Hop Aboard! Yard Walk
Join us on Saturday, June 18th, for two hop yard walks with special guest, Lily Calderwood. The day will begin at Braunius Hop Farm in Mount Vision where participants will learn about hop yard layout, agronomic timing, fertility, irrigation, harvesting and processing. There will be a two-hour break for travel and a lunch break. The afternoon session at Catskill Hops Farm in Meredith will focus on pest management including weed control, potato leafhopper, hop aphid, two-spotted spider mite and downy mildew management.
10 a.m. to 12 p.m.
Braunius Hop Farm, John Braunius
Address: 150 Quinlog Rd. Mount Vision, NY 13810
We will hear about John’s experience setting up, growing, and processing his hops. Hop yard layout, agronomic timing, fertility, irrigation, harvesting, and processing will then be covered and discussed with Lily.
“I started the idea of the farm as a hobby in 2012; the same year I started working at Butternuts Beer and Ale. I took my building experience and started putting the infrastructure together, i.e. pump house, hop house, trellis system little by little. I have half an acre of hops planted and 1.5 acres trellised for future growth. I held a hops field day hosted by Cornell the same year. Since that time I have been learning the art and science of farming something I knew little about. I took a hiatus last year from the hops to build my house. This year I hope to put a lot of the knowledge learned into the ground and start implementing sustainable practices. Thus far the labor has been high and the yields low, but hopefully with more time and better practices the hops will start an upward growing trend!”
12 to 2 p.m.
Lunch & Travel Break: Stop for lunch between yard walks or bring a bagged lunch to eat at one of the farms.
2 to 4 p.m.
Catskill Hops Farm, Mark DeGraw
Address: 1500 Turnpike Road, Delhi, NY 13753 (This is not an exact address, but you won't miss the hop yard if you pass it.)
Pest management will be the focus of the afternoon session. We will hear from Mark about his experience growing hops and any pest challenges he has dealt with thus far. Topics will include weed control, potato leafhopper, hop aphid, two-spotted spider mite, and downy mildew management.
"Formerly pasture for the DeGraw family dairy farm, Catskill Hops Farm’s Nugget, Cascade, Columbus and Chinook hops are dried and packaged on-site. Small hops farms are relatively new to the Catskills region, and I have found that techniques for the successful propagation and harvesting of hops must be refined to allow for the unique conditions of the specific fields in which the hops are grown. I designed and built the irrigation and ground mats, drawing on my knowledge of the local soil composition, water and air quality, elevation, and threat posed by local pests - each of which can greatly influence hop growth. As I have discovered, techniques tailored to a specific farm always produce heartier, tastier hops. I have developed my own growing system and engineered an irrigation system, both of which are more productive and efficient for a small farm than conventional methods. The hops yard now consists of nearly 3,000 hops vines. I also own a Hops Harvester (designed by RIT engineer John Bonzo) as a result of my work with CADE and provide harvesting services in the region."
About Lily Calderwood
Lily Calderwood received her PhD from the University of Vermont where she studied hop production in the northeast with the UVM Extension NWCS team. She has worked most intently with hop pest management, with accumulating experience in hop agronomy, harvesting and processing. She recently began working as the Commercial Horticulture Educator in the Capital District of New York for Cornell Cooperative Extension where she works with greenhouse, cut flower, and tree growers. She serves the following counties: Albany, Schenectady, Washington, Rensselaer, Columbia, and Greene.
Hops tasks to remember for spring:
1. Do not train bull shoots (first purple-ish hollow shoots). Cut them out and train the second flush of green hop growth.
2. Train your hops as early as possible.
3. Write down the date when each variety was trained.