Hops poles are in! After going through lots of plan changes, I finally decided on my strategy. I had originally planned to use metal poles to get the hops trellis 20 feet up (requiring a 24′ pole) but I’ve elected to try out some wooden poles first. The benefit of the metal is obvious — one only need do the work once, whereas the wooden ones will need replacing every few years. The benefit of the wood poles is that these were freely thinned from my forest — a considerable savings. Due to farm expansion plans, the current location of the hop yard may be temporary, so I thought that it might be a good place to experiment with the wooden poles to see how long they last. I’ve got Red Maple, Sugar Maple and Cherry poles, which ones will last longest?
Rich & Karlene helped put up the poles and it would have been impossible without their help. Here, Rich is trying out my new hydraulic post hole auger — 3 1/2 feet down with ease!
Some of you may remember my conversations with Atlanta about my accumulation of tools — especially the purchase of an old loader. Well, here’s a photo of the work site. The truck to carry the poles from the wood lot. The auger to dig the hole. The loader to lift the pole up high enough for us to slide it into the hole. What’s not to like about getting tractors.
Now we’re just waiting for the hop plants.