Beef and Berries Farm was born in 2004 when we purchased an old 140 acre farm with a vision to provide naturally grown Angus beef, raspberries and blackberries for our personal consumption. Soon our berry plants spread out across the fields and our beef herd grew beyond our needs. We felt that we could share our locally raised wholesome products with friends and coworkers. The outcome of that decision was the creation of Beef and Berries Farm.
Our farm can offer families competitively priced Angus beef raised free of hormones and antibiotics. Our cattle are born and raised on the premises allowed to freely roam up to 50 acres of pasture with fresh spring water available at all times. We grow all of our own Alfalfa, Clover and Timothy here on the farm so during the winter months our cattle have nutritious hay to keep them warm and healthy. Recently, we have expanded our vision to include some commercial offerings therefore, our beef is custom processed under USDA displaying our private label. By purchasing beef directly from our farm, you can feel confident when grilling a steak or burger that you are feeding your family some of the best beef available. We offer a choice of purchasing beef in quantities of quarter, half or whole steer.
Our berry patch offers multiple varieties of pesticide free raspberries and blackberries. The raspberry varieties include Taylor, Latham, and Fall Gold. Taylor raspberries are a cap variety that can be eaten fresh or used in pies, jams, or jelly. Latham raspberries can be used similarly but are a larger conical variety allowing them to be used as a garnish. Fall Gold raspberries are the sweetest variety that can be used in jams and jellies if you don't eat them all fresh! The blackberry varieties include Triple Crown Thornless and Illini. Triple Crown Thornless are a very large sweet berry that typically grows over an inch long. They are a pleasure to pick since they have no thorns on their stems. They can be used in baking or jam but are impressive when used as a garnish. Illini blackberries are very thorny but have lots of medium sized berries that make great pies, jams, and jellies. The berry patch is hand picked daily ensuring ripe, sweet berries every time. Pick your own is available by reservation. We also have an onsite kitchen where we make fresh jellies and jams that can be purchased for yourself or used as a gift.
Hop Stop Farm was created In 2014, when we became intrigued by the hop plant and the increased interest in craft brewing. We purchased 60 hop plants representing four varieties. The plants flourished on our hillside farm with some TLC and premium aged, black gold fertilizer from our Angus cattle. We increased our plantings to 460 the second year and realized our new found interest needed a name. Thus, Hop Stop Farm was created as a partner to Beef and Berries Farm. We now have over 4,000 plants at the farm and are well on our way to providing craft brewers with fresh local hops.
Our hop bines climb a 20 foot coir trellis during their growing phase which starts mid April and ends June 21st. This rapid growth requires an abundance of water and nitrogen provided through an irrigation system. Once the summer solstice is reached, each plant sends out side shoots that grow hop cones. Hop cones have lupulin powder that contain the alpha acids, beta acids and essential oils giving each variety its individual characteristics.
Hop Stop Farm offers several varieties of hops including Cascade, Saaz, Willamette, Centennial, and Nugget. Cascade, likely the most popular hop, is primarily an aroma hop with fruity, citrus, and spicy flavors used in IPAs, APAs and Ales. Saaz is a German Noble hop that is primarily aroma with herbal, earthy, and spicy flavors used in Belgian Ales, Light Lagers, Pilsners, and European Noble Ales. Willamette is the most widely grown hop in the USA that is primarily aroma with floral, spicy and fruity flavors used in English Ales, Golden Ales, Brown Ales and Lagers. Centennial is a dual purpose hop that has citrus, floral, and bittering flavors. Known as the “super cascade” it is used in IPAs, Pale Ales, and Bitters. Nugget, primarily a bittering hop, has spicy, herbal, and notes of peach and pear flavors; used in IPAs, Barley Wine and ESBs.
Our hops are available in multiple forms including wet, dry leaf and pelletized. All hop varieties are sent out for analysis of alpha acids and beta acids prior to purchase. Wet hops offer fresh flavors but do require logistical planning since they need to be in the brew within hours. We have an onsite processing facility capable of producing custom pellets at low temperatures thereby, preserving the hops original characteristics. Pellets are stored in mylar bags after being vacuum packed with nitrogen back flush. We offer on site pelletizing for commercial growers and those who grow their own for personal use.