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The Magic of Hops: A Must-Have for Every Homestead

Welcome to our blog! Today, we’re going to talk about a plant that’s not only cool but also has the potential to transform your homesteading experience. We’re talking about hops, a member of the cannabis family that’s not just for brewing beer.


Understanding Hops

Hops, or Humulus lupulus, is a perennial plant that can live for decades, producing up to 20lbs of edible biomass per bine each season. A mature plant can spread to include 3-5 bines. Hops are typically grown in large-scale settings where the biomass is discarded as waste. On a homestead, hops biomass can be a valuable resource.


Why Hops?

Hops are unique for several reasons:

  • They’re part of the cannabis family, but you can grow them without any restrictions.

  • They’re tasty and nutritious for almost all creatures - humans and livestock alike (just not dogs).

  • They’re perennials that are easy to grow. Once established, a hops plant can live for 25-50 years, developing an extensive network of roots that practically take care of its own feeding and watering needs.


The Economics of Hops

But the best part about growing hops is that they’re a sound investment. A single hops plant costs between $5-$10. In its first year, the plant will focus on developing roots, but it will likely still produce 5-10 lbs of edible biomass from one bine. From the second year onwards, the plant can have up to 3 bines, each growing up to a foot a day and reaching 10 to 20 feet in height. By the third year, the plant can have up to 5 bines, yielding 50-100 lbs of biomass from one plant!


Of course, results will vary. A permaculture homestead using the S.T.U.N. (sheer total utter neglect) method will have lower yields than a regenerative farm that pampers its plants with fresh compost and rotted manure. But the numbers speak for themselves - every homestead can benefit from a hops plant.


Conclusion

Incorporating hops into your homestead or small family farm can provide a multitude of benefits, from cutting costs to increasing profits. Want to learn more? Check out our eBook, “Every Homestead Needs a Hops Plant: How to Grow Hops to Cut Homestead Costs and Increase Profits” for a deep dive into this topic. And if you’re looking for personalized advice, we’re here to help with one-on-one consultations on hops growing. Happy homesteading!

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