Fortunately, the “bigger is better” mentality is changing. We are coming around to the idea that less can be more, that small can be beautiful, and that diversity makes the world go round. Nowhere is the “return to the land” attitude more manifest than in the craft beer world, which has made wholesomeness, variety, quality and novelty it’s quest as well as it’s brand. Simply put, craft beer drinkers have been willing to pay more to get more.
One reason Indie Hops is proud to be in Oregon’s Willamette Valley is the sustainable natural environment. The tremendous diversity of crops that grow here has kept monoculture farming at bay. More than half of total acreage being farmed does not require irrigation. The crops that do require irrigation tap into the abundance of water that flows down from the snow-capped mountains into our lush river valley.
Hop farms in the valley reflect this diversity. Small hop fields are scattered throughout Marion and Polk counties, much like what you would find in European hop-growing regions. In fact, this is the only hop-growing region in the USA that you might mistake for the idyllic, centuries-old, small-scale sustainable farms of Europe.
A growing region’s potential for sustainability, however, does not always win when stacked up against the unrelenting pressures put on a farmer from an increasingly simplified and monopolistic global market. The drive for increased yields to meet pricing demands often leads to farm practices that can harm the environment, if not managed with a sustainable mindset.
For our part at Indie Hops, we have three strategies to help promote sustainable agriculture:
Indie Hops Goes Green, Commits to 20 Acres Organic. Organic hops. Should we or shouldn’t we? The answer is: bring it on. Here’s why. We believe. We believe organic hops can be grown successfully. They can impart new and different flavors and aromas. They are good for the environment. And consumers will continue to give up more green for pure, green produce. > More...