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Wed, Apr 16, 2014

Woodbury farm receives USDA organic certification

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Woodbury farm receives USDA organic certification | Agriculture, Half Hill Farm, USDA, Woodbury, Cannon County, Christian Grantham, Business Milestones

Organic farming practices, such as growing these hops in the ground, have earned Christian Grantham an organic certification from the U.S. Department of Agriculture. (Photo submitted)
Half Hill Farm has become one of Cannon County’s first farms to receive organic certification from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Half Hill Farm is a small seven-acre farm growing certified organic apples and blueberries with mushroom and hop production starting this year.

Half Hill Farm was created by former Short Mountain Distillery Chief Operating Officer Christian Grantham and his partner Vince Oropesa and certified by Quality Certification Services of Florida.

Grantham said he hopes the new venture will provide the community with healthier and sustainable food choices.

“Our community’s nationally recognized taste for good food and drink is just one way Woodbury’s craft heritage continues to shine,” Grantham said. “Dedication to inspected organic farm practices is one way I think local farmers can play an important and responsible role in elevating our Southern food culture.”

Recent changes in state law have inspired a craft brewing renaissance in Tennessee with no local growers of hops, beer’s main bittering and aromatic ingredient. Half Hill Farm is proud to serve the state’s craft brewers as Tennessee’s first organic hops grower.

“As a home brewer, I appreciate what it takes to make a good hand-crafted beer,” Grantham said. “We’re excited to support some of the state’s very best craft brewers with sustainable organic cascade and centennial hops.”

Organic farming practices focus on sustainable food production methods that condition and improve the life of our planet’s soil while producing healthier food choices. These practices (cover crops, composting, no-till methods) decrease dependence on harmful inputs and energy use while harnessing the power of nature’s perfect design.

“The idea with organic farming is having high quality foods available for local residents, then the excess can be available for out of town markets,” said Pamela Hoskins, who is the district conservationist with the Natural Resources Conservation Service, a division of the USDA. “I have always thought that Cannon County is the perfect location for organic growers because of the close proximity to urban areas.”

Shiitake and Maitake (Hen of the Woods) mushroom production at the farm starts later this summer with fresh and dried available in the fall.

Half Hill Farm is also growing limited amounts of organic spinach, garlic, onions, tomatoes, peppers, herbs like cilantro, basil and dill, cucumber, carrots and soy beans.
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Agriculture, Business Milestones, Cannon County, Christian Grantham, Half Hill Farm, USDA, Woodbury
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