Winter has been pretty mild here in the high country. Other than a couple quick snowfalls we have dodged the traditionally harsh winter that we are know for here in western NC. However this break in the weather has allowed us to get some preseason tasks done earlier.
Our hard work has paid off with loads of salad greens, radishes, beets, pumpkins, hops, lavender, herbs, cucumbers, beans and more coming in from our gardens daily! Below are two recent photos.
The hops are climbing! With many of our 6 varieties of hops reaching close to the top of our 16' trellace, we are excited to watch our cones swell and our laterals filing in. With our successes thus far we have decided to expand our hops growing potential by adding a full 1/4 acre hops yard next year. Now all we need to do is find 40 or so black locust poles, some wire, a tractor, and vahluah; NC High Country Hops.
Fall Veggies are flourshing. We have a bounty of fresh spinach, beets, raddishes, lettuce, pumpkins, asparagus, cow-peas, and herbs. Now that we have a fence to keep the deer out we just have to figure out how to deal with the bugs and moles inside the fence....
Lavender is crushing!
Since we now have secured some safe space in our newly fenced in garden area we decided to try our hands with some festive fall crops. These pumpkins are doing great so far, as well as the kale collards and other fall crops we have planted.
As first year hop farmers we are excited to see many of our plants reaching close to the top of our trellis and producing hops. This year our plants will not reach full maturity but a few of the varieties in our experimental trials are growing vigoursly and fruiting. Although our harvest will be small this year we look foward to working with some local brewers to test out some NC grown hops
One of our biggest experiments this year has been trying to grow lavender on a large scale. Although there are a couple small lavender farms in NC and there are a few more in Virginia, not many attempts have been made to cultivate this plant in the mountains of western NC. We have done heaps to amend the soil for this dry hot weather loving perennial and hope it pays off this year with our 133 new lavender Grosso plants.