Hop Growth – Update 1

I was interviewed briefly on the phone last month about growing hops in Central Oregon by Branden Andersen and just found the article in on the the Bulletin’s under the title ‘Central Oregon farmers seek to grow for beer‘.

And, this last  week, I joined Tom Gilles from the Platypus Pub / Brewshop for a short interview on the local TV show ‘My Window’ to discuss growing hops locally and their use in homebrewing.

Hop growth in the fieldSo, as for an update on how the hops are growing: had I mentioned that when we prepped the ground for planting that I pulled the rhizomes out of the refrigerator at the farm and they were covered in ice crystals? That made me a little nervous and I have been expecting close to zero growth because of it. But it now appears that at least half of the rhizomes in the field are growing well.

I need to decide if I am going to attempt to replant fresh rhizomes where there is no growth. I am sure there is a point in the season where it is just too late, but we haven’t that many days of blazing sun. I could either use some of the plants that are growing in the greenhouse, or I could take a chance on the Nugget rhizomes we were given by Tumalo that we didn’t have room to plant, although I am worried that they have been in the fridge for too long.

Hop growing in the greenhouseThe hops in the greenhouse all seem to be doing well. These are all rhizomes ordered through Northern Brewer in Minnesota and cut by B Crosby Hops in Woodburn, OR. I haven’t decided what we are going to do if they grow more than a couple of feet. I suppose we could attach string to the roof beams in the greenhouse and let them grow straight up. This would only give them eight feet of vertical growth space unless we put the planters on the ground. No matter what, the point of ordering them was to see if they would grow well here in Oregon.

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