Wednesday, May 25, 2011

A Hop, Skip and a Jump

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Back in the spring of 2010, we planted three twiggy rooty sticks that we ordered from a company called The Thyme Garden in Oregon.



This is how they looked in July of 2010. We were (and are) growing Sterling on the left, Kent Golding to the right of the garage door, and Nugget on the far right.

Unfortunately, we did not dry last year's harvest correctly, and weren't able to use them for beer-making. (We also screwed up drying our black beans, which just goes to show how humbling the act of gardening can be. While there are many miracles, there's also always more to learn.)




The hop vines (or more accurately "bines") are cut back to the ground every year, and re-grow in the spring. Here's how things looked two weeks ago.

As of this week, the Sterling has crested the roof, and Robb has installed horizontal support lines. The Nugget already has flowers on it. And the Kent Golding, which is always our slowest growing variety, is about six feet tall.

We are hopeful about our future beer crops.

10 comments:

Christine said...

I'm hopeful about your beer crops, too along with beer tasting parties in which you invite your imaginary friends!

Curbstone Valley Farm said...

Oh, your hops are off to a great start. Do you brew? Mr. CV does...well, did...time has been an issue lately. We planting some rhizomes this spring, and they are growing, but the first year is always a bit pathetic. We've haven't grown them for a few years, so I'm excited to have them again, and supposedly the leaves are so darned bitter the deer won't touch them. We'll have to field test that to be sure ;) We let our last crop mature on the vine (but not brown out), and then simply froze them until we were ready to use them. Seemed to work great.

. . . Lisa and Robb . . . said...

We had been warned to not expect much from our first year, and those first-year bines just about engulfed the garage!

Heck yeah! We'll be inviting our imaginary friends over soon.

Anonymous said...

The Thyme Gardens is a great place with beautiful organic gardens and quality plants, seeds and herbs. We have enjoyed joining the earth friendly owners for a special dinner there each July for the last seven years. All of their fences and trellises are covered with hops. Hope you might have an opportunity to visit it someday, Heron-A-Foot

Les said...

I do hope you get something you can use from the hops this year. The fact that all the ingredients for beer can be grown in the ground from humble roots and seeds, is one of life's miracles.

Stefaneener said...

Let me know when the beermaking will commence! I love brewing.

. . . Lisa and Robb . . . said...

I'll let people know when we'll be brewing. Harvest is still a long way off.

Liz said...

We grow hops in our garden - they're real bullies though and we don't have nearly as much room as you. It's a beautiful plant though

alittlebitofeach said...

I have always wanted to grow hops for my beer making friends. They seem like such neat plants.

alittlebitofeach said...

I have always wanted to grow hops for my beer making friends. They seem like such neat plants.

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