Behind this barn here, we're going to erect a handful of trellis structures to grow 30 18' tall hops vines. We chose Centennial and Nugget as our first two varieties. We've read that both varieties grow well in Indiana and both have a relatively high alpha content (which factors into the quality of the beer). It looks like we should not expect a large yield the first year or so, even if we do everything right. So, we'll likely compost the harvest for next year's crop unless we find a home or nano-brewer interested in a wet hop ale.
Next up, we:
- perform a soil test
- Till and prepare the land
- Apply any 'amendments' to adjust PH levels in the soil
- Install the hardscape (the trellis structures)
- and finally plant the silly things
This is pretty fun to plan and watch grow from a random suggestion into a reality. I'm leveraging a number of different blogs, other commercial hops farmers' sites, a couple of books, the Purdue extension office (barely), and friends with experience in the game. That being said, there are more questions that need answers and a lot of work ahead. We'll keep you posted.