BJ planting hops plant on the farm

June is busting out all over the hopyard!

June 9th, 2014 Posted by Hops 0 thoughts on “June is busting out all over the hopyard!”

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.

  • Pop and Mike on the hops farm
  • Friends helping on the hops farm


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.

  • BJ planting hops plant on the farm
  • Mike in the bucket on the hops farm
  • Mike and mom on the hops farm


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.”

  • Kiddos and Penny on the hops farm
  • Kiddos and Penny on the hops farm
  • View of the OCH Hops Farm


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!

  • View of the OCH Hops Farm
  • Alva and Pop with a mermaid tree carving of Mike's
  • Friends and family working on the crop


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!

  • Alva and friend
  • Mike in the bucket on the hops farm
  • View of the OCH Hops Farm


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.

  • View of the OCH Hops Farm
  • Mike measuring how tall hops plants are
  • Mike measuring how tall hops plants are


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-


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