- Shelley Desmarais
Spring Work: Let the Twining Begin
Updated: Apr 20, 2021
Every spring, the start of the growing season kicks off with twining. It is one of the most important parts of farming hops because, without the string, the hops cannot grow up the wire. It's a skill learned from years of practice.
One of our twiners, #05, has been on the twining crew for 25 years at CLS Farms. It’s a skill set that few can do well. Twining is performed at the start of the growing season and can only be done in low wind conditions, so it can be difficult during the typically windy Yakima springtime weather. The crew will tie around 36,000 pieces a string a day. A crew follows behind on foot to stake the twine into the ground, creating around 16,000 hills. They'll cover almost 22 acres a day, every day, until mid-May. Once the hops start to grow, they’ll climb roughly 18 feet up the twine and to the wire.
The speed at which the crew ties the string to the wire is incredibly fast. If you don't pay close enough attention, you'll miss it. But even when you do watch, it's hard to see the knots because of how fast they're tying the string.
We're grateful for a crew that year after year puts in the hard work to make sure this vital job gets done.
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