Our first harvest, we found ourselves without any hops processing in Northern Virginia, despite numerous published articles of Federal and State funded hops facility to accommodate all Mid Atlantic Hops growers crops. Our options were both costly; first, ship our crop to the Northeast at great cost and possibly losing the crop to the many hours travel, or second, purchase a harvester and build a dryer, that might also help other Virginia growers in the same bind.
Unfortunately, the same thing happened for our second year harvest. Still no Virginia hops processing facility operational.
This year, the crop was much larger, as were the costs of our only options. Send the crop away and still lose it, or buy more very expensive machinery to pelletize the harvested and dried cones.
We are now self contained and independent for all our products, and have the ability to provide the much needed processing services to Virginia growers.
We send all our hops to Virginia Tech for Hops acid panels testing to check the content scientifically to provide our brewers with this data which they use to achieve their special flavors.
Dragon Hops only grows hops following all the parameters set out by the USDA . We applied for our NOP certification, and had our final inspection and have received our USDA Organic Certification !.
We do not use the water table of our area to water our plants. These plants can need up to a gallon of water or more, each day in the height of growth. We catch and collect rainfall on all our buildings, use cisterns and pools to hold the water and use for in line drip irrigation.
We use chickens and ducks as our main pest control, in addition to natural products when needed.
We cut and propagate the hop plant rhizomes for sale to those other farmers and home brewers to have their own grown supply! Dragon Hops is a Virginia VDACS Nursery Operation Permit holder and now have our Organically Grown Certificate.
We donate annually to Boulder Crest Retreat, give very deep discounts to all Military Service and Law Enforcement Members.
We have travelled around the world to find and learn not only the history of our hops, but newest and best practices.