High Quality Commercial Hops Production
Our Growing MethodWe know our crop intimately. Using Integrated Pest Management (IPM) principles, Hop Head Farms keeps tabs on everything that is happening within our hop yard. IPM is an effective and environmentally sensitive approach that relies on a combination of common sense practices to monitor and control insect pests and damaging plant diseases. We are experienced in using both biological controls that align with organic growing practices and conventional methods. By integrating the two, we get the best results and remain good stewards of the land.
Hop VarietiesOur five main varieties were selected based on four years of research in an organic test plot. Hop Head Farms variety selection is an ongoing study that began in the winter of 2007 and is continuing through to the present. We have 16 varieties in either production or trial phase and are always researching other suitable types for Southwest Michigan.
Optimal NutritionBy providing custom irrigation schedules through timed drip irrigation systems; monitoring both soil and plant nutrient levels; and adjusting fertilization regime based on the previously mentioned two factors we are able to give our hop plants exactly what they want for the best possible results. Periodic soil and tissue sampling along with pH and EC monitoring will give us the feedback we need to adjust our nutrition program to only provide what the plant needs, nothing more, nothing less.
Harvest TimingKnowing when to harvest hops is both quantitative and qualitative. Because Michigan's seasonal weather patterns vary, timing of harvest is different from year to year. By keen observation, touching and smelling our cones as they develop, we are closely aware of each variety's stage of maturation. Certain varieties mature quicker than others and it is crucial to know these factors to time the picking window for peak maturity. All these qualitative factors combined with lab analysis give us the information necessary to pick our hops for you at their prime.