Sunday, April 18, 2010

Hops Have Reached New Heights!

Well, really, the hops reach a new height every day. I started training the bines about the first week in April. Now my Nuggets are over 6 feet tall, closely followed by Cascades, some of which are 5 feet tall. Then the Chinooks are closing in with 4 feet of height and Centennial are struggling to get enough height to start training on the twine.

I have been a bit overwhelmed by everything here on the farm, being the only worker. I have been laying out my irrigation for the past 4 days. I have about completed all of the tasks associated with putting down the old drip lines from last year

Some of the emitters have failed and must be replaced. The line itself has stretched somewhat and has to be cut or added for length to match plants. I have laid out a new 5th row of blueberry line today and will punch in the emitters tomorrow.

Speaking of tomorrow. Rob Austin of NCSU, will be visiting my farm tomorrow, April 19th. It is part of a new study being done by the university on growing hops. He has started a test plot in Raleigh and will be visiting a couple of hop yards here in the mountains tomorrow. I am excited to be a part of new research being done here in the state.

I noticed today that my Goldenseal is up and starting to bloom. I have also started to irrigate my woodland herbs as the rain is still eluding us here. So far, we have had only 1/2 inch of rain here and I noticed this afternoon that a forest fire is in progress just on the the north side of the Craggy Mountains, not less than 5 miles from the farm.

I have finished planting 11, 175 foot rows of Milkweed last week. It took a very long time. I have had to put the water to them and hope that after the 4 days of planting, that at least some of the milkweed will germinate. They are closely planted at one inch spacing and 30 inch row separation.

I will be ordering my greenhouse/butterfly flighthouse tomorrow as well. I have been laying out the foundation and getting things ready for this incredibly expensive endeavor. I hope to have it completed by the end of May, in time to order butterflies to fill it up!

1 comment:

  1. I am curious about the Milkweed crops you planted. How did they turn out last year and did you decide to stick with them this year? Your bio states that you were also working with the University of Western Illinois on finding new markets for Milkweed. Any luck with that?