If you’ve followed along with the blog posts from this season, you may note a trend. I’ve been pulling images, storylines, or quotes from popular media – television shows, movies, both present-day and ones from my younger years. I’ve then been tying them or at least attempting to tie them to, the theme from the most recent workday.
This past week’s activities at the Farm, like almost all those before it, begin early in the day with a commute up to the Farm on a Saturday – hence this week’s “Breakfast Club” theme. I’ll admit it…I have a sophomoric sense of humor and the popular media of my youth brings back great memories. John Hughes’ films most especially.
This time around the project involves adding a set of perimeter anchors and wire rope to our small yard. Originally when the yard was put in back in 2015, we only intended for the hops to grow on 1 set of coir per plant, and up to the cable directly above the row. As it became apparent the plants had enough vigor to support a V-trellis system, with an additional set of coir going to cable strung in the alleys (giving it the “V” shaped appearance), we added those in. At first it wasn’t a problem as the plants were small and didn’t add alot of weight to those inner cables. As they matured and weighted those cables, they then started to pull the poles inward towards the alley.
As was done from the get-go in the large yard, we dug 3′ holes to bury anchors at the outer perimeter. This coming weekend (April 10th), we’ll then bury those anchors, secure the cables we strung today to both the poles and then back down to the anchors, and use the come-a-long, havens grip, turnbuckles and elbow-grease and tighten everything up. We can then rerun the V-trellis cables back down the middle of the alleys.
This will be good on one hand (proper support of the poles and the hops bines), but creates two issues. First, with those cables now extending out to the sides, we’ll no longer be able to run the larger IH674 tractor right alongside the outside of the rows, to mow. The tractor will be too large to fit so we’ll have to use the Bolens tractor. The second issue is that with those anchors and cables in place, we’ll also no longer be able to string using the “siege tower” from the outside of the yard. We may then need to purchase as use what’s known as a pardalera, which is like a knitting tool at the end of a large pole. Each coil will need to be attached to the outer cable one by one. Not a huge deal as there’s only 20 plants per row. Might actually be kinda fun as seen here…
When I took a break to grab a quick snack in the house, “older, wiser” brother Mike had one of my old cassettes, INXS’ “Kick” album, cranking on the stereo. Forgot how awesome that album is, so I immediately added it as a Spotify playlist.
As I wrapped up for the day, I noticed the time. I knew our trail cam, which is mounted to one of the poles on the Northwest side of the small yard, was about to fire off one of its four daily photos. It’s then sent via the glory of Al Gore’s Internet to my phone and email so I can keep tabs on things at the Farm when I’m not there. Of course I needed to “photo bomb” my own shot 😉