Our Goal for this Blog

Over the years we have received and continue to receive numerous phone calls and emails asking many different farm related questions. Our thought is that we would try out a blog to keep people up to date on what we are doing here on Puterbaugh Farms and at Hops Direct.

We will just jump right into where we are at in the growing season with a very brief look at what it took to get the hops to the stage they are in now. If interest is actually shown and people are looking for more information we will continue through the winter and pick up the beginning next spring, which will allow everyone to get a feel for what a full crop year looks like from a hop grower's perspective and all of the many challenges involved. We hope you enjoy.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Transition from burrs to cones.

Over a short period of time the burrs will begin to develop into cones. The bracts will form at the top of the burr moving their way toward the bottom. Once this transformation happens, we have baby cones on our hands. In our hop yards some of the bines will bloom a little earlier than others meaning we have hop cones forming at different stages in our yards.

Here on the farm our Cascades are beginning to turn while the super high alpha varieties in most cases are just beginning to burr. Everything here on the farm has to be planted so that we can harvest each yard at or near its peak. This means we must have varieties that reach maturity at different times throughout our harvest schedule.

Once again I'll leave it to the photos:

Bracts beginning to form near the top of the cone, they will continue down to the bottom forming a complete baby cone (these are Cascade).

Here are some complete baby cones, super high alpha.

Sometimes one bine will be an early bloomer, check out the Cascade on the left compared to it's friend on the right.

By the way the powdery mildew has been terminated this time around. Notice how it has turned brownish instead of bright white.


tracysrocket said...

My first year Cascade from Puterbaugh looks as full of cones(maybe more) as the one on the left in your picture. I guess Cascade likes the Oklahoma heat?


Hopsdirect said...

Cascades do love some heat, ours got off to a slow start and are a little behind after a cool May and June here in the Valley. Your Cascades sound like they are a little ahead of an average year for us and we normally harvest ours right around the 1st of September.


LStaff said...

Absolutely love this blog. Keep the updates coming.

On average, how long does it take to transform from burr stage to ready to harvest cone?

And are their any technical terms in the hop world that describe the pre-burr stage where there seems to be buds that are mini cone shaped?

My hop growing skills don't seem to be panning out this year, but I have a good source of some wild hops (which I used in a brew last year) that I am keeping a close eye on.

Hopsdirect said...

I guess the best thing to do here is give an example. Our Cascades were in bloom (I believe this is as close to technical as we get on the farm for a pre-burr stage name) around the end of June/early July.

The hops were burrs about the 10th of July and have now begun their slow transformation into cones. Currently we are projecting to harvest our Cascades around September 3rd.

This gives us an average period of about 7 to 8 weeks to move from burr to mature cones.

Raising hops is a constant learning experience and will hopefully become easier with time.