While at the Cooperstown Brewing Company and Ommegang Brewery, I learned of the area's great history and tradition of growing hops. Growing up in Johnson City, a mere one hour away, I never knew this. A little research online after arriving back in Virginia yielded some interesting facts and history about my home state's hop-growing industry.
I want to highlight some points from an interesting article The Past, Present, and Yes Future of the Hops Industry written by Richard Vang in 1996 for Upstate Alive magazine:
- By the civil war, 90% of hops grown in the United States were from New York.
- The decline of hops growing was due to high price fluctuations due to wild swings in supply and demand, competition from growers in the west, mold, hops aphids, and Prohibition
- Hops grow up poles like vines and must be trained when young
- Breweries and dairy farms in the area are creating a sustainable, symbiotic relationship for feed and fertilzer
- The Belgian brewery mentioned in the article is already up and running (Ommegang), producing award-winning beers, and cannot keep up with demand.
(I did not take the hops photos - I don't have hops in my garden.)
Blooming: Cosmos, cleome, zinnia, nicotiana, nasturtium, sunflowers, snapdragon
Harvested 10 tomatoes