The Hops Project
I have an amazing friend whose name is Kristine. All I have to do is mention something, anything really, in passing or in earnest and poof! Like a genie granting wishes, she will make it happen. Ans so it was with my comment about hops. As a flower farmer, I am interested in them for the textural component they will add to arrangements. I also like that they are a perennial. I had tried to look for hops earlier this year but had no idea what I was doing or really where to look. Of course, I could have bought them from somewhere like Burpee or Gurney's but those places are charging $15-20 for a single plant. So back to Kristine - when she cams to visit, I mentioned my quest for hops - and it turns out she is growing them as well. After she got back home, she dug up one of her plants and sent it to me.
Once I got the plant from her, I was committed. I had to learn about growing them and in that search, I found out really where to buy them - from brewers supply places. I cut my cost by 75%. I also discovered you can't just willy nilly grow them - you have to have a male and female plant. So I have gone from 1 super special hop plant that I got 3 starts out of to 6 additional plants, 3 varieties with a male and female.
The next hurdle was to figure out where to grow them since they are climbers that can get to 20 feet tall. Hence the photo above which shows a ghetto version of trellising using only things I already had on the farm. Now the hops are in the ground and the trellis is secure. Fingers crossed!