The Farm Brewers at Lickinghole Creek Craft Brewery are excited to make some big expansions to the existing hop, barley, strawberry, hay and pumpkin farming. After receiving such a great response to our product and farm brewery, we have the resources to hire some educated farmers and let the brewers concentrate on the beer.
In the fall, two local, experienced grain farmers assisted us to plan and seed our Barley fields. We just harvested our barley and have it scheduled to be malted locally.
Lickinghole Creek Craft Brewery planted 13 acres of Thoroughbred barely this past fall and come harvest LCCB with team with Copper Fox Distillery and Malt House for home grown and locally, Virginian malted barely.
This is really exciting. If all goes well, we will feature a beer in 2014 with hops and barley grown on the same site that the beer is brewed. Cross your fingers for this one. The local birds, especially the Wild Turkey population, have been enjoying our barely seedlings. LCCB handles wildlife in the crops by over planting to allow for enough production to share with local wildlife and still have enough product for our brews.
And if that weren’t enough, Lickinghole Creek Craft Brewery with help from Goochland’s Southern States will experiment with planting two-row barley in the spring. This two-row variety will also be malted by Copper Fox.
Two-row barley is not readily grown in this part of Virginia, so again, we’re breaking new ground. Two row test plots are sprouting now.
FARM EXPANSION PLAN 2014
As we learned from our blackberries and pumpkins last year, farming has a steep and demanding learning curve. Luckily, Backyard Farmers have signed on to advise us and help us implement our 2014 Farm Plan.
Here’s a rundown of what we’re going to be adding in the near future:
SIMON & GARFUNKLE HERB GARDEN
Lickinghole Creek is planting an herb garden to complement the brews. We have eighty herbs scheduled for planting this spring. Our most recent rosemary infused Short Pump Saison was amazing. Herbs are excellent complementary adjuncts for brewing. You might just find yourself humming, “Parsley, Sage, Rosemary and Thyme” as you walk through the garden.
BLUEBERRIES, BLUEBERRIES, BLUEBERRIES
Lickinghole Creek will be adding 500 blueberry bushes in the fall or in early spring 2015. Soon we will have enough for our brews and for our friends of Lickinghole Creek Craft Brewery to come and pick their own blueberries. I’m pretty sure the local bird population is the most excited about this development.
Lickinghole Creek is adding a fig tree grove. Thirty fig trees will be planted by spring. Figs complement several Belgian styles of beer, which we love to brew. Our figs are already producing fruit!
Lickinghole Creek Craft Brewery will also be planting 60 Hardy Orange Trees. The Hardy Orange imparts bittering citrus notes. Seeing some home-grown bitter orange peel in a Saison in the near future.
A HIP HOP AND YOU DON’T STOP
Lickinghole Creek Craft Brewery will be doing soil enhancement and maintenance on existing hop rows, as well as expanding hop production by approximately 250 hills. More Cascade hops for the next iteration of Gentleman Farmer is a good thing.
Lickinghole Creek Craft Brewery will be planting several fields of sunflowers and clover. Besides being beautiful, sunflowers improve the soil by breaking up the Goochland red clay with deep root systems. The small mammals and birds thrive in the Sunflower fields feeding on the sunflower seeds. Some flowers will be harvested; many will be left for the animals. Sunflowers add substantial “green manure” organic matter to the fields when left to decay and compost naturally. The clover assists with nitrogen fixing and enhancing the soil.
Thank you for your support of the brewery and for helping us grow and expand the farm. Cheers!
STP and LBP