Our first task of the year is hanging strings for the hops to climb during the coming months. These are special twines made of coconut fiber. This special string, called coir, is rough enough for the plant to climb, strong enough to support the heavy hops at the end of the season, but still an organic material that can be easily chopped up as the hops are processed.
Our trellis system is designed to be a "V system" which means that each plant has two strings to it. So, if you do the math, our entire field requires close to 16,000 hand-tied strings. And that's only part of the work. Each sting is then secured into the ground with a W-clip. These small clips are amazingly effective at securing the strings in the ground in the highest winds.
Once in the ground, the small "wings" on the W provide resistance against any pulling on the string. These are made of steel so they should rust away within a year or two so we don't have to worry about an accumulation of clips in the soil.
Cedar Falls Hops Co. grows Iowa hops. Follow us on here to keep up with the newest progress in our fields.