Season’s greetings, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all of our friends and well wishers. We have been working behind the scenes getting ready for next season. Among our new year wishes are an oast house, a new barn, a baling machine, and a hops harvester. We’ll take it one day at a time, and hope 2015 proves to be as opportunity-filled as 2014 was.
This year’s NEHA conference in Morissville, NY proved to be very educational for us. We spent two days meeting other hops enthusiasts including a long time friend whom we hadn’t seen in a while. Jarret and I used to teach together and traded homebrew recipes when we first started brewing over ten years ago. When my first all-grain recipe was produced in my newly created brew sculpture, Jarett was my assistant. It was a fantastic surprise to run into him and catch up. It’s great to see that he too will be incorporating Hops into his farming life.
Another surprise was our visit to Josh, the head brewer at Roscoe NY Beer Company. Alva and I were merely passing through town on our way up to the NEHA conference when we stopped by Roscoe to say hello to Josh. Josh was eager to pour us a sample of his new Eagle IPA, a very tasty brew indeed! When he told us he brewed it using our 2014 Orange County Hops we were ecstatic! We definitely needed a growler to take with us! Thanks to Josh for this delicious brew and for being the first commercial brewery to use our product in a beer!
So far this fall and the early winter have been relatively mild here in the northeast. As I write this on Christmas Eve we are expecting temperatures in the 60’s with heavy rains. Not quite the December I remember, but then again, last year I was so busy constructing the trellis system I didn’t notice the weather.
This year I have taken advantage of the warm weather and lack of snow cover to clear some brush around the property. It has been quite a shock for me to stand in front of the picture window and look out over the Hop field without having the need to plant poles, string wires, or install anchors. Last year was such a blur. So much happened. I can only imagine what the new year may bring. It has been rather refreshing to reflect on all of this and take time out to remember the friends and family who have made our 2014 so memorable and so fruitful. We are truly blessed to have you in our lives.
In closing I would just like to say thank you to all who have been a part of our new beginning in 2014. In some way, big or small, you have all given us something to cheer about! Cheers!
Speaking of joys, the greatest gift we received this fall was the addition of our new grandson to the family, James Michael born on 11/19/2014. Welcome Little Jimmy!
Alva and I hope the season inspires you all to look for the blessings in life and celebrate each other!
God Bless you, and may you find the Hoppiness you seek!