Windhover Farm is mother to Northern Girls Hops, Windhover Orchard, and ongoing organic and sustainable projects.

Hop plant and rhizome sales for Spring 2018 - pre-order here starting 15th Dec!


As a result of our recent work with plant pathologists and plant health testing lab, we provide the following 2018 hop stock product statement:

Last August 2017, with unexpected levels of humidity in our hopyard combined with our experiment in non-stripping and mulching of the rows, we experienced what we now have confirmed as hop downy mildew in our hop foliage. Since this occurrence, we proactively removed all foliar debris by fall burning and tested the hopyard rhizomes for latent infection.

What we know now is that downy mildew is endemic in hop plants across the North American hop industry (1,2). As a result, we have randomly tested rhizomes across our hopyard. The results came back negative (no downy mildew evident in the rhizomes) (2). This may mean that the fungal spore life cycle was localized and contained to the 2017 hop foliage (3).

We are looking forward to the 2018 season with a return to vigorous management practices of no mulch, stripping leaves below 4 feet, and pragmatic use of irrigation and fertilizer. These are management good practices implemented in most hopyards to control endemic hop industry diseases (4,5).

Our guarantee to you is to transparently share the information of our plant stock in a timely way and to follow industry standard practices to test for and minimize risk of transmission of diseases in propagative material.

Our promise to you is that our hop stock (rhizomes and plants) is of good quality as it leaves our farm as informed by random batch testing at certified labs.

  1. Ontario Agriculture (OMAFRA) Horticulture IPM Specialist ( Hops). Personal communication.
  2. Clean Plant Centre Northwest, Hop Program. Wash. State Univ.. Personal communication.
  3. PCR test specific for hop downy mildew, A&L Labs. Please contact us for copy of the diagnostic report.
  4. Downy Mildew Lifecycle. Pg. 15 Field Guide For Integrated Pest Management in Hops, 3rd Edition, USDA Agriculture Research.
  5. Pest Management in the Hopyard, Specilaty Crops IPM Specialist (Hops), OMAFRA.

Recent Blogs

Our Wild Floral
Posted on Monday March 05, 2018

Windhover Floral at Climate Conference Floral is one of the things we love best on the farm. Hop floral has been a seasonal offer every year at Windhover Farm, Home of the Northern Girls Hopyard. We love the dense green … Continue reading

Four Ingredients: Fun, Ideas, Innovation, & Community
Posted on Tuesday January 17, 2017

Last week we attended an ‘Alberta Beer Girls’ event themed: Four Ingredients of Beer … so, we showed up representing ‘Hops’ of course! The evening was fun with beautiful table decorations, welcoming setting and snacks not to mention amazing tasting … Continue reading

Western Producer Northern Girls article
Posted on Wednesday October 07, 2015

We’re very please that the Western Producer wrote a recent article on the Northern Girls Alberta Hopyard. The full video of the hopyard from the Oct 2015 issue of the Western Producer is available online here.

Foraging for Mint and Nettles
Posted on Saturday May 02, 2015

Foraging for mint shoots and baby nettle tips at Windhover Orchards in May 2015

Foraging: Connecting to Place
Posted on Wednesday April 29, 2015

We have been out in the forest, poking about and exploring. What fun it is to discover the young shoots underneath last year’s growth or find the sprouts of familiar plants. The birds are returning too. A flock of sandhill … Continue reading