Rockin' Hops began in the back yard of Ballston Lake
Hop Farm 2nd Year 2013
It really does not look like much, but everything in life starts small. This all began in 2012 when my coworker Matt introduced me to home brewing. That year I decided to grow my own hops for home brew needs and I planted my first 10 rhizomes in the small 2 by 4 trellis area in the picture. In 2013 I added 30 more rhizomes and expanded to the larger area shown.
Year 2014 Rockin' Hops really grew
Back yard became a jungle.
Some of the Chinook cones were 5 inches in length.
In Year 2016 the farm expanded to Mechanicville
What the land was before starting
Fairly ideal for hops, no trees, well drained and adequate water source.
Cleared land, marked rows, stripped top layer and added soil nutrients.
Holes for hop poles are over 4 feet deep and up to 1 foot wide. If you look to back of the picture you will see auger machine.
Setting Hop Poles
This was the first Hop pole set. A large thunderstorm was threatening our progress. We had to break after first pole because of lightning.
First Row of Hop Poles
Definitely would not of been able to complete the pole setting without assistance of JG Contracting. The outer end poles are loaded in on 75 degree angle for extra support for trellis system. The bark is stripped off bottom of poles to slow rot and extend pole life.
First Hop Plant
Planted by Kate, Jacob and Nick. This Cascade plant is one best producing hop plants on the farm.
Year 2017 Rockin' Hops Yard Expansion
Additional Hop Poles
This is landing area for poles unable to drive trailer across land bridge. Had to snake them up the hill with the truck. If you look off behind trees in the picture you can see hop farm.
Picture was taken in mid June. In June hops grow vertically up to a foot a day. Hops generally reach the top of the 18 foot trellis by July. In July hops start to grow horizontally and outward.
Hop Yard as of August 2017
The majority of hop farms in NY are single trellis design systems. Rockin' Hops hop farm is a commercial V-Trellis design system which doubles the hops yield output. The yard currently has single line irrigation and in 2018 there is a plan to add second line irrigation system.
Year 2018 Rockin' Hops News
Rockin' Hops added secondary irrigation
Crop yield increased by 25%.
Rockin' Hops Built New Hops Oast
The new hop oast can dry up to 200 lbs of whole leaf hops
Rockin' Hops began vending at Saratoga Spa City Farmers Market
At the market Rockin' Hops offered hop pillows, hop soap, hop pellets, hop whole leaf and hop plants.