Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Snake Oak Farm Hop Hangin'

I am in love with our house... and property.
I've always wanted an old house and everything about this one makes me smile... except the $300/mo propane bill during the winter... but we'll find a solution for that next year.  

I just finished mowing the lawn for the second time this year.  I mowed it last Tuesday and the grass came back 4 inches in a week.   Things GROW in Virginia.  Now that we've hit May it's green all over again without a single trace of winter. 

The Snake Oak woke up a few weeks ago and the black snakes that roam the property came out to sun themselves and worry the birds who made nests in the bushes.  Christian and I spotted the first snake two weekends ago before leaving for the Gnarly Hop Beer Festival in Culpeper.

Today Christian and our friend Matt started the task of installing the 20ft posts that will support the hop vines.  It's hard to explain but they need to grow upward on big lines of twine and then at the end of the season you release the rope and they fall to the ground so you can remove the actual hop berry from the vine.  

Christian felled these trees and cleaned them up himself.  They are all from the forest behind our house.  It worries me, him using the chainsaw, but I can't help but be impressed by the fact that he's decided to use resources from our land to do this.   AND, that he's done it all so well. 

This little hop plant is just waiting for some twine to start growing up.   

Once the poles were up they had to hang and put tension on the line which supports the twine.   This is the part that gets "let down" at the end of the season so the vines can drop and the harvest can begin. 

It was a beautiful but hot day, and after completing that first row the boys decided to go down and sit in the river to cool off.   We'll have dinner tonight with Matt and Julie and spend some relaxing hours on the deck searching for the first fireflies of the season. 

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