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 looking more like early June. The supplier confirmed that delay and said it’d actually work better for them.

Hops Trailer On The Way

So I contacted the supplier earlier that week to narrow down the timeframe and got the reply, “Your hops are on the way!”. Insert multiple expletives, whichever favorites you like as I used them all when I read the email. Long story short they were on the way and nothing we could do about it except get ready for them. As such I made an unscheduled trip to the Farm on that Thursday, taking off time from work, and well…it all worked out ok.

Tractor Trailer

 

Lots O Hops

 

The Hops Have Arrived

We used the new pallet forks to unload the tractor trailer, along the way realizing a new way to receive large shipments. The driver backed his large trailer up the lower part of our drive and I went down to meet him with the tractor…and tada, it worked! He was safely off our busy road and didn’t worry about having to turn around in our upper lot…although a number of drivers with rigs that size have done it before…and we were able to safely and quickly offload the delivery!

Hops for Us

We broke down the pallet of our 400 plants and laid them out on the driveway so they could be watered and not sit in layers, thus giving each and every one access to the sun as well. Not but a week later, we realized one of our varieties…the Horizons…which were overgrown when we received them…needed to get transplanted to larger pots to free them up. That confinement in addition to a week of straight sun and no rain, did them in a bit. We got them transplanted and I’m hopeful although they may not do stellar this year, they’ll survive just fine when they find their new home in the hopyard.

Brothers Three

 

Hops Trailer Decking

Following that week of pure sun, we’ve since then had a super wet Spring and it’s causing issues! We have our trailer platform ready to go, however the weight of that trailer and the tractor might be a bit too much for our fields which tend to hold water as it is. I’m headed to the Farm tomorrow (Monday, 6 June) with a pit in my stomach as…

  • We’re behind schedule as it is…those hops need to get in the ground soon
  • Stringing all the cable in the hopyard with the platform is going to be new for us, so learning as we go
  • With we fields, I don’t want either the tractor or the trailer getting stuck…we don’t have the equipment to pull it out
  • If I till the beds and get the hops in the ground first, it’ll make stringing the cable more time consuming

Brush Hogging Keystone Road

However, no one said Farming was easy or cut and dry…actually totally the opposite so as much Mom would say, “such is life”! We do have some neat “tricks” we’re anxious to try including our custom made “hops harpoon” (sounds more dramatic than what it is/does), so I’m certain we’ll be having a true “trial by fire” during the month of June!

Hopyard In Sea of Green

 

Barley

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