Our Goal for this Blog

Over the years we have received and continue to receive numerous phone calls and emails asking many different farm related questions. Our thought is that we would try out a blog to keep people up to date on what we are doing here on Puterbaugh Farms and at Hops Direct.

We will just jump right into where we are at in the growing season with a very brief look at what it took to get the hops to the stage they are in now. If interest is actually shown and people are looking for more information we will continue through the winter and pick up the beginning next spring, which will allow everyone to get a feel for what a full crop year looks like from a hop grower's perspective and all of the many challenges involved. We hope you enjoy.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Arching Hops

There comes a time in every season when the hops reach a point we can no longer drive a tractor down the rows without taking the risk of getting the strings and bines caught tearing the bines to the ground. To combat this we use a method called arching to pull the bines from each hill together in a group allowing more room for the tractors to pass down the rows.

Arching was more common in the older fields that were planted in the 7 x 7 format, but we sometimes still have to arch on the newer fields as well. When arching, one pulls all the bines from the hill together by hand then proceeds to wrap and tie a small piece of string around the whole group, usually the strings are about two feet long and tied three to four feet from the base.

Here is the string we use to arch our hops together. In the photo there are 4 bines pulled together all coming from one hill. This string is placed at a height of about three feet.

Close up of the knot used when we arch hops.

This is the view up a row that has been arched, notice how all of the bines on each hill are tied together about 3 feet off the ground. This allows the tractor to pass through with ease, in cease you are wondering we use a large cab tractor in the hop yards.

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