Sunday, April 19, 2009

3rd Hops Farm workday

A Great day out on the Farm...plenty to do.

During the week Barry helped me get the core of the watering and Irrigation system laid down, and this last weekend the co-op members turned out in force and we prepared the remainder of the beds, trained bines, thinned out the rapidly growing hops weeded and also raised the last pole on the end of back row (finally). This was an interesting task as the arm on the backhoe has a problem with lateral movement (the control has a suspected broken spring) - and wont work , but even worse wont hold it's position and swings left and right on its own.

So backing the tractor and moving the arm was needed to position the pole, but after a few tries we got it done.

Lots of advice from the sidelines ...

I also worked on the well again during last week - repairing freeze damage to a small section of pipe in front of the one way valve- obviously water collected and then froze and expanded, I replaced it with a section of 1" galvanized pipe

Mark taking a rest.

It was a wonderful warm but cloudy day on Sunday - ideal for working outside , as it followed an 81deg day Saturday and would have been too hot to be working outside all day, so the cloud cover was wonderful , later in the evening we had 1/2 " of rain which was just perfect for the hops.

WE also created more metal stakes and continued with roping off the back row until we ran out of the old rope - new rope due in tomorrow.

Also expected this week are all the irrigation drippers so that we can test the irrigation system. I chose flag drippers - 2gph and these can be dismantled for cleaning too.

Lastly we also worked over some expanded areas (extra 3 feet width) behind the Goldings and the Chinooks , so that we can plant a second row - at least the beginning of one - for the extra rhizomes we have.

Talking of extra rhizomes, cleaning up the Mt Hood I found three plants that had thrown rhizomes up to 2 ft from the crown , so cut them off and created another 5 plants - all of which are growing. I also cut two Centenniels and planted them too.

Last interesting thing we noticed is that amongst the Nugget, we have two plants that are obviously different, growth pattern is diff as well as shape of leaves, so we will monitor these and have marked them as well. Watching the emergenmce of new shoots of all the hops has been interesting as each variety has been different, either by time they came out, or color of shoots and by growth pattern. Leaves are subtely different too.

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