The hop yards of southwestern Idaho are growing quiet and empty. The walls of hops are falling as workers cut and gather the lanky plants. Unpaved roads wave dust plumes behind the trucks that carry the plants to the hop-pickers and -driers that rattle and hum day and night in the farm fields around Wilder, ID.
Wrangling the tall plants takes special equipment. This short video shows how the Obendorf Hop Farm first clips the bottoms of the plants and then pulls them down and gathers them into a truck.
My story in last fall’s Edible Idaho describes the action at the picker/drier and shows how the hop fields of Wilder have changed with the popularity of hoppy craft beers. An earlier blog post shows how workers install twine for the young hop plants to climb in spring.