We’ve entered week two here on the farm, and progress seems slow. It is very rainy and consequently very muddy. We spread some of our gravel manually since we’re supposed to get more rain tonight and tomorrow. We are switching gears from putting up cattle fence, to getting our hops trellis up first, as the plants are ordered and being shipped the last week of March or the first week of April. Ready or not!
A little information about our hops operation: We have ordered 500 Northern Cascade rhizomes (a piece of root that buds with hop shoots/bines) and 400 Centennial rhizomes. Hops don’t mature until the second year and third year, so this first year will be all about figuring out best practices, finding out what our hops plants like best, and helping our plants to be healthy and strong. This week Jake is finalizing our trellis design, we’re looking into where we will get our trellis supplies, irrigation, ordering compost, and researching as much as we possibly can about humulus lupulus.
We’re also cleaning the land around our home, hacking through thorns and brush, cutting downed trees into more manageable pieces, and clearing paths between fields, and to the barn. Jake is a whiz with a chainsaw and has been cutting up fallen trees. One large pine log did get a little unruly and tried to steam roll my husband but he safely evaded the rolling timber.
We picked up our new washer and dryer yesterday. The construction crew was supposed to finish up some last finishing touches on the house today, but it looks like the rain will be delaying that, along with carrying the washer and dryer in to the house. But we really, really are almost settled!
On Thursday we’ll be going to the County Extension office with a soil sample from the proposed hop yard and a water sample from our pond and creek. We have an ample amount of survey flags so, hopefully tomorrow, we’ll stake out where the hop yard will be! There are quite a few pictures attached of the hop yard site. It will look very different, very shortly.
We’re utilizing the indoor time we have now for research because before long, we won’t have much at all!
Cleared trail to the hop yard.
Pile of wretched thorns.
View from the future hop field. (South)
View from the future hop field. (North)
Cleared trail to the tractor barn.
Side of the hop yard.
Dead cedar that Jake’s cut into pieces
18″ diameter tree
Looking down the hop yard.
Another downed tree.
Log that tried to steam roll Jake.^^^
View from the hop yard to the house.
Looking down the hop yard.
Our pond and the dam.
The water we’ll be testing on Thursday.
View from the top of our driveway
Lots and lots of mud
Still more mud.
Dreary morning walk.
Another view of our house.
Another shot from our morning walk.