Thursday, July 30, 2009

Holy Hops!

Springtime a couple of years ago I was cruising through the Menard's garden center, usually this place offers pretty standard and unexciting fare, but sometimes, in the early spring they get some unusual diamonds in the rough. Found a single, unusual looking pot labeled "Golden Hops" and scooped it up to plant on our Pergola. I didn't really have any idea of what to expect, but I needed a vine to offer more privacy from neighbors, and had some vague (and still unrealized) aspirations to make some beer sometime. This thing impresses me more and more every season, it thrives on neglect, and will grow multiple canes, at least 20' long on almost any structure it can wrap around. In late July it begins to pop these little wispy flowers which turn into beautiful green hops, in August when they mature you can pluck them and rub them in your hands and smell the hoppy goodness. The stems die down to the ground come winter but every spring come back with more renewed vigor. I have no immediate plans to use the hops for beer making, so if anyone can use them for a brewing or cheffing project, let me know.
Going to Vegas for vacation next week, hope to bring back some gardening pics of the Bellagio and Wynn Conservatories for bloggery.
Happy Growing!

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