Ramble On

Monday, May 18, 2015

Hops Stringing - Part 2

David's photo from the tractor - the sunroof allows him to
keep an eye on all the stringing action...and creep backwards.
Practice makes perfect. That's what they say, and it's hitting home as we work our way through the hop yards stringing so the bines will have a way to climb the trellis.

David and I worked on figuring out this task last weekend, an investment of time that  he was able to build upon over the week.  We had a team come out and untangle the coir rope, and then he recruited some labor to run a row to master the technique.  Finally, on Saturday, Eric joined him to motor through as far as possible with a nearly perfected technique.

Preparation for the second row - 60 or so ropes are tied
to the basket so they'll trail with minimal tangles.
Those guys were out early and were checking out some trellis maintenance to be sure everything was in order with the new stresses the stringing activities are adding to the structure.  I joined them at around 8, and we were quickly getting to work setting up the tying platform with the 60+ cords needed for each row.

Down the row - the second row of Cascades - they went, David in the cab and Eric tying off the coir, with me following behind to straighten tangles so that the ropes quickly settled into place, without the "drapery" effect we had experienced on the first day out.

The team powered through seven rows of hops by quitting time on Saturday morning, so there are only three out of 12 left to do.  We also have four of the rows anchored - so that is the next big process we'll take on.

A number of the bines were already training themselves to go vertical, using the little marker flags as a guide.  Once the yard is strung, we'll go in and start moving them onto the ropes - and that will be prime growing season for the new plants, so they'll really take off at that point.

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