The 2017 Expansion Project

In the Fall of 2016, Land Locked Hops purchased 80+ acres of dirt just West of Loda, Illinois.  While most of the farm will be improved and converted into wildlife habitat through USDA conservation programs, a small corner has been earmarked as the next stepping stone for Land Locked Hops.  We plan on splitting the new field between Chinook and Comet, as both hops really "took" to our soil and climate last year.  In addition, both hops had excellent flavor and smell compared to our usual, mega-hop supplier pellets we normally buy at the home brew store.

 
 The mighty John Deere 4044 with the newly acquired palletforks.

The mighty John Deere 4044 with the newly acquired palletforks.

SETTING POLES

Setting lots and lots of poles . . . Last year, we set poles using the old fashioned method of lifting and pushing them into the holes with the bucket of tractor.  In one day, we set 8 poles and nearly killed all of our friends and relatives in the process.  This year, with pallet forks and a chain, we set the first 30 poles in a total of 3 hours.

 Running the Tractor from the smart end.

Running the Tractor from the smart end.

 Kingsley, "The Boss," supervising the workers.

Kingsley, "The Boss," supervising the workers.

Hanging Wire

With our trusty hay rack and scaffold, we were able to hang all of the heavy support cable in one weekend.  We are starting to look like a real hop yard, as opposed to an old power pole graveyard.

 A view from the top, aka, the "hop's eye view."

A view from the top, aka, the "hop's eye view."

 Teaching the next generation how not to use a scaffold and hay rack.

Teaching the next generation how not to use a scaffold and hay rack.

Planting Day

Our plants finally arrived in late June.  We planted over 350 Chinook, 350 Comet, and 52 Pacific Gem over the course of a couple days.  The help from family and friends was invaluable in getting the plants in the ground. 

Baby Comet basking in the last rays of sunlight on the first night of planting.

Last hop planted, first beer downed.