Monday, February 27, 2017

February 27, 2017

What a great weekend!  We had plenty of sun and working outside was awesome.  Our big project for the weekend was bamboo trellises for the hops.  We decided to move the hops as they weren't doing much.  We felt that they were getting too much sun in relationship to the water they weren't getting (we prefer a self-service farm).  Several things came to our minds.  Move them to a spot where they can get some afternoon shade, and preferably that area might be a little more damp.  Of course, it may be more damp due to the afternoon shade.  Anyway we picked a side of our property that we get afternoon shade and went to work.  We were also keeping in mind that we needed to put them in soil that was high in compost so it would retain more water.  Warning!  If you are a perfectionist, working with natural materials is challenging.  They are not the same dimension at the bottom as the top, they are not the same diameter all over, and they are probably not exactly straight.  As my husband and I are both perfectionists, this was a VERY challenging project for us.  However, we do think it came out beautiful and was a great way to spend our weekend with breaks in between for sitting in the swing and drinking iced tea.  Other considerations for working with bamboo are that it is lightweight and hollow, which makes them more "rickety."  We found extra braces necessary, as well as we pounded some smaller pieces of bamboo in the ground (about a foot  long) and set the trellises over them.  It was also challenging that the ground we were putting them on was not perfectly flat.  We tried very hard to go with the flow, as well as to just get the job done, and not stress over the details too much, making up the design as we went along and faced each challenge.  We ended up buying some deck screws that did not have a taper at the top, 2 1/2" long that worked perfectly.  The tapered screws were causing the bamboo to split.  We also pre-drilled the holes to eliminate as much split as possible. We made the sides of the trellises 7 feet tall, and the top piece 8 feet across, as we want to be able to stand on the ground and pick the cones.  Six trellises were decided on due to having 6 varieties of hops and wanting to keep them separated.   Our idea for the area was to have trellises for the hops, make them a beautiful feature in our yard, and provide a shade structure for us and our chickens.  We feel like we accomplished all of that for around $30 for all six trellises (thanks to the Drews' family for providing the bamboo!)

The daffodils on the farm that are lining our driveway are beautiful this year. . .

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