Our expert hops picker ;-)
Update: the Cascade dried to about twenty two ounces. Not bad.
The hop harvest moved a bit North this year to a friends hopyard. (I still have the backyard to pick BTW.) The new Hopyard with approximately 30 plants did quite well for a first year experiment. Only about half of the rhizomes planted yielded any flowers. These plants happened to be the Cascade rhizomes from my backyard. The other rhizomes from Fresh Hops grew just fine, but, produced very few flowers. This is to be expected when planting mail order rhizomes. My backyard rhizomes were on average larger and fresher. After a little over two hours (just after the rain) we picked almost five pounds of mature hop flowers leaving some of the smaller ones on the bine to see if they will mature a bit. Since the yeild was small I wasn't worried about the extra moisture. Five pounds, dot bad for first year plants really. We realized one thing, we're gonna have some serious work to do next year picking from mature plants. Visions of a mechanical hop picker already fill our minds.
I've included pictures and a video. If you have questions please leave a comment.
# first year plants
# 15 plants
# 3 bines each
# ~18 feet trellis system
# almost 5 lbs of wet hops
# two adult pickers and my son (2.5 hrs)
# drying them in the basement with dehumidifier and fan, on 3 screens
# hung bines back up to keep them growing
# next year we'll probably just cut the whole bine down