Getting up to the Farm once a week, honestly sometimes just barely cuts it trying to keep up especially in the Spring. One week it’s “Well I can’t get to it today, I’m outta time…it’ll be ok to leave until next week” becomes on the next visit “*(*&$)&*#$@!!!! Are you kidding me?!!!”
This Spring, we seemed pretty much on track even given the very wet conditions we’d been handed. It was time to string and we couldn’t wait much longer. And so on Sunday, June 3rd we’d asked a few buddies if they’d be able to lend a hand with the process. And as always, they volunteered their time and effort, also being away from home and family, to help. My long-time buddy Jason Lang made the trek out from town, and my App House and climbing buddy Brenton Mitchell hauled himself all the way up from State College where my wife and I live. And true to form, my brother Devin yet again offered his help as well.
Well if we ever want to know what it was like working in a hopyard in the Pacific Northwest…Sunday was that day! It rained non-stop from the early morning through the end of stringing coir in the middle of the afternoon!
And so this most recent week, we turned our attention to the original, smaller yard which for a number of reasons, we attend to last. The hops decided to just keep on growing, the bines climbing whatever they could find…weeds, poles, each other…until we got in there to string and “train” them. Good times, good times!
With Dad driving the tractor and me up in the platform, we were able to string the coir from the top trellis cables. It was then time to place the “W” clips and secure the coir into the ground so we could begin training. After an exhaustive 20 minute search in the barn, we still could not find them. We even tried the classic “I looked there 4 times…but this 5th time…hell ya, they’ll be there!” to no avail. I then realized that last week in the rush to get out of the rain at the end of the day, I’d handed off some equipment to Brenton to take while I put away the tractor and platform. After a quick text message exchange, I realized we had to find a Plan B…
Plan B was taking some of the aluminum nails Dad uses for the tape lines on the Hardtru court…seemed to do the trick!
So with my brother Mike’s help, him just coming off very little sleep just getting home following a long flight, we got the small yard trained. It needs weeded heavily, however getting these little fellas started was the priority. Soon with the beds weeded, the non-trained bines cut down and then shortly after, the bottom foot or so of the bines trimmed up on the bottom 2 feet, life will be good!