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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Hops Growing > Uses for hop vines after harvest?
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Old 03-07-2013, 04:42 PM   #1
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Default Uses for hop vines after harvest?

My father in law is looking for something to do now that he is close to retiring, and my hop vines have given him the idea of growing some hops on the acreage he has in Iowa. One thing I was researching for him is what can be done with the vines after harvest. I watched a video of a farm in Yakima Valley where they just ground them up and put them out to compost.

Since Cannabis (hemp) and Humulus (hops) are related, can the hop vines be used for their fibers to make the same items hemp is used for such as cloth and rope? Can you think of any other uses that may squeeze more revenue out of a hop producer's waste product?

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Old 03-07-2013, 04:47 PM   #2
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I compost mine.

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Old 03-07-2013, 05:24 PM   #3
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After harvest we compost ours. I’m not sure if you would be able to harvest the fibers from them as they get really dry and brittle a few days after you cut them down.

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Old 03-07-2013, 05:28 PM   #4
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He can bury them to produce rhizomes and sell them on eBay. I know a retired couple that make out of their hop bines and send them to their friends and family across the country.

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Old 03-07-2013, 05:48 PM   #5
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While they're still pliable you could wrap 'em up and make wreaths. They'll firm up once they dry down and be a nice base to work with for Christmas presents.

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Old 03-07-2013, 05:51 PM   #6
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I dont get it.

What would be the reason for this, after the harvest? Why not do nothing and let them produce in the following year? A first year hop harvest must be a small harvest, or so I would think.

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Old 03-07-2013, 06:16 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by johns View Post
I dont get it.

What would be the reason for this, after the harvest? Why not do nothing and let them produce in the following year? A first year hop harvest must be a small harvest, or so I would think.
I think you are confusing the vines that are cut with harvest, and the crown that is left in the ground to grow up again the next year. Most hop farms seem to compost the vines after picking off the hop flowers, and I'm wondering if there is another use for them. Hemp is an incredible fiber with many uses, but is illegal to grown in the U.S. and I was hoping that the hop vine could step in and take its place.
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Old 03-07-2013, 06:23 PM   #8
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johns,
"What would be the reason for this, after the harvest? Why not do nothing and let them produce in the following year?"

The foliage and vines (really bines) die back to the ground every year and need to be removed. This is the natural cycle for the plant and does not effect next year's harvest.

Most growers simply compost/mulch the bines to add nutrients back into the soil. Some commercial growers have been known to use the dry material as fuel to run the equipment. high5apparatus is looking for other options.

Unlike its cousin, I don't know if hops are fibrous enough to make strong rope and cloth. However, it is probably worth some research, seeing as how you could corner the market on hop fabric.

My mother loves to knit. She even created a hop hat for my daughter that was dyed using hop foliage. I'll be your first customer if you offer hop yarn!

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Old 03-07-2013, 06:57 PM   #9
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Quote:
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My mother loves to knit. She even created a hop hat for my daughter that was dyed using hop foliage. I'll be your first customer if you offer hop yarn!
Only in Portland
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Old 03-07-2013, 07:11 PM   #10
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Only in Portland
Could be a skit on Portlandia
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