This just in: Star B Ranch and Hop Farm tour availability! A short window of time for a tour has opened up just before harvest, and Friends of Farming didn't want to miss offering you this opportunity to see hops on the vine.
Hop cones are ripening on the vines, but Friends of Farming have been invited for a tour just a week or two before the cones are harvested. Join us Saturday the 16th and see the largest and one of the first commercial hop farms in San Diego County in an idyllic setting...
The Star B Ranch rests on 1,500 acres in beautiful Ramona in northeastern San Diego County, and is managed by Ken and Denise Childs, the daughter and son-in-law of the ranch owners.
In 2008, Ken and his son-in-law, Eric March, with the burgeoning craft brewing scene in San Diego, saw an opportunity in hops. One of the four ingredients in beer production, hop cones lend the bitter flavor and floral aromas to beer. The cones grow on vines trained vertically and each vine can produce anywhere from two to six pounds of hop cones.
Ken and Eric decided first to try their hand growing hops on a small scale, but today they are the largest hops grower in the county with two acres planted and 3,000 vines in the ground. 3,000 mature vines could optimally yield over 12,000 pounds of wet hops.
Currently, Star B Hop Farm is the largest commercial hop farm in San Diego County and is continually expanding to accommodate a growing demand for "San Diego Grown" hops.
This is a very unique farm and ranch, and Friends of Farming are thrilled to have this opportunity to meet the Star B Ranch team and find out more about hops in San Diego County.
Star B Ranch is also home to over 170 buffalo, the largest herd in the state. Unfortunately, the buffalo herd is in higher pastures on the ranch and will be difficult to spot during this tour. However, Star B Ranch staff will be on hand to talk about raising buffalo and show off their innovative fodder feed system that they use to produce nutrient rich buffalo feed on the ranch.
Register today for your spot on this limited space tour:
Tour A: 9:00 am
A second tour time may be added based on demand.
Please note: With each Friends membership you are allowed spouses and children. This tour is appropriate for all ages. Any questions can be directed to Casey Anderson at 760-745-3023.