October 2015 Issue #70
Emerald Coast Growers
     Hop field in Oregon

OKTOBERFEST 
Have you noticed that it's easier than ever to find fresh, locally-brewed brewski pretty much everywhere? The microbrew/craft brew revolution started in the Pacific Northwest and flowed across America like a full pitcher on a wobbly table. 'Tis the season to don lederhosen, hoist a tankard of pumpkin ale and be Deutsch for a day. Prosit!


Emerald Coast Growers

DOWN ON THE FARMS
Florida
Our GM Josiah Raymer is a veteran homebrewer with many a keg to his credit. It's a mystery how he stays skinny, especially in Pensacola, where two establishments - Hopjack's and World of Beer -- boast 100+ taps each.

When not brewing, Josiah shepherds our FL production ranges, where summer has yet to get the memo and flocks of gluten-free, non-GMO Phlox roam the benches. But they really belong on YOUR benches. See Tray Bon! for more on this phenomenon.

Josiah and Ruth Raymer
Pennsylvania
ECG is not the only Pensacola FL/Lancaster PA connection: We've got the Federal Taphouse, inspired by Hopjack's. We've got homebrewers, too: VP Al Mueller has bottled or kegged lotsa tasty suds, and even Yours Truly once brewed a good APA. But the hops I planted this spring didn't survive. A bummer, but I can drown my sorrow at the Taphouse bar. Over 100 choices, and so much easier than brewing.

In news you can use, we're sitting pretty with stuff you should plant now for spring sales, like Aquilegia Origami and Songbird series, Heuchera 'Palace Purple' and 'Marvelous Marble', and Polemonium 'Heavenly Habit'. We've also got lots of Platycodon 'Sentimental Blue' which you can plant now if it suits your space and labor, but it's going dormant. That one, you might want to let us hold for you til spring.

Aquilegia Songbird White
Aquilegia Songbird White

Heuchera 'Marvelous Marble'
Heuchera 'Marvelous Marble'
    
INDUSTRY EVENTS 
■ The Perennial Conference at lovely Scott Arboretum, a.k.a. the Swarthmore (PA) College campus: October 16. Seats are going fast! perennialplantconference.org

■  The Perennial Plant Association messes with Texas: Hey, y'all! PPA's first deep-South confab, the Southern Region Sustainability Symposium, hits Dallas October 5.

RANDOM USELESS FACTS DEPARTMENT
The only World Series not played in October was the Black Sox scandal-plagued 1918 version, when WWI raged, the Cubs were accused of throwing the games, and the Star Spangled Banner - not yet our National Anthem - was played at a ballgame for the first time. And that's enough about baseball, as my Phillies close out a probable 100-loss season. It takes a strong stomach and a masochistic streak to be a lifelong fan of the losingest pro franchise in any sport. Thanks, Dad.  
Not John Friel.

OUT & ABOUT
The FarWest Show continues to rebound, with attendance, vendor count and attitude all trending up after a few grim years. Lots of traffic at the ECG booth. Allan Armitage, playing the Pied Piper of Portland, led an entourage of attendees around the floor, stopping where there was interesting stuff to see. See What's Hot for more.

Oregon, "the Nursery State," is a major hub for hops, Humulus lupulus, a building block of beer and one of only three ingredients - water, malted barley and hops --  allowed by the Rheinheitsgebot, the German Purity Law of 1516. But wait, you say: What about yeast? Can't make beer without yeast!  True, but when that law was enacted, no one knew about yeast. Brewers of yore knew only that when those three met, beer happened.
The explanation? "God is good."  




Hot


What gets the most attention at trade shows? Depends on the audience and the season.
At FarWest it was three grasses: Festuca 'Cool as Ice' and Beyond Blue got lots of oohs and ahs, and so did Pennisetum First Knight™, which is as different as can be from the first two - tall, bold, black and annual vs. short, cute, glaucous and hardy -- while still being sold in the same category. Like Knight & day!


Festuca 'Beyond Blue'
Festuca 'Beyond Blue'

Pennisetum 'First Knight'
Pennisetum 'First Knight'


At PPA in Baltimore, it was our selection of Plants of the Year: We grow nearly all of the 27 varieties so honored, including (naturally) all three grasses: Calamagrostis 'Karl Foerster', Hakonechloa macra 'Aureola' and Panicum 'Northwind'.


Any show, any time, Delosperma, Sedum and Sempervivum draw eyeballs as the popularity of succulents keeps rising . Beautiful, un-fussy, hard to kill - what's not to love? The stripe-y pastel flowers of Lewisia always stop traffic, and then we get to relate that charming native's compelling history. Once upon a time...
Sempervivum Black
Sempervivum Black


Hakonechloa macra 'Aureola'
Hakonechloa macra 'Aureola'

Delosperma Jewel of Desert Mix
Delosperma Jewel of Desert Mix

Lewisia Rainbow Mix
Lewisia Rainbow Mix


TrayTRAY BON!
Your window of opportunity for planting
Phlox subulata for spring sales is still open, and we've got the flats to push through it. Get 'em in, get 'em bulked, give 'em a good head start and you'll be rewarded with flourishing Phlox ahead of the rest in '16. With  pre-bulked roots going into winter, just flush 'em out and ship 'em.

Our very own Panicum 
'Hot Rod' PPAF
is finally available in significant numbers! Until recently, demand outstripped supply. So we put the pedal to the metal and boosted production capacity so our patient, loyal customers can finally flip the switch on the coolest, hottest switch grass in town. Nothing else in the genus revs up into the red zone faster. Vrooooooom! 

Panicum 'Hot Rod'
Panicum 'Hot Rod'

Phlox subulata 'Candy Stripe'
Phlox subulata 'Candy Stripe'

EPILOGUE
By "easier than ever" we mean, of course, easier than at any time since 1920 - i.e.,
pre-Prohibition. The 18th Amendment closed over a dozen breweries in Lancaster PA, a.k.a. "Munich on the Conestoga." When the 21st Amendment repealed the 18th in 1933, a few reopened but failed to thrive. The last survivor closed in 1956. For nearly 40 years no brew but homebrew was made in Lancaster. A dark era.

Today the city has four breweries, with as many more in the surrounding countryside - a tale repeated nationwide as the craft brewing juggernaut expands our imbibing options. 'Tis a fine time to be a beer lover. Slainte! Kampai! Here's October in your eye!

  
 
John Friel  
Marketing Manager    
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