Hop Trellis

We had a brief respite from rain today. This meant I could get all my outdoor chores done - shoveling mulch out from inside the new raised beds, cleaning and storing the birdfeeders for the summer, and getting some flower seeds in the pollinator gardens.

The Western Redbud tree is blooming.

And the chard sure looks fine with the sun shining through. Plus ladybug.

But the real project of the day was getting the trellis built for the hops. The Cascade rhizomes we got from Ruby at IUH are already sprouting.

Tiny, but they'll grow fast, and will need something to grow on. Tom built four beautiful redwood planters to hold the rhizomes; three more kinds of hops are coming this week. The planters were expensive but will be used forever, for something else if the hop project fails. The trellis is made of 10 foot lengths of 3/4" electrical conduit which was extremely cheap.  The trellis is attached to the foot of each planter. It's very, very tall.

I've ordered special twine made of jute for stringing up and over the trellis. We'll get that done next weekend. Then, in theory, the hops will grow up and over, making a nice shade canopy for our outdoor dining room on hot summer days!

As we were working on this project, I noticed that some of the tomato seedlings were drooping a bit. So I found some lengths of old wire that I saved when we made the chicken coop, and I fashioned tiny holders for them, so that the leaves won't ever touch the soil. Many tomato diseases are soil-borne.

A pork shoulder has been in the smoker since this morning, and bread got baked, as usual. It made an excellent lunch, slathered with grass-fed cow butter.

Look at that crumb! So light, and yet you can see all the good bran in there. Healthy and delicious! I'm getting better at bread baking each week.