Dan uses a folding ladder to get to the highest parts of the bines, but I wasn't altogether interested in doing that, so I decided to stay on the ground and pick off whatever I could reach. This meant I wasn't going to get to the most productive areas in the high branches, but when I got there I found plenty of cones ready to pick.
We were between events at the vineyard so I only had a half hour or so to pick - I took down about a half pound, as shown here. If I were going to dry them, I would probably get about an ounce of flowers from this, enough for a lightly hopped batch of beer. I have them in a zip-loc bag in the fridge, hopefully they'll keep a day or two this way.
At another event I met a couple of the local brewers and chatted them up about what to do with the hops - their suggestion was to use them "wet" and add them to the boil at the end for aroma. I have a two ounce bag of last year's Cascade crop that I can pair these up with, so I think I have a plan. I'll use all of these field grown hops in an extract-based pale ale, since I can get a brew like that done on a school night.
Times a wastin'!