Well, after significantly more toil and trouble than should really be necessary, I've got some barley in the ground.
It's not much, really--two very small plots (about 2'x3' each). And I've absolutely no idea whether things will turn out. But, as they say, nothing ventured, nothing gained. The plots are my two winter barleys; specifically Maris Otter and Halcyon. The planting was auspicious: the day after the Autumnal Equinox, and it was "witnessed" by both the Sun and the Moon. So long as the winter isn't absolutely insane, I'm at least moderately optimistic for them.
The rest of my barley (Bere, Hana, and Conlon) will wait for springtime, being spring barleys. Which means I've got a little time yet to get the field prepped for them. I've got to finish mowing (get everything down to 1/2"), then figure a way to disk or till a pretty large area of dirt. I may end up renting a tiller from Home Depot, when all is said and done--although I may be able to talk a neighbor into disking the area with their tractor...
Work on the Brewery/Pub is still in the early planning stages--I may do a little interior clean-up this weekend, but I'm likely to have my hands full working on the house (ah, the joys of an old farmhouse--always something to fix...). A full clean-up may have to wait for spring, as I'm liable to want a dumpster to haul stuff away--there's junk both inside *and* outside that needs to go. Then a new roof... Eventually, there will be (as mentioned) a bar, as well as a dedicated brewing space; I hope to have a rainwater catchment system in place to provide about 2500 gallons or so of water; there will be a lagering/cold-storage area, and a bathroom. Throw in a poker table, and you've got the start to an evening! One wall is perfect to be the screen of a digital projection system (can you say twenty-two foot diagonal screen?); in decent weather, I may even be able to set up outside--depending on where exactly my hops end up. All told, I think the space is going to work out nicely...
Speaking of my hops, I hope to move them to the new area by this weekend. They didn't produce, this year--they got too dry during the heat wave; I was amazed they came back as well as they did--so I'll probably cut them back, and actually plant them in the spring.
And so, the latest round of adventures are under way! Look for more updates as things progress.
Labels: Barley, experiments, garden, Halcyon, Hops, Maris Otter, projects, repairs