Saturday, June 30, 2012


A long delayed post about the hops plants that were planted last season. The plants, which survived 'benign' neglect, last season, survived the winter and resiliently started to grow again this season. Hops plants, like asparagus, take a couple of years to produce enough hop cones to be called a crop. Wanting to ensure that the plants would survive this season, and to increase the future production of the plants, a plan was implemented to trellis the hops. Hops, which can grow upwards of 18/20+ feet tall, need to be trellised. To design and build a trellis takes time; a commodity that is in short supply. To accomplish the task of putting up the trellis the assistance of a friend of Z Food Farm, Michael Guzman, was enlisted. Mike adapting from research that he did, designed the trellis and, with David, put up the trellis. The step after the building of the trellis was to cut back the numerous offshoots from the root ball. What is needed to promote the growth of the hop vines is four shoots from the plant. Once you have your four vines, the vines are 'attached' to the rope that is part of the trellis and, if all goes well, up they grow. At this time some of the plants are doing quite well. The implication of "some of the plants doing quite well" is that some of the plants are not doing well. Time will tell as to how the plants do. Also, due to a shortage of time, not all of the plants have been cut back to the desired four vines and thus some of the vines are still sprawled out on the ground. The goal is to find the time to get the remaining plants trimmed and to get the vines growing up their rope.

The following pictures will illustrate some of what was described above.

Here are the multiple vines spread out on the ground.

 Mike and David working on the trellis. Also, you can see the length of the trellis.

Anchoring the ropes into the ground.

A hop vine that, hopefully, will grow up the rope to its full length.

David pruning the plant and getting it started on the rope.

 A view of the trellis. The front end loader was used to hoist Mike up the the top of the trellis in order to attach the rope to the cable.

Another view of the vines placed on the trellis rope.

A close up view of part of the trellis.

A view of how the trellis is anchored  into the ground.

A general review of the status of things at the farm will be coming shortly. Overall, in the most general of manner, things are coming along. While things could be better David accepts that farming is a marathon, not a spring.

Happy and healthy eating to all.

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