Harvesting hops is my favorite garden "chore." We sit on the patio drinking iced coffee and listening to good music while picking hops off the bine. It's relaxing and smells fabulous!
We grow three kinds of hops here at Red Bucket Farm---Cascade, Willamette and Nugget. Hops bines (not vines) twist around a taut twine on our 12' tall hops towers. This morning our resident brewer climbed the orchard ladder and cut down the twines and bines.
We harvested 12 ounces of Cascade hops and 2 ounces of Willamette. (The Nugget hops aren't quite ready for harvesting.) Although it doesn't seem like very much, the Cascade hops filled one bucket to the brim. It's more than enough for a batch of pale ale, which is in the works as I write this. We'll store a few ounces of the Cascade hops in the fridge for a week to serve as the "finishing" hops for the India pale ale. Any remaining hops will be dried and frozen for future use.