fbpx

Dalagra Farms president Kurt Mac Sweyn, left, and Glengarry-Prescott-Russell MP Francis Drouin holding a tray of hops pellets made with the equipment behind them. Photo: James Morgan

Dalkeith area farm gets help for hops business

Things are really hopping at Dalagra Farms near Dalkeith.

The farm grows—and now can process hops thanks to a $20,000 grant from the federal Eastern Ontario Development Program and the Cornwall and Counties Community Futures Development Corporation.

Hops are a main ingredient in ale and beer. They are what give ale its distinct flavour.

Farm president Kurt MacSweyn said the grant money covered about 20 per cent of the cost of purchasing milling machines that grind the hops into pellets for use by breweries. The pellets are a greenish-yellow colour and look similar to rabbit food.

The pellet mill at Dalagra is the first in the region and will provide that farm—and other growers in the region with a processing facility nearby.  Previously, the closest processor in Ontario was in Tweed, north of Belleville.

The equipment was purchased from the Czech Republic and a representative of the manufacturer traveled to Dalagra Farms to set it up.

The farm also has a large hop harvesting machine. The vines are cut from the field and then fed through the machine which removes the hops from them.  Milling the hops into pellets is the next step in the process.

Dalagra is a cash-crop farm and MacSweyn said they planted their first crop of hops in 2017. The family has been farming in the Dalkeith area for four generations.

A commercial hops field looks a bit unusual. As hops grow on vines, farmers like MacSweyn install many poles and wires to support the vines and keep them under control.

MacSweyn is one of the partners in Wood Brothers Brewing Company, near Glen Robertson, which is still in the early stages of production. Hops from his farm will supply that brewery, but MacSweyn is also considering other small breweries throughout eastern Ontario, or finding alternative uses for hops such as essential oils and medicinal benefits.

North Glengarry Mayor Jamie MacDonald said the funding for Dalagra will bring greater business to the township and reduce the distance hops growers have to travel to get their crops pelletized.

Glengarry-Prescott-Russell Member of Parliament Francis Drouin congratulated MacSweyn and told him, “You’re choosing a type of agriculture that is growing,” in reference to the hops industry.

Dalagra Farms is located on Glenelg Road between Laggan and Dalkeith.


PHOTO CONTEST!

You could win TWO weekend passes, value of $90, to Beau’s Oktoberfest 2019!

To enter, follow these simple instructions:

  1.  Take a photo at our selfie station outside of our offices at 76 Main Street E, then post it on Facebook or Instagram.
  2.  Use hashtag #VKHReviewContest in your post.
  3.  Tag us in your photo! @vkhreview

Be sure to follow @vkhreview on Instagram and Facebook! Contest ends September 16, 2019 at 12 p.m. A random winner will be chosen and announced on our social media pages. This contest is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Instagram or Facebook.

Thank you for supporting local, independent community journalism!

READ LOCAL. LOVE LOCAL. PLAY LOCAL.


 


With the big cheque from left to right are North Glengarry Lochiel Ward councillor Brenda Noble, Glengarry-Prescott-Russell MP Francis Drouin, Dalagra Farms president Kurt MacSweyn, and Michael MacGillivray, interim executive director of Cornwall and the Counties Community Futures Development Corporation. Photo: James Morgan
Rows of poles and wires to support hops vines at Dalagra Farms. Photo: James Morgan

James Morgan

James Morgan is a freelance contributor.He has worked for several print and broadcast media outlets.James loves the history, natural beauty, and people of eastern Ontario and western Quebec.
James Morgan

James Morgan

James Morgan is a freelance contributor. He has worked for several print and broadcast media outlets. James loves the history, natural beauty, and people of eastern Ontario and western Quebec.

jamesmorgan has 478 posts and counting.See all posts by jamesmorgan

Cart Item Removed. Undo
  • No products in the cart.