No plans for today but lots to do. First on my list was finding our next place to stay. We want to visit Pendleton, OR and move a little close to the coast so I found place and made a reservation for a week. While I was doing that Bonnie was figuring out what else we wanted to see as we move toward the coast.
Next on my list was to install a couple struts I had ordered last week from Amazon.
The object is to hold the doors open and it will also help to keep them closed. Bonnie helped me and it only took a few minutes. The only issue is one did not hold the door open so I had to use both.
Since they are prime I got on Amazon and ordered another pair for the other door.
Then it was was back to some research for a place to stay along the Columbia River on our way to the coast. No luck with that yet. The forecast was for 98 today so we hunkered down in the coach with the AC on high. I think it only got to 93 but still plenty hot. Once again as soon as the sun went down it cooled right off.
I spent some time on line checking volunteer opportunities out here in the Northwest but nothing really jumped out at me. I also am trying to arrange a tour at a farm to watch them harvest Hops. Thats about it for today.
Since I have not been a fan of the postal service, I must say that we have gotten at least 4 shipments from our mail service and Amazon here in Prosser and they have all shown up a day before they supposed to. I ordered another door strut yesterday and it was here by 10:30 this morning along with another Amazon order that came by UPS. So Kudos to the USPS here in Washington State.
My one Amazon order was the new wall clock. The one I have had for several years no longer would keep time it would loss minutes a week. A change in the signal format from NIST the broadcasts the time updates rendered it obsolete. My new one Acu-rite arrived today and I set it and mounted it on the wall.
I set it a few minutes fast and as promised in the manual within 3 hours it had corrected to the correct time. It also has an indoor and outdoor temperature reading and saves the high and low temperature until midnight and then resets.
On the way to the office I also snapped a picture of our rig on the site. No neighbors right now.
As you can see it was overcast and it stayed that way all day and it was a pleasant day in the low 80s. Bonnie went out and did a little local shopping this afternoon and I managed to set up a tour for tomorrow afternoon. The weather man is talking rain, which we have not heard in the forecast for quite sometime. Sounds like back East and down in Florida are also about to get a lot of rain. We also have friends working in Louisiana with Samaritans Purse to help the victims of all the flooding there. Amazing the damage that moving water can cause.
So we have a few things we still want to do here and we get going tomorrow.
After a leisurely morning we got ready and headed North for a 1pm tour. We were headed to Puterbaugh Farms who run a business called Hops Direct. On the drive up there we drove past beautiful orchards, vineyards and acres and acres of Hops sometimes the fields were as far as you can see. We saw the Hops the other day and wondered how they were grown and processed.
We arrived and met Taylor who is charge of the tours and does the social media for the company. Here she is with Bonnie.
She was very friendly and very knowledgeable and readily answered all our questions. The farm grows 19 varieties of Hops. As you know Hops are used in the brewing of beer and add some bitterness and flavor to the brew. They are grown on a trellis apparatus. They look to be 15-20 feet high. Hops are a perennial so after being harvested they grow again the next year. In the spring the trellises are twined and the plants begin to climb. By the end of summer they are ready to harvest.
These are the Hop Cones that are used in brewing.
This is one way they harvest Hops. The bottoms are cut by people with machetes .The machine kind of rolls up the vine and twine and deposits them in trucks.
Then they take a short trip to the picking facility.
We toured the picking facility. The trucks pull into these bays and then the driver and a helper have to hang the vines on a hook on a conveyor type device.
The vines are lifted up and into the building. There they go through a device with fingers that strips off the cones. The cones are then sent to the kilns. The rest of the vines are chopped up and end up in trucks and headed back to be spread on the fields.
The Hop Cones head up this conveyor to the kilns. Some varieties are harvested with a special combine and all that leaves the field then are the cones. That is an area we did not visit.
In the kilns the Hops are dried down to less than 10% humidity and are then ready to be bailed. These are the heaters and blowers that are used.
The hops are evenly spread out by a machine and two people. Then ambient temperature air is blown through them for about an hour then 4 hours of heated air and then they are dumped in the pit to cool for 12 hours.
They end up about 3 feet deep.
Here are some full bays drying. The bags are hand picked special varieties.
The cloth on the bottom of the bays is hooked on this roller and then pulled over and dumped in the pit to cool.
After cooling the dry hops are sent up this conveyor to be bailed. Some Hops are also made into pellets.
The bales then go into cold storage at around 28-30 degrees. It felt good in here for a short time then it was cold. By the end of harvest this and other warehouses will be full. You can buy Hops from www.hopsdirect.com in just about any amount you want.
We also spotted these barrels and asked about them.
It seems they also grow some raspberries and apples on the farm.
That was about the end of the tour. We went back to the office. Bonnie wanted to buy a t shirt. They actually gave her a t shirt for free and a couple bars of hops soap. What a great tour, Thanks so Much Taylor.
On the way home we spotted some grapes peeking out from under their leaves.
Then we stopped at The Barn and had Linner.
We both enjoyed our meals. I thought they were a little pricey but they were good.
Bonnie spotted this forgotten horse shoe that the tree grew around at the farm. Taylor said she had never noticed it in the six years she has worked there.
When we got back home we had another surprise. Seems the FBI had been at our coach. Actually is was a former co-worker from the Seattle Office Charlie R. he was passing by after a meeting in Richland. Sorry we missed each other but we did have a good phone chat as he drove back to Seattle.
Well time to get this posted before my sister goes to bed back East. Thanks for Checking In.