May and June were very busy months on the hop farm. We still had snow on the ground on April 10, delaying the growing season by a couple of weeks, but once things started growing we were unable to keep up with the weeds once again due to a delay in our acquisition of the WeedBadger machine. Couple that with the tedious process of hanging all of the strings, and we have the unwelcome result of a stunted growth pattern in our yard. Alli returned home to help hang the strings.
Thanks to Papa for his loyal work on the tractor, Alva for her dedication to the cause, and Ryan and Aaron for helping clear enough weeds so we could locate the plants for stringing.
Once the WeedBadger arrived I was able to get the weeds under control, at least from one side. I’m still waiting for the attachment that will enable me to complete the other side by sweeping out the weeds without ripping up my shallow irrigation.
You might say we’re experiencing growing pains right now, but hey, I was informed from the beginning that it takes a full three years for a hop yard to mature, so as long as we continue to make progress I’m not going to complain. Not in public, anyway!
Speaking of progress, our new Oast House/ cold storage facility arrived last week and is ready to be adapted for our use. What looks like a full size refrigerated trailer will serve as a multi-functional building once it is electrified and prepared for the farm. We are excited about that!
I believe we are about 2-3 weeks behind last year in terms of our crop growth, but as you can see from these photos, all three varieties have sprouted spurs which are the beginnings of new hop cones.
In July we will be attending a Hop workshop in Cooperstown so look for our next update sometime soon. I will close with a picture of my two beautiful grandchildren, one of whom looks like he is modeling a fez, one of my many hats.
Lots of things are growing around here! I consider myself very fortunate to have the opportunity to be a part of all of this. A very dear friend of mine passed this month leaving behind a wife and four sons. In his memory I am reminded that each day is a gift, each memory is to be cherished, each smile to be returned, and each season to be respected.
I think it is important to keep both feet on the ground but only one hand in the dirt. That way, we still have a free hand to enjoy whatever God gives us. He gave us this day…