I spent some time at Hop Head Farms earlier today. You gotta love having a hop farm pretty much in your back yard. The objective today was to do some sampling of the tester/ experimental beers I had brewed with their hops not too long ago. Of course I took the opportunity to check out the slumbering hop yard and the work in progress of the next 15 acres.
At least it was a nice sunny day but it was decently cold to be working outside. The process of placing the poles called for one team to dig the holes and the second team to place the poles. At this point they currently have roughly half the poles up getting ready to be fixed in place. But in the grand scheme that is only about 7 acres or so.
Though the ground is still a bit frozen, there is quite a bit to be done to finish up this section. Hopefully by spring it will look a bit more like the currently finished 15 acres of the hop yard.
The next step for the project yard will be to stabilize the poles and then run the trellis similar to what you see in the finished yard. We are getting closer to a year ago when I helped plant a row of hops with them. They hadn’t planned on growing quite this fast, so this will be another planting year.
After walking through the snow into the hop yard I spent a few minutes in the nice, warm office with Bonnie and Jeff. It was a good day talking about hops and the oast they will be building soon. They currently have the fun task of translating the plans from German. But the reward will be an oast unlike any in the United States currently. For referrence an oast is a place where hop farmers dry their hops for storage (for either use as whole cones or as pellets).
Look for more updates as we come into the new growing season.
Time for a pint…