Ramble On

Monday, April 20, 2015

Hopyard in a Sack

The bag of Cascade rhizomes.
Over the last two weeks or so I've been posting a lot about our progress building Hawksbill Hop Yards out in Luray.  I am very excited about the prospect, and really appreciate the enthusiastic feedback we're getting from around town.

However, I will take a break today from posting about the construction - I have a post coming along for later in the week - and will talk for a minute about something that is just as important: the hops plants themselves.  The rhizomes arrived in two shipments, from two suppliers, last Friday, and they are comfortably resting in their dormancy in the cooler at Public House Produce.

Partial shipment of Cascade, Chinook, and Goldings.
In a post last week, I mentioned the planting schedule of varieties:

  • 300 Cascade
  • 180 Chinook
  • 150 Columbus
  • 50 Fuggles
  • 120 Goldings
It turns out, we weren't able to get the full order of Goldings, so I only have 70.  Due to this, I think I am going to take Dan up on the offer of 30 Centennials, and make a row with the extra Columbus (I'm planning for the rows to be 60 plants, although we have room for 66).  I'll just split a row between those two varieties, leaving enough space so that they do not entwine at the top of the trellis.

The CTZ Hops.
Note on the bag that this variety is labeled "CTZ" - this is what was shipped instead of "Columbus."  When it was first brought to market, the Columbus hops were called "Tomahawk," and subsequently a third variety called Zeus was identified as being similar to them both, if not genetically identical.  In any case, here in Virginia, I've heard that people have mixed results with them, so they are more of an experiment at Hawksbill Hop Yards.

Just as the Goldings are, by the way.  I really hope that we can make a go with all the varieties, but especially the Goldings.  We'd be unique with them if we can get them to grow and produce!

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