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Growers Diary
The Beginning
This idea as good as it sounds, started off simple enough. I asked 3 friends if they would like to grow hops. After a bit of research everyone felt this would be something we could do.

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Planning

It all started in a small Mexican restaurant around cheap margaritas. The ground work was laid, and ideas on what we needed were being tossed around. It truly amazes me what can be done from just looking at pictures. We found no "Hops for Dummies" books or websites that laid out a start to finish plan for the succesful hop farm. A list was started on the items that we thought that we would need..

    * Location, and how many plants would fit.
    * Plants, what type of hops should we grow.
    * Poles and other hardware that would be needed.
    * How we would harvest.

Location was first picked on the fact that one of our members is a Horticulturist. This should help in the early care and nurturing of our young plants. The only problem with this was we had decided to buy 6 varieties of hops and 100 of each.

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Layout

Our first location turned out to be too small and the shape was difficult to work with.

first_hops_layout
 
We moved to a different location so we could expand the design. This made it possible for longer runs all the same length.
2nd_hops_layout

 With the layout complete it was time to roll up our sleeves and get to work.

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Ordering and Potting

We ordered the following rhizomes from FreshHops.

rudy planting

CHINOOK 113
BREWERS GOLD 108
WILLAMETTE
113
NUGGET 128
CASCADE 110
CENTENNIAL 110

 

 

 

 

 

 
They arrived a week later and were stored for a week in the refrigerator. Our field wasn't ready so we decided to plant them in a 9" mum pot. We had so much rain this spring they lived in these pots for a lot longer than any of us had planed.

 

 

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Poles
gathering_poles

We knew we wanted a 20 foot pole for the hops. We need 36, so the search began. We called lumber companies and even the the electric company looking for old poles. Prices varied, but it soon became apparent that buying poles would be expensive. So we headed out into our woods. From 2 different locations we were able to harvest 36 poles 25 feet long.

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