Greetings Hop heads! July is half over and I’m finally sitting long enough to write a short update. We have seen all kinds of new growth over the course of this year, and have also been met with some new challenges. Among the most potentially devastating of these challenges is the emergence of the dreaded LEAF HOPPER throughout our yard.
As dangerous as this predator can be, we are confidant that we have fought back and saved most of the crop through our integrated pest management procedures, number one being the addition of over 75,000 beneficial Lady Bugs to the yard. We are not alone fighting this deadly parasitic pest, as many other farmers that I’ve spoken to are dealing with the same problem. We are still committed to organic practices, and refuse to use any spays or chemical compounds in our hop yard. Let the Lady soldiers do their job–we are praying, at least!!
Leaf hoppers are little green insects that attack the vegetation at the top of the canopy, injecting a poison into the leaves and ultimately preventing photosynthesis to take place. The poison essentially robs the plant of essential nutrients, causing cones to stop developing and leaves to curl with yellow edges that eventually turn brown and die. The Mash-up below shows the damage and how we have taken steps to stop the leaf destroyers in their tracks. We’re trying to nip this one in the bud.
We are happy to congratulate our hop partnered brewery at Roscoe Beer Company, NY on their victory as the #1 craft brewery in New York state. Thanks for the sign. More to come about our business relationship with Roscoe, but for now we’ll let the picture speak for itself!
We have completed milling our red oak planks, slabs, and assorted rough cut lumber thanks to Toby and his portable milling machine, and look forward to the renovation of our new building space in the coming months. Some pictures of the process:
Finally, some pictures of our plants showing the growth from June through early July, with some early Centennial cones.