Greetings, this is Mike, the Round Table Hops horticultural specialist. My job for this project is to experiment with and eventually answer the question of how to sustainably grow Minnesota hops year round in a greenhouse environment. Because this has never been done before on a commercial scale, or at least to our knowledge, the planning process has been mostly theoretical. My colleagues and I have been working hard at brainstorming and trying to think of any possible obstacles we might come across.
So far, we are confident that the solutions we have come up with for these possible scenarios will be successful and hope to prove that in the near future. Due to the unpredictable nature of weather, rain in particular, the construction of our trial greenhouse continues to be pushed back further. After discussing this, we at Round Table Hops have decided against trying to rush the construction to grow in it this summer still and leave the entire summer to construct this greenhouse and more importantly, to construct it carefully, methodical, and to the standard and quality consistent with our philosophy. We are confident that this extra time will allow us to further perfect our designs and give us the best possible chance of proving that hops can be grown hydroponically year round.
Despite the setbacks with the construction of the greenhouse, I went ahead and ordered 16 field grade crowns, 4 crowns of 4 varieties. This makes today, June 15, 2014 a very special day because it brings us one step closer to our final goal. Each variety was specifically picked due to it’s growth habits as well as tolerance to things like powdery mildew, verticillum wilt, and crown rot, plus other qualities and characteristics that I believe would be suited best for growing in a greenhouse environment. The varieties I ordered thus far are; Crystal, Newport, Wilamette, and Spalter Select. I am very excited to be trialing these varieties and I will post another update once they arrive in the mail further explaining our next steps.