|A view from the east side, the oldest|
plants are here.
I first came across Dan's hop yards back in 2009 or so, maybe sooner, but it was when he was just getting started. There were a dozen or so hills of three or so varieties, and he hadn't quite figured out the trellis.
|The makeshift trellis, an additional|
10 feet, extends from the lower right.
Production has been consistent all these years, so he always has ingredients for his home brewing operation. This year, all of his plant except for the first year ones have cones. It's a sign of progress that some which hadn't borne before are doing so this year.
There were a couple of case studies from the visit - by the way, afterwards we enjoyed a fantastic ribs dinner from the grill.
First, Dan has had a couple of Goldings plants in his garden for a few years now, but this is the first year that they have set cones. I made a point of selecting this variety at Hawksbill Hop Yards, and I've received a lot of comments about them not working out well. After seeing how his are doing, my takeaway is that we'll have to be patient with them - that row of 60 Goldings may need a full three years to mature, so that's just how it will have to be.
The second takeaway is something we've learned about the Willamettes - Dan's had these in the garden forever, using them as decorative plants. They never set cones until this year, when he transplanted them to a new spot, and added more support to them so they could climb higher than the trellis. He put a rope up they could climb to a neighboring tree branch so they can climb to 20 feet...and guess what, these plants are laden with huge cones.
They'll be a challenge to harvest, but they'll be a great variety to experiment with as he brews his batches over the winter!