Hop Yard Site Preparation

I’m wondering exactly what goes into preparing the ground in other Pacific Northwest regions like Willamette Valley and Yakima Valley. Willamette is probably a lot of weed removal and pre-emergence spraying because of the continually wet conditions. Yakima might just be a bit of tilling the soil and less unwanted growth work because of the drier conditions.

But in Central Oregon there is a living shit ton of lava rock to be removed. Notice I didn’t say “pebbles”. I don’t know whether they came from the nearby Smith Rock geological formation, or from the Newberry Caldera 50 miles to the south, but these are super dense, iceberg-esque lava chunks that hide just beneath the surface and are a monster pain to remove. It may have taken four people two hours to extract 30 rocks from the ground, but the total weight was probably approaching 1,500 lbs. and they would have done serious Van-damage to any discing plow pulled behind a tractor.

As far as total size, we are starting with a small experimental field of two rows wide and 144 ft long; just manageable for our first year. Once we decided on our width and length, we spray painted the ground to delineate where we needed to till and spray roundup and pre-emergence. That happens 30 days before planting, which we plan on finishing in late April.

Central Oregon Hop Farm Construction Central Oregon Hop Farm Construction Central Oregon Hop Farm Construction IMG_4234 Central Oregon Hop Farm Construction

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