Friday, October 9, 2009

The hops season is well over, in fact it was over by July for us. More below

Boy oh boy, have I been slack.... many have asked why i have not updated this blog..... welllll

The economy and other factors in my life made me lie low, with no energy to write anymore.

The last few weeks have been hell, but a resignation letter today , made it all OK and a weight has been lifted off my shoulders.

We had a mixed success year in the hop yard, the expected varieties did OK not great but OK , nitrogen remains a challenge and I will have to make regular efforts next year to stay on top of the big N. The early summer rains and heat , made the plants go gang busters and we were harvesting by June 15, far far too early. The newly planted Rhizomes we bought this year were a disaster for some reason, maybe just too wet when we planted them, less than 40% came up, weeds however grew like there was no tomorrow.

Brewing always slows in summer because of the heat, this year it halted completely , because there was no passion. I did however brew a back to back - hellish day - ale and lager at the same time 2 weeks back, ale will come off the yeast today and go into dry hopping for a week, Lager I will leave alone a few more days.

The hop yard has a second crop of Cascades, on vines that grew since picking the main crop, and look pretty good. Vines/ bines have taken a hammering since the harvest , but i think this is normal , we have had a hot dry second half to summer. The weeds have taken over unfortunately, and we will have issues next year, but with good food and care we should have a very successful 3rd season next year, as we have learned so much more about how to grow these relatives of cannabis :-).

We will have a fall yard clean up once the first frost has swept past us, and then it will be quiet until March when we will harvest rhizomes for sale, local to start with, and if enough further afield. The massive amount of brewers growing hops last and this year will subside as prices continue to decrease (from $30 a lb , back to $10/lb now) but we will continue to have fun doing it next year.

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