Certified organic hops taking root in Tennessee

Two things I’m very excited about arrived at the farm this week. First is the endomycorrhizal fungi I’ll tell you more about later. The second are the first of our Cascade and Centennial hop rhizomes! They’ll go in our freshly cut beds as soon as the weather permits.

Half Hill Farm is the only farm in Tennessee providing a local source of USDA certified organic hops (certifying April 2013). The Tennessee Department of Agriculture stopped keeping records of Tennessee’s hop production sometime before Prohibition when machine harvesting began concentrating the nation’s hop production in other states. The USDA could find no records of commercial production in Tennessee.

Half Hill Farm is proud to serve the needs of a growing craft beer culture in Tennessee that celebrates an American craft spirit of community, ingenuity, and sustainability. If you are a local craft brewer and want to visit our farm, get in touch, and grow with us!

First organic seed starts for Half Hill Farm

Vince got our very first organic seed starts going in the greenhouse this weekend as the last of the snow melted. This first batch is:

  • Organic tomatoes: Roma, Lemon Drop, Kellogg’s Breakfast, and Giant Beef Steak
  • Organic peppers: Jalapeno, Peperoncini, Orange Bell, California Bell, and Sweet Pickle Peppers

After finding the temporary greenhouse temperature dropping below freezing, we decided to use this germination pad. It will keep the soil between 70-80 F degrees. We ordered a much larger 2ft x 4 ft pad for more starts we’ll plant later this week as well as for re-potted plants.

The soil we’re using consists of an OMRI-listed peat, soil from our orchard field and garden compost. We’re also using Jiffy peat cups for transfers.