Pre-Season Jobs

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.

The new 1/3 acre hops yard is coming together.  So far we have our location selected, all the hardware for the trellis, the 40 some poles, and the hop rhizomes ordered.  

The new 1/3 acre hops yard is coming together.  So far we have our location selected, all the hardware for the trellis, the 40 some poles, and the hop rhizomes ordered.  

Our new tractor is really helping out thanks to the crew at Mountain Kobota in Boone!

Our new tractor is really helping out thanks to the crew at Mountain Kobota in Boone!

Plugging Shiitake sawdust spore into Sweet Gum logs

Plugging Shiitake sawdust spore into Sweet Gum logs

Clearing woods and digging pond for our Shiitake Log location

Clearing woods and digging pond for our Shiitake Log location

And as always, recruiting new young able-bodied enthusiastic help!

And as always, recruiting new young able-bodied enthusiastic help!

Winter Wonderland

SNOW!

Fall Bounty

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.

Progress

hops climbing

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 row

Lavender is crushing!

Hop Harvest

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

Our first season test hops yard featuring hop varieties Mt. Hood, Willamette, Cascade, Galena, Newport, Centennial, Zeus and Sterling

Our first season test hops yard featuring hop varieties Mt. Hood, Willamette, Cascade, Galena, Newport, Centennial, Zeus and Sterling

Lavender Farming

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.