Aug 6, 2017
Its been a busy couple of weeks at the hop farm. We've been managing weeds on an ongoing way by mowing and getting down to the ground and pulling them. We've been experimenting with mulching the rows to keep the weeds down and the roots moist.
We've done a few sciency things too. We validated that the irrigation system is providing consistent water across the farm by collecting and measuring the water at random points through the hop yard, and have done soil moisture testing adjacent to the plants to evaluate the effectiveness of the irrigation. The result is a big thumbs up from an irrigation standpoint.
Spencer showing the soil ball in his hand from a ground sample. Not too wet and sticky, not too dry.
The hops are really taking off this week too! The burrs are all now turning into the beautiful cones we've been waiting all season for.
This week, we'll continue to monitor the progress daily and check for pests.
Harvest is coming quickly as well. We've been prparing the hop dryer, and packaging materials. As for harvest, we've decided to call a few good friends to help pick this years crop.
We have two events upcoming. Ths first is the Field to glass tour with Theoretically brewing and Origin Malting on August 26th. Tickets available from Theory Brew.
The second event is our annual Labor Day pig roast. This is an invite only event for family and friends. We've also invited the Badlands Home Brew club to attend where we'll host a home brew competition.
Both of these events will require the hop yard to be in tip top shape to show off.
We are glad to give tours to anyone. Just drop us a line in advance so we can ensure availability.
Jul 17, 2017
Another hot, dry week here at Pair O' Dice Hops.
The garden yard continues to smash our growth expectations with most of the first year plants at or near the wire. Lots of side arms and burrs visible.
The main yard is quite a bit behind. Eleven hop varities are busy establishing root systems and will sadly have very limited cone production this year.
This experience has encouraged us to expand our fall planting program where we cut and plant rhizomes in late October well after dormancy has set in and before the ground freezes.
Both existing yards continue to receive regular irrigation and daily checks for pests and disease. Weed control is ongoing. The alleys between rows are seeing weeds subside with the wet areas close to the plant bases still requiring close attention.
We are preparing and planning for harvest time in a tactical way while we lay the strategic groundwork for a quadrupling of acres next year. That would bring the total to 5 acres in 2018, with plans for an additional 5 acres in 2019! Lofty goals, but the best time to plant hops is 4 years ago, so we had better get started.
On the marketing front, we will unveil our POD T-shirts this week. They'll be available for purchase along with our stickers.
Further we have the August 26th Hop yard Field to Glass tour where you can tour the hop yard and Alberta Hops, learn about malting barley locally and see how Theoretically Brewing is bringing it all together.
We'll share another update next week.