Ok, that’s a bit dramatic 😉
While it is a bit later than usual, it’s totally NOT unheard of to have a frost warning this early in the season. However that being said, it still wasn’t what I wanted to hear when I listened to my employer’s (AccuWeather) 5-day forecast. I hopped on the phone to the folks back in Saint Marys and said, “I’ll be up tonight after work…we have to cover the hops!”
I’d contacted 3 of my closest fellow hops Farmers and asked their thoughts. It was a mixed bag of honest opinions. For a hopyard our size (30 plants) it’s difficult, but doable. For yards of their sizes (hundreds or thousands of plants) totally not doable…the plants have to fend for themselves. But when you’re a neophyte at this and all the free-time you can find and extra money you’ve saved is poured into this endeavor, you worry and well let’s be honest – you panic.
So off I went after a full day’s work at AccuWeather arriving at the Farm around 5:15. My Mom, Dad and my brother Mike all chipped in. We found all the floating row cover we had left from our vegetable days and wrapped each bine as best we could. When we were done, it look like a string of goblins had over taken the hopyard.
I forget exactly how long it took us, but the wind was howling up there as it usually does, and it was already turning quite cold. It wasn’t the prettiest looking after we finished, but it’d do the trick…certainly better than letting them fend for themselves. However next year in the larger, 400+ plant hopyard they’ll have to do just that.
You couldn’t ask for a better team of farmhands!