And now for something completely different! My friend Christine and her brother grow hops near here. Yesterday they had their first-ever harvest, and we got to help out.
It's fascinating how hops grow! These are huge telephone poles with support wires strung across them, then coir (coconut fibre) ropes hanging down for the hops to grow up.
Hops are bines, not vines. No tendrils or suckers to support the plant!
Christine and her bro worked hard for this! The yard is certified organic.
Hops are the female flowers of the plant. No boy-plants in this hop yard!
But there WAS an adorable cat, adopted from our local OSPCA shelter!
Here are hop plants that have yet to be put in the ground.
When it's time to harvest, somebody gets to stand up on that yellow platform (moved along by a tractor) and cut the ropes.
Then the hopes are loaded into the back of the truck...
...and carefully taken out!
This is my friend's grandfather holding a beautiful string of hops!
Next we all sat down and picked off the flowers, or "cones." Gordon did well!
Hops smell great. A bit like IPA beer, but also, in my opinion, a bit citrusy/piney. Very fresh!
The picking party.
Grab a string and get going!
We done good.
We had a great time and would love to help out again next year.
I found it fascinating to learn all about hops. I'm sure Christine will be very successful with this! What a great way to spend a morning. If you're on Twitter, you can follow Christine the Hops Baroness here: @