Not that we really need this lovely rain, but we sure appreciate the break! The sun went down on us last night as we were rushing to get the hops planted. By the time we were done, we had planted somewhere around 300 plants, which was pretty good considering the many tasks that needed to be completed before the hops could be planted. Approximately 700 more plants to go!
The guys had dug the trenches in the dark the night before, so that job was already finished. Caleb had the job of pounding the stakes with a very heavy, metal sledge-hammer into the dirt, not an easy job. Bella and I took turns measuring the 40″ distance between posts. Then there were several trips to the wood pile to bring and lay down posts to make that job go easier. The Twins and Maggie were the main hops planters and by the end of the day had sore knees, backs and scratched fingers. Mario and Bella took turns watering the hops after they were planted. After his work, thankfully, Clayton showed up to pound posts, which was a much-needed break for Caleb.
Earlier in the morning, I discovered that it was Caleb’s 12th birthday, sadly I had forgotten. Boy did I feel badly about that. One quick cell phone call from the field to Frenchy eased my conscience, as she had known that it was his birthday and had planned on baking his cake! One less thing to do. Another quick call to Jessi, and I had a pail of ice-cream to go with the cake. My married girls continue to bless me and I thank God for them and their thoughtfulness.
Fred called at around noon and said that the Twins needed to check the new bee hives. It took a lot longer than we had anticipated, to the tune of around 2 hours, but it had to be done. In the mean time, the kids left behind kept working and I must say here, the kids have something that I never had growing up, (sorry Nonna), work ethic! Afterwards, we joined the kids for more hurried planting.
When Fred came home from work he and Marisa headed out to put some wooden pieces on the new sugar syrup bee feeders to keep the bees from drowning, while the rest of us continued planting. I should mention that all meals and snacks were done tail gate style. When they got back and the sheep were fed and more hops planted Fred said to call it quits for the Rosary and to celebrate Caleb’s birthday!This morning, Thursday, we boiled 25 gallons of sugar syrup mixture to take to the bees as soon as it chills enough and we are so thankful that we don’t have to plant hops again today, due to the steady rainfall. Some of you have asked me what we are going to do with all of the hops. The answer is, they will be sold as a cash crop for beer making, Brau Brothers Brewery for starters!