June update 2014
Wow! Here we are one month later and the hops are growing like crazy. Its hard to believe how far we’ve come in such a short time.
I thought for a while during May that we would never finish the strings, but thanks to many loyal friends, neighbors, and family members we have had a lot to celebrate recently. We estimated about 2000 strings went up. Alva trained most of the plants, but she had some quality help as well.
We had family, neighbors, and friends stopping by to check on our progress at various times, and of course we put them all to work. BJ helped anchor the strings as I tied them up on the trellis. Papa drove the tractor as usual.
The photos below shows three generations of Antonelli men hard at work. Papa, Papi, and BJ. Looks like BJ is doing most of the work. Nanny helped us cut the strings. We used 10 spools of bailer twine to make the supports for the bines.
The McCarthy’s pitched in and lent a hand. Owen caught on real fast on the proper technique for training bines. Tyler still has a little growing to do before he understands the concept of “wrapping the plants.”
Thanks to Uncle Buck, Brendan, Owen, Tyler, Steven, Jacie, Uncle Stinky, Nanny and Papa, BJ, and always Alva. Many hands, many hours, many strings, and a few laughs later we’re up and growing.
It wasn’t all work and no play. We took time out to take a few candid shots. Papa and Alva shown here posing with the gorgeous mermaid mascot for good luck. It looks like the hops approved!
At the end of the day, Alva and Jacie took a moment to relax and enjoy the afternoon!
Uncle Stinky drove up from NC to lend a hand and insisted that we hang together. I’m not sure this is what he had in mind. Talk about brothers being close! There’s a bucketload of jokes that could go with this one, but I’ll just leave it at that!
Like I said before, June is busting out all over, but especially here at Orange county Hops. This photo was taken around June 1st. The next two photos are from June 7th and 8th. I’m sure Jim’s black dirt mixture has a major role in the rapid start for our plants. We plan on applying a natural brine of “black tea” within the next week or so. Our permanent irrigation system will be installed this Saturday. Mother nature has been right on target with a weekly dose of rain to bridge the gap until our irrigation is ready.
As always, I will close with a note of thanks to all of our supporters, well-wishers, hands on helpers, and blog readers. Stay tuned, take it slow, and watch the little hoppers grow. Until we speak again, peace-