Carmel Valley Hop Harvest

Our little buds in July

We planted Cascade hops in our yard the first Spring we lived here in 2003. But fickle winter rainfall and summer lack of attention on our part lead to less than impressive results.

Heavy spring rains in 2010 reminded us that we had hop plants in our yard. Impressive vine growth and budding through the early summer, however, was tempered by a 100 degree plus heat wave in later summer that turned our happy little hop cones an unappealing brown color.

More impressive Spring rains in 2011 had one of our vines reaching for the sky by late May. Vowing to be better parents, we were attentive to this one hop plant, watering it regularly and looking after it’s welfare. By early August, the cones, though small, were very fragrant. Not wanting to risk another cone destroying heat wave, Merideth and I decided it was time to harvest. A friend and home brewer, Steve, came over to help with the harvest and take the crop home. Our efforts were rewarded with a nice little lupulin bounty and we’re confident Steve will make a nice brew from them.

Next year, we hope to have the whole front wall covered in hops.

View all the images from the 2011 harvest

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