I decided to start up some new hop plants this year. (My previously-documented Cascade, Fuggle and Willamette plants were destroyed in their fourth year by a vindictive ex a couple of years ago.)
At a spur-of-the-moment decision during a quiet spell at the brewery, I placed a fresh order for some rhizomes on Tuesday. Once again, I ordered my rhizomes through Vickie Olson at RNV Enterprises. Robert Olson is the former CEO and Vickie ran the analysis lab at HopUnion. They source 100% fresh-cut Yakima Valley hop rhizomes and ship amazingly quickly (I received my rhizomes via UPS in NH in less than 48 hours from placing the order!)
Opening the box and unwrapping the bubble-wrap with eager anticipation, I was (again) not disappointed. I had placed an order for 1 Tettnang, 1 Golding, 1 Amallia, and 2 Cascade rhizomes. Once again, Vickie hooked me up and I received 3 Cascades and 2 each of the others. (Last time, I had ordered 1 each of the Cascade, Fuggle, and Willamette and received 2 of each.) Thank you Vickie!
Not only were there extra rhizomes packaged, they were all showing significant early sprouting with numerous shoots off of every rhizome (some a couple of inches long). They were also quite large, including a MASSIVE Golding root. These photos can be a little deceiving – I should have added in something for a size reference. These are GALLON ziploc bags, if that helps…and the big Golding rhizome is nearly the full width of the bag and over an inch thick!
There was also two new hops from New Mexico on their list and I decided to try one. RNV currently carries rhizomes for Neo1 and for Amallia. Amallia is described as: “Has an earthy smell. Great for a brown style beer or darker style ales. Estimated alpha is 5.5-9% with a beta of 4.2-8.3%.” Sounded interesting, so I added some to my list. (The Neo1 is lemon and citrus….and I have been playing with Citra, Falconer’s Flight, Falconer’s 7C’s, Galaxy, Motueka, etc….all set on citrus right now.)
After an inspection (and some pics), I needed to store the rhizomes until I can plant them. I don’t currently have the containers, soil, or soil amendments to get them going – I’ve been on the run for the last three weeks (as my lack of regular posts lately attests). To make sure they don’t dry out, each bag was opened and the rhizomes were gently wrapped in two damp (but NOT dripping) paper towels.
After wrapping, they were carefully placed bag in their bags. Each bag was gently rolled and the excess air squeezed out (again, GENTLY…don’t break those young shoots!) before being sealed shut.
All four bags are currently being stored in the deli/crisper drawer in my refridgerator. Hopefully I can source some containers this weekend and get them in some dirt next weekend. Stay tuned for updates on how they’re doing…by late June, these babies will be popping up to the tune of 12-18″ PER DAY!