop growing started while in graduate school, and since then he has collected the stories, tools and artifacts of New York’s hop heritage. He has curated and contributed artifacts to various museum exhibits, most notably “When Hops Were King” at The Farmers’ Museum in Cooperstown, which ran from 1998 to 2003. He has written extensively on the subject, and has given lectures and participated in seminars and hop festivals. For his activities he was awarded the title of “Hop King” at the Madison County (N.Y.) Hop Fest in 2002.
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