I saw these too on Sunday when I ordered from there. It made me wonder what made them so valuable, so I googled "hop crown" . Amongst all of the "hip hop crown" websites that I weeded through was one from... I think it was the "Oregon Hop Commision" or something similar. It told about the crowning of hops in the spring. Basically, after the first shoots come up the entire top of the plant is "mowed" off because the first shoots are considered weaker. Really made me wonder about MY pruning practices. If you can find it it'll make you think twice about the value of a crown.
I am in no way a hop farmer, just a guy who's grown one vine (until this upcoming year
) and had consistent results. I think that great hops are just like great beer: Patience is a virtue.
If anyone has started with a crown and had great success, it would be great to hear about.