Toni Lynn Adams is the digital marketing coordinator for Yakima Chief Hops, and she produces engaging content. I’m always visiting the excellent YCH blog where I constantly see her byline, and thusly Yakima Chief Hops is constantly in our headlines — from expanding its CO2 extract facilities to its Bigger Than Beer podcast (a series dedicated to women). Over the last year, Adams has taken engagement to another level, releasing a set of Toni Lynn Tries videos with YCH, where Adams teaches us about the world of hop farming and processing. For instance, I was never aware how bale stitching worked until Toni Lynn tried it at Double R Ranches in the video above. It looks difficult.
After kilning, a system of conveyers drops the hops into presses, which create hop bales that can weigh up to 220 lbs. These hop bales are then stitched for transport, partially by hand. These ranchers can produce 60 bales an hour and around 300 in a day, which is impressive, especially when you watch these folks stitch. Adams is braver than me for giving it a try.
These videos get even cooler. In Hop Gun, Adams shows us how sustainably focused hop farms approach pest control, which includes flying drones full of insects over hop yards to release them. Typhilandralus Occidentalis or Typh is a beneficial insect and natural predator to the pests that can be damaging to the hop crop. The insect drone in the video is releasing 10,000 Typhs per acre, and these beneficial insects are a sustainable way to help grow greener hops for craft beer.
We’re excited for Adams to try more things. Until then, let her teach you about training hops…