Thursday, April 4, 2013

Progress, and progress...

Spring seems poised (at last!) to, well, spring, and things on the homestead are moving along nicely. All of the "special" barley (the Maris, the Halcyon, the Bere, and the Hana) is planted; my "old" hops are in the ground, and the new rhizomes are on their way.

I'm waiting on dryer weather to combine with a "free" weekend (or afternoon) so that I can "scalp" a bit of my field with the mower, then sow the Conlon barley over a chunk of it, and some wheat over the rest. (The wheat isn't for brewing necessarily, but for bread.) In the meantime, I've also put ten or a dozen or so of each of my "specialty" barleys into planters, which I'm keeping a careful eye on. This way, even if something catastrophic (deer! groundhogs! rabbits! birds!) happens to the plots out in the field, I'll have seed-stock to try again.

My "veteran" hops (Cascades, two rhizomes, in about their fourth year or so) have been "retired" to the area reserved for the future herb garden; they've got a nice tree to climb, and a west-facing vista (looking over the barley field, as it happens). The "new" rhizomes--two each of Cascade, Magnum, Willamette, and Sterling--are on their way, and I should have them before the end of the week. This, of course, means I have to put the spurs to my efforts in building the Biergarden/Hop Trellis/Deck on the side of the Undisclosed Location; I think I finally have the equipment I need, and the plans worked out to do it. As is my wont, there will be several materials runs, but by and large it looks pretty straightforward, knock wood.

Work on my new brewing rig (and Igor, my electric rig controller) has been placed on the back burner for a little while, as life on the farm has shifted towards better weather and other activities. Over a week was "eaten" in building a fence to keep in Bacchus the pup (a Great Pyr, who at 7 months old is around 100 pounds; he's a great dog, but tends to wander if he's able, and he gets "selective hearing" if he's not ready to come in when called...). Vegetable gardens and the like are also becoming going concerns. I'm still hoping to be able to brew--if only in a primitive fashion--by this fall.

I've got my teaching notes worked up pretty well for an event at the end of the month; as I find time, I'd like to start posting my observations on that stuff here, as well. So much to do, so little time...

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