Signs of life after Winter in the Hopyard

Spring 2015 at Orange County Hops

April 14th, 2015 Posted by Hops 0 thoughts on “Spring 2015 at Orange County Hops”


April brings promise of new life and certainly new growth here in the Northeast. Winter has all but slipped away, with the last bit of snow disappearing into the soggy turf as the spring sun warms our fields. We have much to be grateful for, the usual things that we should never take for granted– like good health, family, and friends. Spring has a way of reminding us that life itself is precious and so fragile, especially when we catch the first sings of life after a seemingly endless stretch of cold, grey days when the snow kept piling up to heights that I haven’t seen in quite a few years.

I look at the budding hops and I can hear my 4 month old grandson laughing with a robust giggle. I see my 2 year old granddaughter running from room to room as if she was being chased by a friendly ghost daring her to win the footrace. I laugh too at all of this because it reminds me of the promise of spring, a new beginning and a season meant to warm the coldest of hearts. That’s the beauty of spring and grandchildren, they remind us of what is possible from the very beginning of life, when innocence rules the day, and peace turns quiet nights into dream-filled slumbers. Welcome spring!

I also had a change of seasons in my life this spring as I completed my Doctor of Musical Arts degree at Boston University after an eight year journey. There were times during the degree process that I felt I would never see the end. Well, as they say, those days are history. Just like the winter. If you follow my blog you will see my new moniker of Dr. Papi at the end of my new posts. Many thanks are due from me to my parents, my wife, my family, and my professors for believing in me throughout and helping me realize my goal. I am fortunate to have had the insight and expertise of Joe Lovano and Us Five to make my research ideas come to life. You are all a great part of my new story, and I thank you for being there. Below is my presentation to Joe who holds the final document in his hand.

  • Signs of life after Winter in the Hopyard
  • Mike and Joe Lovano at the Falcon
  • Bluebird on the hops farm property


Back to the Hops, no word yet from NY State on the status of our grant application, but we are moving forward anyway. Our new WeedBadger attachment should be arriving just in time for spring weeding to begin. We plan on cutting the first buds and trying our hand at cooking with hop shoots. When the second growth emerges, we will begin the stringing process. There is lots of excitement in the air, TAP NY is only two weeks away, and Allison returns from Ohio the week after that. Lots and lots to be thankful for.

I will close with a picture that reinforces my optimism every time I look at it, the return of the Bluebirds to our back deck. More to come…

Until we talk again, be well, and enjoy this wonderful weather!
-Dr. Papi

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