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.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Traditional Ditch Irrigation

Here on Puterbaugh Farms we use two different methods of irrigation, traditional ditch irrigation and more modern drip irrigation systems. Currently we are working to transition our acreage from the tradition ditch system to drip systems in order to allow for more water conservation, automation, and better water placement. Our original fields are all planted with the rows running the direction of the fall line so that the water will flow downhill the entire length of the field without pooling up too much. The slope also must be gradual enough to allow enough water into the ground around each hill (where rhizomes are).

All our ditch systems are irrigated by hand (with the help of a shovel). Our goal with water in ditches is to have the water to the end of the rows in 12 hours. Once it has reached the end of the row we let them soak for 24 hours then move the water to a new set of ditches.

Here are some photos to give an idea of how the ditches look:

Water flowing into ditches (top) and water in the ditches of our Tettnang yard (bottom).

Ditch moved by hand with shovel to give care to hops that are just a little behind their peers.

Water entering a ditch in Cascade yard (top) (don't worry we'll find a way to harvest those hops growing up the wire). Water flowing peacefully down by a row of Mt. Hood's (bottom).

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