Several years ago, we planted some hops (I believe Cascade) by the old playground swing in the backyard. We, being easily amused, trained the hops to climb the swing frame and called it the Hop-Swing. Someday, we thought, we might harvest them and try using them in brewing our own beer.
This year was a good year for the hops. Apparently they like a nice rainy spring, then lots of dry weather. Monday evening, when we had the family over for dinner, we decided to harvest them, as rain was predicted (and is falling as I write). We picked quite a few — I didn’t weigh them, and am not sure exactly how large the tubs are (but I can tell you they readily hold an extra-large load of laundry), but the tub is about 2/3 full.
Dan has the hops spread out on screens in the barn attic to dry. The hop flower must lose most of its moisture content to be used and to store. As we are now having rain and cooler weather, we will set up a fan to blow air over the hops to facilitate the drying process, similar to what we did for the garlic. Later this fall, once the parade of tomatoes ends, we will try a batch of beer. Stay tuned!