Sometimes in research, you come across a golden source. It doesn’t happen very often, but when it does it’s a great thing! In my case, my golden source at the moment is The Canada Farmer. This periodical was published in Toronto between 1864 and 1868 before merging with another publication and becoming the Globe and Canadian Farmer. I’ve been continuing my research into hops production in Ontario during our time period to provide more information to our gardener and brewer on what varieties of hops were grown in Ontario in the 1860s and on the cultivation and preservation of hops.
The Canada Farmer is an excellent source as it is largely comprised of farmers writing to one another about their triumphs, tribulations and concerns. From reading the articles, it’s easy to see the development of the hops industry, beginning in the northeastern U.S.A and gradually moving into southern Ontario in the mid 1860s. What else one sees, is the introduction of the hops aphis, a pest that decimated English hop plants in the early 1860s, that made the move to North America, beginning in the States and moving into Ontario in 1868.
The next few posts will be about domestic hops production in Ontario and the northern United States.