SG532 How to Grow and Harvest Hops Like a Boss with Eric Sannerud of Mighty Axe Hops

By this time next year, Eric Sannerud's Mighty Axe Hops will be the largest grower and harvester of hops in the State of Minnesota. This young farming entrepreneur's business has done nothing but shoot up - just like his hops plants.

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“Don't judge each day by the harvest you reap but by the seeds that you plant.”
― Robert Louis Stevenson.

Hop Yard at Mighty Axe Hops Eric Sannerud on the Still Growing Garden Podcast with Jennifer Ebeling 6ftmama blog

Interview Questions

Why did you pick the name Mighty Axe Hops?

Time Stamp: 11:10

How did you meet your business partner, Ben Boo?

Time Stamp: 12:45

I find it extraordinary that your very first batch of beer made from your hops sold out in just four hours. Why did you receive such a rabid response?

Time Stamp: 14:05

What would you tell someone who asks you if they should start growing hops?

Time Stamp: 17:25

Back when you were just getting started, you met with a handful of growers in the area, visited hop farms, and researched online from sources like the Vermont Extension Program. What experience was particularly inspiring to you in terms of getting started?

Time Stamp: 20:00

What is it like to see a hops farm for the first time?

Time Stamp: 21:20

Have you ever flown a drone over your hop yard?

Time Stamp: 22:25

Hops 101 time: walk us through the key terms used by hops farmers.

Time Stamp: 24:05

You've totally immersed yourself in the world of hops. Do you dream about hops farming?

Time Stamp: 32:30

I thought the story you told at TEDx was very moving. You opened your speech by asking the audience to imagine driving with you to your farm on June 20, 2012 - just 63 days into farming. Take us to that day. Time Stamp: 33:15

It looked like the hop bines were growing in a diagonal direction during the first year of your business. Do you have your bines set up differently today?

Time Stamp: 35:40

How do you get your plants and are they expensive?

Time Stamp: 37:10

How do you prune your plants?

Time Stamp: 39:15

What varieties of hops do you grow?

Time Stamp: 41:20

I think your logo is incredibly clever. I noticed that there's a very subtle mustache on it - how did you come up with that?

Time Stamp: 44:00

I've seen a new logo on your Facebook page. I call it the hops revolution logo – what does that mean to you?

Time Stamp: 45:30

I read that you test for moisture content, how do you go about doing that exactly?

Time Stamp: 46:45

Are you able to go organic at this point in your operation?

Time Stamp: 49:05

Can you talk about hops in Minnesota without talk about Charlie Rohwer?

Time Stamp: 51:05

What advice do you have for people in their 20’s who aren't even considering farming as a career?

Time Stamp: 56:45

This June, Mighty Axe announced a $4.6 million project that includes a $1.3 million harvest facility and 120 acres of farmland in Benton County's GilmantonTownship - making you the state's largest hop farm by far. What are your thoughts as you begin this new part of the Mighty Axe Story?

Time Stamp: 1:03:15

What is cover cropping?

Time Stamp: 1:05:40

What are buffer strips?

Time Stamp: 1:07:35

I was reading that you are also going to be composting by using the leftover 20ft bines. How does that happen?

Time Stamp: 1:11:15

You have a tour coming up on August 7th. I'm excited for it and I’m bringing the family. What can we expect?

Time Stamp: 1:13:10

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What listeners are saying...

I never write reviews but this is the best gardening podcast out there. Jennifer has interesting topics and guests and is not one bit annoying like some others are. I love that she involves her kids at the end of the podcast - usually with poetry or music. Really good podcast.

- Barbcfc, Mar 23, 2016

Still Growing is one of the reliably informative gardening podcasts from North America. The format consists of an intro (personal gardening status chat, seasonal remarks), an extended interview with a guest, and an outro with funny outtakes, side remarks, and some chatter (poems, readings) from the host's children. The podcast is focused on reliable knowledge - the guests are typically experts like academics, master gardeners, gardening entrepreneurs or public garden leaders. The intro and especially the outro give it a homey feel. Given I live in the high northern region, just a little below the Polar Circle, I'm always looking for more cold-weather oriented gardening information. Jennifer Ebeling is in Minnesota, so that's helpful to me! Vegetable gardening (my main interest) gets a good share, but is not predominant. Most topics transcend your specific gardening interest and are applicable to many styles: landscaping principles, vermicomposting, greenhouses. The episodes are typically an hour long, which is just fine for me.

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Best gardening podcast out there. Her preparedness leads to a good interaction with the guests and brings out the best in them. Very informative and yet personable.

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This is a great podcast. Really well produced and organized with good sound quality. I love the mix of information and personal touches. Jennifer has great guests and asks the best questions. You can tell she really does her homework. I listen to several gardening podcasts and this is my absolute favorite!

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Jennifer Ebeling
Jennifer Ebeling is a proud Minnesotan and U of MN alumni. Gooooooo Gophers! Each week, Jennifer produces and hosts Still Growing - a gardening podcast dedicated to helping you and your garden grow. The show is an in-depth interview format. Guests featured on the show share a passion for gardening and include authors, bloggers, professional gardeners, etc. Listeners and guests of the show can join the Still Growing community on Facebook. It's a place to ask questions, share garden stories, interact with great guests featured on the show, and continue to grow and learn. Jennifer and her husband Philip have four children, a big golden lab named Sonny, and live in lovely Maple Grove, Minnesota. P.S. When she's not teaching her four kids a new card game - or teaching them how to drive a car - Jennifer loves inspiring individuals and groups to maximize and personalize their home & garden.
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