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, September 18, 2008

One way in, two ways out.

After the hops have rolled "dribbled" off the dribbler belts they are ready to exit the machine on a series of conveyors. These conveyors will lead the hops to the kiln.

Sometimes we face problems like the one below, where there are too many hops for the conveyor to handle... if this is the worst thing that happens during the day, we are happy. Honestly though if this really does happen it causes a lot of problems because the machine will back up, chains can fall off, motors will overheat, and belts will break. A watchful eye on the amount of hops moving through the machine is a key to a successful day. We control this flow by changing the rate at which the vines are pulled into the machine. Usually this is somewhere between 18-24 vines per minute.

Trash is the second way out of the machine. A series of paddled chains carry the trash to its harvest resting place, a very large ever growing pile. This photo was from the second day of harvest. We are not almost thirty days in and the piles are very large now.

View from the far side of the pile.

This view gives glimpse of what the wooden paddles on the chain look like. They are spaced about 18 inches apart on the chain. The trash can be seen floating down. Leaves, stems, and coir.


tracysrocket said...

What happens to these trash piles eventually? Maybe that will be covered in later posts

Hopsdirect said...

The trash piles will eventually be loaded into spreader truck to be spread back into the hop yards as compost. The remainder that does not go back into the fields will be spread onto all our driveways as dust control.


George said...

Great pictures in this one!

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