The Hop Yard – North
The Hop Yard’s first commercial yard was established in Fort FairField, Maine. This yard occupies an acre and a half of land on a larger 40 acre parcel. The spot was selected for multiple reasons; including wind protection, sun exposure, and proximity to water. The land was farmed for many decades growing potatoes but had been inactive from anything other than hay production for the previous 15 years.
Three major considerations factored into our trellis design: establishment time & cost, potential yield per acre, and ease of harvest. These elements lead us to initially erect an 18′ high vertical growth pattern (opposed to angular) trellis such as shown below.
Soil & Terrior
Hops are a flower that are a reflection of their growing conditions and soil composition. The Hop Yard is positioned on a slight gradient that provides ample soil drainage but also has posed the challenge of penetrating the rock in areas to allow for pole erection. The top soil is rich loam, with rock becoming present 3-4 feet below the surface.
The Hop Yard – South
Our southern Maine yard is located in Gorham, on a 7th generation piece of family farmland. Like our northern yard, this land had been inactive other than for hay production for a number of years but is now being put to work for commercial hop growth.
- Mt Hood
The trellis implemented on our southern yard is built for maximizing yields and optimizing plant growth. To accomplish this, we’ve used the traditional angular growth pattern, utilizing cross wires to allow plants to reach up and into the row alleys.
Soil & Terrior
The soil in this yard is rich in nutrient and has a higher water table than our northern yard. Rock is present in some areas, but posed less of a challenge in pole establishment. The land lays at a slight angle, promoting drainage of the top soil which is favorable to mildew prevention.