Growing plants that are not native to the Florida climate is not always easy. When people tell you it can’t be done, it seems even more of a daunting task. But that didn’t stop Richard M. Smith from figuring out a way to grow hops in the sunshine state.
A research project on medicinal plants led to a career in a growth industry (pun intended). With the rise of independent breweries in the U.S. and in Florida, Richard saw an opportunity to provide a locally sourced and delicious ingredient to them. But that’s not all.
He also emphasizes the medicinal and health properties of the plant, which is in the Cannabaceae family with marijuana and hemp. This has translated to a hops-infused sparkling water as one of the products for his company Florida Hops.
More about Richard and Florida Hops:
To a Certain Degree is a weekly radio show on WPRK featuring makers, artists, and professionals who are doing something neat. It’s hosted by Nick Georgoudiou, and you can listen live every Monday on 91.5 FM in the Orlando area, or stream it on wprk.org.
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💦😍❤🌱🍻💦 These beautiful cones are the first in our Southeastern Hop Breeding Program and quite possibly the first genetic cross in the state. They are from an unknown female variety and have been pollinated with unknown Neomexicanus hop pollen kindly donated to us by our friends @stonelizardhops. The seeds, produced through sexual reproduction assisted by hand pollination, will provide us with new varieties to evaluate and select for growth and production in our unique environment. The use of Neomexicanus hop pollen offers a large range in genetic diversity, helping us to improve the potential of the crop. Breeding is a long term process that involves multiple evaluations over several years of production. These evaluations are done to ensure plant response to varied environmental conditions, maturity, disease and pest pressures, and production quality are routinely and properly studied in effort to minimize expression of undesirable traits upon release to growers. Once the seeds are harvested, they will be germinated, grown to field ready size and planted in our new experimental hopyard, located right here in @thecitybeautiful. If you're interested in seeing the cones of FLH-001, she'll be on the road with us making stops at @femalebrewfest, @cfltopbrewer, and a few other locations before we remove the cones and harvest the seeds. Stop by and snap a pic! 📸❤🌱🍻 She loves close ups! —– #floridahops #floridabeer #floridagrown #freshfromflorida #loveandlupulin #newnarrative #newnow #fortheculture #beerisculture #plantbreeding #plants #plantsofinstagram #plantsmakepeoplehappy #beermakesitbetter #hops #freshhops #freshaf #wethops #hoppybeer #hoppylife #beerselfie #homegrown #homebrew #plantscience #breeding #horticulture #craftbeerlover #catchflightsnotfeelings #urbanjunblebloggers