It’s been a year of learning experiences for City Harvest Hops. The harvest of 2015 left a bit to be desired, as some of our most intriguing varieties had yet to finish their first year of growth, and didn’t produce much. There’s also been a realization that there’s a lot of work needs to be done before my vision for the company is realized. A couple projects need to be undertaken, and a few tweaks to our drying and packaging process need to be made.
My design using PVC pipes at the top of the trellis to give the hops an extra five feet failed miserably. The most hop-laden vines crippled the PVC pipes and made them droop over, which worked out alright with only seven second-year plants. It will not work for 44 of them. I have a plan to fix this problem, but there’s something that’s worth noting before I do. The city of Cedar Falls allows detached accessory structures to be no taller than 20′. With the 7 foot tall scaffolding ends I currently have, I can only build the scaffolding 2-high without breaking Cedar Falls City Code. My current trellis is 14′ tall without the PVC and 19′ with them.
My plan is to get ahold of 6′ scaffolding ends, allowing me to build 3-high to 18′ tall. My thought is that raising the height of the trellis is also going to raise the center of gravity, making it easier for it to be tipped over. To prevent this, we’ll build two scaffolding towers (both 18′ tall) right next to one another. These two towers will be bound to one another, creating a taller but also wider tower.
Rhizomes (Root Cuttings)
City Harvest’s other major undertaking this spring is taking root cuttings from our hops for the first time. I’ll only be pruning the roots of my seven original plants that I bought two years ago. If you’ll be looking for hop rhizomes this year to decorate your home with or to use in beer, we will have them! The varieties of rhizomes you’ll see from us are Cascade, Centennial, Northern Brewer, Brewers Gold, and Chinook; some of the most reliable and hearty hop varieties known! The Chinook and Northern brewer produced a decent amount for me in their first year. Brewers Gold is a little less aggressive than the other varieties.
I was recently contacted by the city of Cedar Falls regarding the power lines behind my house. They are coming down (going underground) some time in the near future, probably by the summer of 2017. I like this a lot. I think it’ll make the back yard more open and beautiful.
That’s all for now! Beer Time.