What's Happening in the Hop Fields?
Spring Activities - Planting and Twining
Taken at C & C Hop Farms in Moxee, WA, these pictures demonstrate the planting process. Each planter is dropping in 6 rhizomes per planting, 7 plantings per hill. The red straws mark where a planting has occured. Fellow crew members follow behind to make sure that the plantings are properly positioned and covered with dirt. Rhizome planting occurs from late March to early April.
In early April, twining begins. Crews ride on elevated platforms and tie the twine to overhead trellis systems. As seen in these videos from B.T. Loftus Ranches and Van Horn Farms in Moxee, WA, each crew member is simultaneous twining knots with both hands. Fellow crew members follow behind to make sure that each twine is secure in the ground.
During the months of April and May, potted plantings occur. Although typical planting is done with rhizomes, new varieties are often planted from pots and leaf cuttings. From Brulotte Farms in Toppenish, WA, this video features a crew planting potted Nugget hops.
Very few green houses specialize in hops. Taken at the Garden Center in Mabton, WA, these pictures demonstrate the process of hop propagation - from leaf cuttings to baby hop plants ready for the field.