Monday, March 21, 2011

More Hop Pruning

hop shoots

It is the third year of my hop crop and I am still spending time in the hop yard root pruning. Well, what that really means is this. It is the hardest job, so far, of growing hops, as far as I am concerned. It is back-breaking and time-consuming! Once again, I picked the wrong decade to start farming. My standard reply to anyone that wonders what in the world is a 59 year old man doing two jobs that require physical and mentally exhausting labor!

Now, don't get me wrong, I have had some excellent and most rewarding volunteers over here helping me. For example, the folks that I featured last week in my blog, a good artistic friend that works in landscaping and who has brought in some fantastic artwork for the butterfly tours, and ironically, my good friend Brent, who is actually my boss at work. It feels especially good when I can tell Brent what to do for a change!

These folks have called me and ask me if they could come over and help!! I didn't call them. What more could a farmer want, well, unless he married young and had 12 kids! The only compensation they required was the enjoyment of getting your hands dirty while learning something and good companionship.

One of the most rewarding and under emphasized parts of this whole task, however, is the benefit of enjoying what the Romans called "Poor Man's Asparagus". That is the mostly underground shoots from the rhizomes. They are white and only about 3/16th of an inch in diameter, but have a most delicate taste. Somewhat similar between a cross of asparagus and cucumber. MMMMMmmmmmmm! You can pickle them too!

Hold on, I having them for super tonight and will let you know how good they were.

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