Our harvester has arrived
This week (2 Aug 18) we received our Hopster 5p from HopsHarvester LLC. We've spent a lot of time researching the best harvester for our size of operation and are excited to incorporate this machine into our line up given the flexibility to harvest where and when we like. The machine is extremely well manufactured and we'll look to post lots more images and notes when we start running it in a few weeks.
We received an invitation to join a panel of producers (Barn Owl Malt, Escarpment Labs, Ironwood Organics, Dominion City) for an information session dubbed 'Beer School' to speak to our experiences growing local ingredients for beer making. It was a great event during Dominion Day celebrations (Canada Day) at the Experimental Farm in Ottawa. Here are a few excerpts of the points we made regarding the importance of local:
I've always found it interesting to see the eternal optimism of a farmer. Despite a horrible year in 2017 where we lost our entire hop crop, we've elected in 2018 to expand our yard and confront the elements, pests and disease states that haunt hop growers. You see - we decided that if we truly want to grow hops that will meet the needs of our brewers, we need to start getting serious about growing a suitable quantity and purchasing the right equipment to do the job right.
One of the commitments we've made this year is to plant clean plant stock in a new section of our yard where we are improving our trellis design. That's the bulk of the work we are tackling this week as we finally enjoy some good weather.
So far this spring we've already been challenged with quack grass in our rows, what we believe is a flea beetle eating plant folliage and the discovery that several of our mature plants did not over-winter well and the rhizomes rotted. Thankfully we've been able to apply some products to assist with these pressures and had some plants in the ready to fill in the empty spots in our rows.
The adventure continues... More updates to come.