Hops 2011

This is the third year of growing hops at/in my in-laws' garden, and the harvest was good: skipping right to the punchline, it was 1.08 kg / 38 oz dry. That's 2.5 times what we got last year.

The season got off to a late start this year; this picture was taken in May: Luppulo

My lovely wife, tripping through the hops:


Cute li'l ladybug:


These little guys mystified us 'til we figured out they were ladybug larvae:


Licensed to kill (aphids):


Look at all those buds!


This year we had not just the four bines originally planted (Cascade, Mount Hood, Sterling and Willamette), but offshoots and newly-planted shoots (Cascade and Willamette). My father-in-law was curious to see if they could be trained to grow over his cedar hedges. (Answer: looks good so far, but you have to watch that the bines don't get near cedar buds...the buds seem to weaken the bine to the point of breaking.)




And now...the harvest. Last year we harvested in the garden, tracing each bine back to its emergence from the ground to figure out what kind of hop we were picking. This year we didn't bother. I've got one bunch that's mostly Cascades, but the rest are a mix of all four kinds. That said, Cascade and Willamette were by far the most plentiful and the most healthy...the Sterlings and Mount Hood were pretty infested with aphids by comparison.

My father-in-law cut down the bines a few days before we came over, because a sudden stretch of rainy weather meant we would be picking in the rain. So we all gathered in the garage to pick hops.

Fresco: Luppulo

Trombone: Luppulo

Both of 'em: Luppulo

"These are the rules. Everyone picks, nobody quits. If you don't do your job I'll kill you myself. Welcome to the Roughnecks."

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Not a bad harvest!


And here's the homemade oast. You stay classy, San Diego.

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