Monday, May 16, 2011

Reflection and Planning

The long winter we experienced here in Michigan gave Howard and I a lot of time to reflect upon the 2010 Hops experience. The results obtained from this experimental crop were less than stellar. Three bags of Nugget hops in our freezer...hmmmm. It didn't seem like a wise endeavor to invest thousands of dollars and give up every weekend of our spring and summer months to pursue this experiment any further.

But then..... our love for the outdoors, nature, and farming brought us to our senses. What if we only planted half of an acre? What if we concentrated on just the varieties that showed some "promise" in our test plot? What if we started earlier than we did last year?

Before we knew it, by mid March, we had placed an order for 424 rhizomes and lots of hardware. But what about the poles? Yikes! Where do you get 20 foot poles on such short notice? That was Howard's dilemna...I let him work on that for a "few" weeks.

In the meantime, Howard worked on refurbishing the 30 year old Deutz 110 tractor to get it ready for opening the ground for our hops yard. He also readied the disk and plow. These pieces of equipment have sat idle in my father's tool shed for the past decade. The prospect of having these "workhorses" in use again was very exciting.

Oh and before the really hard toil began, we treated ourselves to a Caribbean cruise. Upon returning home, we found our first shipment of hops rhizomes waiting for us on the dining room table. Yikes! We forgot to tell our daughter (house sitter) about the possible shipment and that if they did arrive, please place them in the refrigerator...our bad..

With wintery weather still upon us, we had no options but to plant the rhizomes in pots on the wintery March afternoon.

Wintery weather was still upon us in March, leaving us no option but to plant the rhizomes in pots on that cold March afternoon.

Howard got the greenhouse in our backyard ready to house our crop while I potted.

96 rhizomes planted. 348 more arriving any day. Soil tests to do, lots of poles to procure, ground to be cleared and broken... Our work has just begun.

No comments:

Post a Comment