Northeast SARE Grant
Through the 2016 & 2017 growing season Four Star Farms will be working with Northeast Sustainable Agriculture Research & Education program, or Northeast SARE; with Cornell Cooperative Extension, and with the University of Vermont Extension’s Hops Team to study the use of trap crops to control pests, thereby reducing pesticide use and improving hop quality. Specifically we will be researching the use of alfalfa to attract potato leaf hoppers.
While trying to stay on point with current brewing trends it’s also important to find those varieties that are hardy enough to grow well here. During the 2018 season we’ll convert what was once our “original” hop yard (3/4 of an acre) into an experimental plot with dozens of new-to-us varieties. We’re eager to see what new additions can be added to our line-up!
Optimal Harvest Intervals
This research project began during the 2017 hops harvest to try to determine the best windows of time for picking each of the hops varieties we grow. The varieties in our yards stage themselves nicely at harvest time so that we don’t have to try to pick everything all at once). However, this research should help us to narrow down the optimal harvest windows for each variety based on oil and acid development. We’ll keep you posted as to what we learn!