Saveur

Tending the Bines

T CAN BE EASY TO GET the labyrinthine trails of Nopalito Farm and Hopyard in northeast San Diego County. Hop farms are strangely evocative of oceanic kelp forests: fields filled with gently waving, upward-reaching verdant plants that can tower so high, they blot out the sun. But unlike the unsustainable and sometimes-violent mechanized kelp-dredging process, hop harvests are done delicately and by hand on small farms to ensure their perennial return.

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