Weather Windows

Jake and I have now received a very thorough introduction to a farmers relationship with weather. With how much rain we’ve had here, we are very limited on what we can and can’t get done. So we have been operating within windows of cooperative weather. But despite the disagreeable weather, we had an extremely productive week!

Our trellis poles were delivered last Tuesday, which was the last trellis supply we were waiting for. Jake spent a large hunk of the week hunting down steel (and lamenting leaving Shapiro Metal behind in STL) to build and repair various things on the farm. We were keeping our fingers crossed for consecutive sunny days so that we could till our rows and auger holes. I took a road trip to Blacksburg, VA for the South Atlantic Hops Conference!

After being out of school for 6 years, sitting for 8 hours in a classroom-esque setting two days in a row was a serious change of pace… but well worth it! If you have a question about hops, I’m your gal! It was an informative two days and I feel very prepared to start our hops farm.

While I was gone Jake was verrry busy. He made an extension for the auger, made an adapter to install the ground anchors, tilled all the rows, and began augering holes to install the poles. He then got the auger stuck in a hole…. so being the resourceful fellow that he is, he welded us up a tool to unstuck said auger…

Sunday we finished augering all 48 holes. There are a few holes that need to be drilled a little deeper still, but it was a very successful day. While Jake augered, I went behind and used a post hole digger to clean out loose dirt from the holes. If you can avoid ever using a post hole digger in your life, I highly recommend that…. I would like to set that sucker on fire.

Jake also made his first Craigslist purchase in TN! Jake has found many a deal on Craigslist throughout the years. Apparently it pays off to keep an eye on CL because he found an awesome drill press here in Knoxville!

We’re supposed to have really nice weather this week so cross your fingers for us that it stays that way! This week is pole installation, which may not sound like a big deal, but look at the pictures of the poles below and you’ll get a clearer idea of the road ahead of us. And my beautiful mother is visiting for the week and helping out which we are so grateful for!

We’ve got a long way to go, but we’re accomplishing a lot in a short time frame. I can’t believe we’ve only been here a month! We look forward to seeing what the hop yard will look like in April!

(We have more pictures to post but due to some technical difficulties, I can’t upload anymore pictures right now. More pictures to come soon!)

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New drill press… works great after some cleaning up!

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Battery hold down for the 2040

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Welded then cut new teeth into the parking brake release on the Polaris ranger.

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The auger unstucker…

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Bishop loggings’ awesome truck… we didn’t have to unload a single pole.

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Auger extension

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Please note the straight, top boom arm ^^^^

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Different hop varieties

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^What the “crown” of a hop plant looks like

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This shows the trees that are going to be removed, and the shade that would cause problems if we left them.

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Yes. The tractor is OFF.

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The finished 48 holes, ready for poles (almost)

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View from the tractor barn.

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Please note the bend in the boom arm…. and Indy leaving one for us to clean… yay

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Drilling the rock in hopes of getting to our minimum depth.

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compost pile.

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