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 hour or so working cutting brush – which is where I came across the golf balls in the featured image above. This is what we refer to as “the old Keystone Road” which is what our driveway now is. My Grandparents purchased the parcel we live on from Keystone Carbon back in the 1950’s. Our driveway ends near the barn but the old road is still there, just massively overgrown. When I was a kid, Grandpa kept it cut back so we could get up in to the upper woods. My Dad and I would drive the family station wagon up this old road to the woods to cut fuel for the wood stove. Over the years, Nature took it back…well now, we need to borrow it again 😉

12:50pm: Jimmy from J.M. DeLullo, the area’s largest stone and landscape company swung out. More than likely we’ll be needing a large truckload of mushroom compost to amend to our new hop beds. He was good enough to make the trip out to take a look-see at the “new Keystone Road”, now known as Sportsmans Trail…which starts on our property to the West. This is also a great access point for our upper fields…it’s where the post hole digger and the water well rigs accessed our fields these past few years. I wanted him to see if their tri-axle would have enough room to turn and drop off the compost…looks like they will!

1:00pm: Meeting with our consultant/advisor at Kitchen Table Consultants regarding our venture, Commonwealth Hops…coming together nicely!!

3:00pm: Trip into our good friend Jim Ritter to finalize paperwork regarding a creek crossing we need to do at their place. We will be planting in their fields going forward…first cover crops as their fields have sat fallow for 40+ years…then rotating with grains for the brewery.

5:00pm: Our local landscaper, Joe Gerber of Swissmont Nursery, swung out at my request to take a look at one of our old Apple cider trees, our brambles and our back Northeast field as a possible orchard location down the road.

6:30pm: On the road back home to State College…whew! A good, productive day!

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