Ramble On

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

The 2015 Hops Harvest @hawksbillhops - Part 2

Grayson was up in the bucket, with David
driving, as we took the bines down from
the trellis.
The second day of the harvest dawned bright and early enough.  Well, that is, it dawned bright and early enough for David and Grayson, who were out working the field for an hour or so before I showed up!  But at last I did - by the way, at the scheduled time, so I wasn't late.

Our plan was to work on the CTZ/Columbus rows first, since they were the first to have cones.  In fact, there were ripe cones on this row as early as July 4, so I wanted to get them down soonest.

Here are the first few CTZ/Columbus bines
as we began taking them down.
Although we modified the set up when we moved to the Cascade rows, on this day of picking, we had the bucket set up with the tractor so that Grayson could cut the bines down from the top of the trellis, and the trailer was behind the old truck where I could take the bines after they were down.

We'd gone ahead down the row to cut the plants at two to four feet high so that we could keep Grayson moving up there while I hauled the cut bines off to the trailer.  When we changed the set up, it was simply to put the trailer behind the tractor so that we didn't have to keep moving the truck to keep up with everything.

Here's the SPI crew at work picking CTZ.  Still early in
the process - we had the bines stockpiled on the trailer.

With only two rows each of CTZ/Columbus and Chinook, and with each these bines producing less than the Cascades, we quickly made our way through the two varieties.  Our thought was to get our SPI crew, shown in the photo to the left, started on the CTZ so they could get the hang of what we wanted them to do before they got to the more productive Cascade, which would be on Friday.

We set them up on one of the long produce tables and the team got to work picking, putting the cones into produce baskets.  Once they finished a bine, they put it on the floor and either I or somebody else came around to put them in a discard pile - we'll compost the waste for this year.

Here's our first bin of hops - about four pounds "wet."

To the right in the photo of the SPI crew is a crate of sweet corn and some flats of tomatoes - on Thursday, one of David's Public House Produce customers comes by for a pick up.  When those items were gone on Friday, we were able to put the trailer in that spot and do all the work in the shade of the pole barn.

The team made their way through the first variety by late morning, so we went back into the field to bring in the Chinook crop, which they set out on after lunch, and finished by the end of the day.

Our haul on these two varieties was a total of about eight bins, which weighed about four pounds each - 32 pounds "wet" total.  We'd take these over to the HOP-N-ATOR 4000 next, so that we could dry them, and that's where the next post will pick up.

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