Extended Growing Season With the help of the greenhouse we can keep temperatures in the appropriate range for hops (50F-80F) much longer than traditional methods. This gives our plants a jump start on the season allowing for a larger photosynthetic area (leaf canopy) established in time for the intense summer sun to show up. This also allows for an extended harvest season, providing the cones more time to become larger and ripen directly on the bine (FYI-hops have bines which differ from vines in the fact that they do not require tendrils to attach to a surface). Hand Picked Hops, Insane? Yes, quite possibly. Hand harvesting hops is a monumental task. However the end result is a hop cone that has had minimal physical turbulence, meaning that more oils and lupulin (think of a pollen like substance, although hops do not actually contain pollen) are intact. Traditional hops are chopped and drug through the field, forced through a large machine then sifted and dried, saves time yes, but the amount of lupulin and other hop goodness has been depreciated before they even get shipped! For some brewers that's fine, however we here at Hydro Hop Farms feel the extra care for a quality product is worth it. Another great benefit of hand picking is that we are able to leave the plant attached to the root system and just remove the hop cones this allows the plant to naturally "die off" allowing for the proper carbohydrates to be relocated into the rhizome where they are much needed to help maintain strength over the winter and come up strong and healthy in spring.