Wow. A total of 21 pounds of fresh, green organic Cascade hops were harvested at the Hughey Hop Garden on the Danforth, a record crop! Gifts of hop garlands to Allen’s and the Brass Taps of Toronto accounted for a further two or three pounds of unpicked hop bines.
When I first started growing hops over 10 years ago, the concerns were for enough sun and sufficient timely water from the heavens.
There was also a concern about verticulum wilt, especially so for a climbing plant that couldn’t. But it never happened.
One year aphids appeared and chewed the leaves that shelter the hops from direct sunlight and watery downpours. The result was a very poor harvest. However, the next year nature supplied the solution-a white spider, which I had never seen before, but apparently aphids were its favourite food.
This year it was the itinerant hop pickers that caused me grief. Andrea went off to star in a play in Hamilton, Julian set off into the valley to direct a play, Judith had much needed foot surgery, and Will, a late volunteer replacement, headed off to Germany on a beer junket!
In spite of these setbacks, I picked away starting in late August, usually gathering one or two pounds a day, while Caroline and I did a couple of sessions with around four pounds of hops picked.
All in all, a fabulous year for growing hops. Now I have to get brewing.