We are holding a Research Hop Yard “Open House” on July 5, 2012 from 5:00 PM to 7:00 PM at the Mountain Horticultural Crops Research Station, 74 Research Drive, Mills River, NC 28759.
Last year we established a high-trellis research hop yard to help the new hop industry developing in western North Carolina. There are ten popular varieties planted in a replicated trial. The trellis system demonstrates two methods for lowering the top wire so the use of ladders or cherry pickers for stringing, maintenance, and harvest is not necessary. There is a drip-irrigation system and a landscape fabric mulch weed control system. This is not a full-fledged field day this year with speakers and a set agenda. This is a casual “drop-in” event and an opportunity for hop growers and potential hop growers to view the ten varieties before we start harvesting and talk with the researchers, Jeanine Davis and Kelly Gaskill. The differences between the varieties are pretty dramatic this year. We have experienced Downy Mildew, spider mites, and now Japanese beetles and we will tell you what steps we have taken to control them. We’d love for you to share your experiences, too.
Directions: From Interstate 26, take Exit #40 (the Asheville Regional Airport exit). At the top of the exit ramp take NC Hwy 280 South (go towards the airport). Drive past the airport and take the first road on the right, Old Fanning Bridge Road (just after the big curve to the right and marked by a green and white sign for the Mountain Horticultural Crops Research and Extension Center. After about one mile you will cross the French Broad river. The research station is on the right but directly across the street from the entrance to the research station there will be signs directing you left onto Butler Farm Road. Follow the signs out to the hop yard.This project is funded by a USDA Specialty Crops Block Grant administered through the NC Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. The project is in the NC Alternative Crops and Organics Program of Dr. Jeanine Davis, Associate Professor and Extension Specialist, Department of Horticultural Science, NC State University, Mountain Horticultural Crops Research and Extension Center, 455 Research Drive, Mills River, NC 28759. More information on her program and the companion Hops Field Day being held in Raleigh can be found at http://ncalternativecropsandorganics.blogspot.com