Hops and Crops: Saturday's festival benefits Auburn's historic farm

Live music is a part of the popular Hops and Crops Harvest Festival, which returns to Mary Olson Farm next Saturday. - Shawn Skager/Auburn Reporter
Live music is a part of the popular Hops and Crops Harvest Festival, which returns to Mary Olson Farm next Saturday.
— image credit: Shawn Skager/Auburn Reporter

Terrific tunes, fantastic food, savory suds, a kids' root beer garden, old-fashioned games like sack racing, even a honkin' huge hay pile with hidden prizes, capable of wearing out the wee ones.

And all of the above at a turn-of-the 20th-century subsistence farm nestled in a canyon framed by trees.

White River Valley Museum officials call their shindig the Hops and Crops Harvest Festival, and they're preparing to roll out the second one they have ever put on from 12 to 6 p.m. Saturday at the Mary Olson Farm at 28728 Green River Road.

"We're just going to try to build on the terrific things that we already have going," said Rachael Burrum, (pictured) WRVM's curator of education since May and in charge of planning the event. "We've got more beer vendors this year, we've got more diversified food, we have a larger farmer's market. We're actually growing hops on site this year. We're trying to provide a little bit more. It's about getting everybody out to the farm and seeing what a beautiful space it is."

The general admission cost is $5 for ages 13 and up, but kids under 13 get in free with an accompanying adult. For folks 21 and older who want to sample the local microbrews, the cost is $10, but that sums nets guests a commemorative cup and three taster tokens. Additional tokens are $1 for a 4 oz. pour. People who buy their taster admission online before Sept. 15 at will receive two extra taster tokens at no additional charge.

All proceeds will help with the continuing restoration and conservation of the farm and with educational programming at the museum.

The Horde and the Harem tops the musical lineup, rounded out by Gator Chamberlain, Larry Murante, Jessica Lynne, and the Kevin Jones Band.

While notes are sounding and toes are tapping, the Kiwanis Club of Auburn will serve up brats and burgers, Ernie's Grubbin Grub will cook up some tangy barbecue and many other sweet and savory treats will be available for purchase in the marketplace.

The Auburn International Farmer's Market has partnered with Hops and Crops to create an eclectic, diverse marketplace of crafters, farmers and artisans.

Looking for spots to park your hindquarters and take in all the wonders? Well, there are several picnic tables and benches at the farm, but given the number of expected guests, the best idea might be to haul in your own camp chairs and blankets.

Speaking of parking, it's extremely limited and attendees should consider carpooling, bicycling or walking to the site. Additional parking will be available at the Auburn Golf Course, with shuttle service to and from the farm. Overflow parking will also be available at Isaac Evans Park, with shuttle service to and from.

"This is held at a subsistence farm, which is where people provided for themselves, grew what they ate, and hops were their crops," Burrum explained. "The cash came from the hops, and hops were once a very big cash crop in the valley until fungus destroyed the industry. It would have been a very lucrative crop for the Olson family, and I think that after Alfred passed away, the largest cash item on the lot was the hops that were about to go to market."

The Station Bistro is sponsoring the event.

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