September is a busy month around the farm brewery. We still have summer days and lovely cool evenings, which means it's time to harvest hops!
Hops harvest runs from early September to the end of the month, with annual variability. Our hops are coming along beautifully so far! We hire pickers for hops season, so if you want to hang with a convivial bunch for a couple of weeks, let us know. It's easy work, but you have to keep your hands moving!
With the season changing, we're also busy in the garden. We're checking on the progress of our squash patch, getting ready to make Maniacal Jack Squash Ale. We use Red Kuri squash for the best flavour, and they have to be fully ripe before we can harvest. Potatoes are also coming along - the Russian Blues are busy getting nice and starchy to add to the Gael's Potato Ale. Coriander seed is ripening too, along with all the other culinary herbs. Plums are so ripe they are falling off the trees, to the great delight of the the bees! And we're busy putting food by for the winter, from dehydrating herbs, tomatoes, plums, grapes and pears, freezing beans and peas and broccoli, canning pickles and tomatoes, making pesto... there's a lot to do to make sure winter is as delicious as September.
We're also getting ready for more festivals!
The Great Canadian Beer Festival takes place September 6&7 in Victoria BC, and we're very pleased to be able to bring some special beers. We'll have casks of the Gael's Potato Ale (it really makes the best casks! So smooth, so malty.) and we've made more An Cuirín Blueberry/Red Currant Ale! Plus the Backhand of God Stout of course!
After that we'll be at the Spallumcheen Farm and Food Festival on September 29 at Fieldstone Organics in Armstrong - come check out the ploughing competition (horses AND tractors!), threshing demonstration, food and beverage tastings and sales, and clay oven baking. It's a rural paradise, and you'll be able to sample beers and take home growlers!
Tours continue every weekend throughout September, and our farmers' market schedule remains as usual - markets switch to winter mode after Thanksgiving.
And then it'll be October, and we'll be putting the farm to bed for the winter, planting garlic and cover crops, and preparing our next seasonal ale.
See you at a market, festival, or at the brewery!