Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Hops (Not the Bunny Kind)

While at the farm this weekend, I read an article on growing hops in the LaCrosse Tribune. Here is a link ...
http://lacrossetribune.com/news/local/article_cd1ed592-f828-11de-853a-001cc4c002e0.html

When we first bought the farm, we talked about growing hops. Then a conversation at the Renewable Energy Fair a couple years ago got us thinking about it again. The article about Gorst Valley Hops has renewed our interest. There is a Midwest Hops Production workshop in February we are thinking about going to. We are trying to find a cash crop that we can produce on our land. The goal is to have our cabinet /furniture shop at the farm and was to have my practice in town. Now that the practice is out of the picture, we need something that will make us money until the cabinet/furniture business gets established. Hops could be it. It is certainly worth researching.

11 comments:

Happy Days said...

Hops sound interesting! don't know a thing about them however! I'm figuring you'll fill me in after your hopeful trip to the Hop workshop. What practice were you in before? Guess I better check out the link to the hops! Stay warm! It's been so cold here 12-18 in the daytime. Mighty cold for here. We usually stay in the 34-48 range in the winter...debbie

The cottage by the Cranelake said...

I didn´t think that Hops had such a big market any longer. But it sounds great if You could jump on to that wagon, so to speak. Easy to grow, almost weed easy :-) As You say, It´s worth looking in to!
Have a great day now!
Christer.

JC said...

I've always thought that living on a big piece of land would be fun.

Let us know if you decide to do the Hops ...

Daniel said...

Greetings Big Red Barn folks. I'm Dan from Gorst Valley Hops...the one not named but rather referred to as "an engineer".

I came across your blog and just figured I would say "Hi" and thanks for the note. We highly encourage anyone interested in growing hops to attend the workshop. We lay out all the information in as much detail as possible to make sure people understand what they are getting into. The first year involves a lot of work in investment, but it does get easier.

One word of caution, the plants take 4 years to mature, so don't expect get your investment back until at least the 3rd year.

All Natural Mama said...

Thanks for posting about this.
It's interesting because we are planning on growing hops this year! I ordered one rhizome along with my seed order. I know, I know, one isn't much, but since our farm garden is on rented farmland we don't want to put hops out there so we need to find room here at home for it. Baby steps. I read a book on growing hops from our library system and ended up buying my husband a copy for Christmas.
My husband started brewing his own beer this fall and it's delicious! I recently blogged about it if you're interested:

http://all-natural-mama.blogspot.com/2009/12/master-of-homebrewed-beer-my-husbands.html

I live on the Illinois side of the IL/WI border, just south of Monroe. Is this company only interested in Wisconsin growers? There seems to be a lot of that in Wisconsin, only wanting Wisconsin-producers & growers (I can't sell at your farmer's markets), even though I'm only 8 miles from the border. (Not that it's a bad thing for Wisconsin, just not good for me, lol).

Barb and Steve said...

Debbie...hope you are staying warm! I was going to practice natural medicine, but since the accident I haven't been able to study.
Christer...there is a shortage of hops here. Hope to find out more...
Hi Dan...Glad you found us & glad we saw the article. We'll be contacting you soon :-)
All Natural Mama...I'll check out your blog story. Thanks!

All Natural Mama said...

Hi Barb,
I got your comment asking about which beer brewing & hops growing books we liked best.
Here you go!

* Best hops-growing book:
-The Homebrewer's Garden by Joe Fischer.

* Best books to learn to brew beer:
-The Everything Homebrewing Book by Drew Beechum
-How to Brew by John J. Palmer

* Best beer recipe book:
-The Homebrewers' Recipe book by Patrick Higgins

Enjoy!

Daniel said...

Barb...look forward to hearing from you.

The book I've often heard good things about for the homegrower is The Homebrewer's Garden: How to Easily Grow, Prepare, and Use Your Own Hops, Malts, Brewing Herbs by Joe Fisher.

ANM...Nope, we are not restricting this to Wisconsin. We are looking for upper Midwestern growers. WI, MN, MI, IA...even IL.

Barb and Steve said...

Thanks Penny & Dan for the book ideas. I'll look into them.

angie said...

Hi Barb,

This looks great! I have seen their extremely cool and interesting hops and trellising exhibit at the Potosi Brewery.

AutumnJeanlouis said...

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