Now that this post is done,and out of the way, we can get into what this blog was meant for — sharing our story. Along with hopyard news and announcements on new products or sales, we’ll be sharing anecdotes about the growing season, thoughts on beers and beer culture, recipes from pickles to pale ales, and of course photos.
The case could be made that the photographs of the Olson & Son Hopyard have to date been the most important part of this project. Without instagram, this idea would still be nothing more than a few plants behind my garage. The photographs and people’s reactions to them, have been the driving force in turning this into something more.
So as a matter both of sharing with people who aren’t users of instagram, and as a matter of archiving them online somewhere other than a facebook owned service, I’ll be posting some of the better photographs that I post there again on this site.
I initially thought about using a macro to crosspost each post automatically but I post enough that if you followed this blog in a reader or by email I would surely annoy many of you.
Besides, if you already do follow me on Instagram or Twitter then you’ve already seen these photos. Do you really want to see them on instagram then again in your blog reader or email sometimes up to 5 times in a night? Nah, that would even annoy me! So instead, once a week, I’ll pick the best handful of photos from the previous week and share them in one post.
The problem there, though is trying to come up with a narrative for what may be very different photos over the course of a week. I’m not going to write a weekly wrap-up. Not consistently anyway, I know me, and whatever time I spend forcing myself to come up with “content” is time I am not working towards my hop growing and brewing goals. So what I am going to do is to use the weekly photo dump to also be a post for links, tiny little stories, Notes, and maybe even jokes!
Or something like that,
At least twice a week I am stopped by someone while watering and asked what I could possibly be growing. People often guess that they’re beans, or long gourds, but only early in the season beforethe flowering stage. The hopyard stands out and people walking or driving by have questions. It’s kind of awesome. Cracks me up every time.
Sometimes they’re only asking to report back to someone else, “See, now we can tell your grandmother what they are since she asks every time we drive by” a mother said to her son two nights ago after I explained all about the hops and the hopyard. Without the hopyard I don’t think we’d know very many of our neighborhood residents, and now I can’t even water my garden without waving at least a dozen times.
And so it has been online as well. The bamboo trellis is weird. The photos a little much, heavy contrast, heavy saturation, and seriously, how many pictures of bines does one person need to take? But it works for us. It has helped us become a part of a hop growing community I never would have had access to without it.
In the past week, I have received messages or emails from multiple homebrewers interested in buying hops, a professional brewer of a 5bbls brewhouse brewery in Georgia about possibly using our hops, a hop farmer in Pennsylvania about better packaging options for my dried hops, and a hop farm in Indiana about a hopyard t-shirt swap between the two of us. Not to mention more pictures of people in their own new Olson & Son shirts. (Not a #humblebrag at all, that is some totally non-humble old fashioned bragging going on, and why not, who would have thought that such things could be said
from a teeny-tiny suburban back yard?)
But none of that would have happened had I not taken the time to spend a few minutes every single day with my camera out in the yard. There’s power in those pictures. The power of motivation, and of manifesting goals.
It’s all in that power of sharing stories.