Friday, April 17, 2015

Spring Means Business

Eastern bumble bee on blueberry blooms
It seems we went into spring at full steam,  It all of sudden means there is no time to sit around and write unless it is raining or too wet to plow as they say which is the case this morning.  I have just recently taken some pictures of my blueberry bushes specifically looking for native pollinators which are responsible for most of the pollination of these plants.  Here is one of those pictures.

And who can stop the most aggressive plant at the farm now, the hop.  Once she gets out of the ground, is is on.  The constant battle of trimming out unwanted bines goes on until the day they settle down for the winter.  I just finished stringing up and pruning my plants last weekend with the help of an old friend.  It took around 20 man hours.
Although I usually don't have to string my hops from a ladder with my system, occasionally I have to go up and fix a problem using one.  Here is a shot of me on the ladder adjusting a line 18 feet above the tiny 3 foot long bines.  Hard to believe that in one month, they will be close to the top.  They grow about 3 or 4 inches a day right now.

I often ask myself if it has been worth it to grow this crop and each year I say, this is the last, but I somehow can't seem to give it up just yet.  They do draw a lot of attention to my agritourism farm business and do make me some money.  I figured with sales, workshops, and festivals, I made a whopping $4/hr last year.  Sales alone would not even pay for the first month of work. The bottom line is "It's all about beer", and what's there not to like about that!