Bonafide Farm

First hops harvest: Part one

August 27th, 2013 § 1

You may remember I planted my first Celeste hops back in April. It was pretty simple, involving amending some soil and running a couple of ropes from the ground up the the eaves of the garage.

It took a few weeks for the hops to emerge from the soil, but once they did they steadily grew until it was time to harvest two weeks ago.


I watched a few online videos to figure out that the time was right, and even though my hops cones weren’t quite as large as some I’d seen online, other signs suggested they were ready. They felt crisp and springy to the touch, had deep golden lupulin glands within, and bits were starting to turn brown. And, I was due to leave the farm for a couple of weeks and knew that if I didn’t get them down, they’d all be ruined when I returned. So harvest time it was!


I gathered the ladder and my harvest basket and set to work cutting down the rope that held the more vigorous of the two vines.

Once I had it on the ground it was easy work to strip the cones off the plant, and they left telltale yellow resin (deliciously hop-smelling!) on my hands.


Remember that dogs will die if they ingest hops, so if you’re growing them around pets take extra care. I know my dog has pretty good judgment about what he eats, but even so I watched him closely while harvesting and I made sure to not leave any hops cones on the ground and picked up all loose leaves and plant pieces.


Once I had the cones picked off, I wound the bines up so that the leaves could continue photosynthesizing until frost. I figured that as the first year is really all about root development anyway, it didn’t make sense to chop the plants down yet when the leaves could still be helping the roots grow. A chicken photobombed this shot, which also nicely shows off my flourishing Celeste fig. This tree is in its third year in this location and very happy to be living on the south side of a white barn, soaking up light and heat. Soon its figs will be ready to eat.

Up next: What to do with your harvested hops.

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§ One Response to “First hops harvest: Part one”

  • Sarah In Illinois says:

    I have a cousin that grew hops to brew his own beer. I am curious if that is what you are doing or do they have another use?!

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