Cabling The Hopyard

I knew it was going to be a challenge today. It rained…HARD…all weekend, so I was curious what the field conditions would be like. Today we’d have not only the tractor in the new hopyard (a tractor that tips the scales at around 10,000lbs.),…

Wet Spring + Heavy Equipment = Not A Good Combination!

Our hops arrived “prematurely”…that is to say, there was a miscommunication between the Farm and our supplier. The date they were delivered (May 19) was the original date we’d discussed with the supplier last month. However I amended that date and said we’d be…

IH674 Is Up and Running!

Our “new” International Harvester (IH) 674 diesel tractor arrived late in the afternoon on Monday, April 11th. It was a cool, rainy day…I know, a shocker for Spring in Pennsylvania. Bill, the driver that picked up the 674 from our good friend George Schettler’s…

Clearing the Past, Preparing the Future

Well this week’s trip was more meeting content then field work… 9:30am: First stop in town to Steve Straub, our Erie Insurance guy regarding tractor and overall farm coverage along with Commonwealth Hops LLC 10am: Drop off/pick up things at the in-laws 10:30am: An…

First trip up for the season!

Checking in on the “old” Hopyard…luckily none of them have started yet as its snowed up here a bit today. Barley survived the Winter so just waiting for those warm temps forecasted for later this week and next! And new Hopyard is ready and…

New Hop Yard Is In!

Well…it took us three days to do it, mostly due to very wet fields on day 2…but all the poles are in and are they beauteous! Even for someone who’s used to walking amid these 20′ giants, to see 45 of them jump out…

Harvest Time Has Arrived!

The day(s) have finally arrived…time to harvest these bad boys. The harvest this year took place over three days; August 30-31 and September 2. This happened for a couple of reasons. First the availability of our volunteer farmhand workforce. As we’re still operating on…

Harvest Time Is Just Around The Corner

Well you’ll see by the pictures and video below, that the hops are tall and strong and full of hops cones! I’ll be doing a dry matter test soon to determine just about how “done” they are. We’ll then need an “all hands on…

As With All Things In Life, “Live & Learn!”

Being only our second year as hops Farmers, we learn things…the hard way..quite often. Case in point, our addition of the new irrigation cable in the hopyard. Actually it wasn’t this concept of using an additional raised cable to support our irrigation line that…

Happy, Not-So-Little, Hops!

We continue to spray Actinovate each week to prevent downy mildew from rearing its ugly fungicidal head in our hopyard and it’s working well. Just making totally sure this sprayer never gets used for anything but organically-approved materials. If I can’t backpack with one…