Starke County is generally known for growing three crops: corn. soybeans and peppermint. A local man plans to join a dozen or so other Hoosier farmers that are now planting hops – a main ingredient in beer that could become a major local crop.
Typically grown in the Pacific Northwest, there are half-a-dozen varieties adapting to Hoosier weather. Hops are essentially flowers that grow on a vine. The crop requires a tall trellis system about 20 feet tall and then every year you have to tie strings to the top of the trellis and anchor them down.
The Hamlet Town Board Wednesday discussed plans to provide bulk water to a grower for drip irrigation for his hop plants.
Hops actually grew wild in Indiana hundreds of years ago. The market is expected to fill the need of local breweries so they do not have to buy hops from growers in the northwest or in Europe.