Celebrate the culture of agriculture & share skills (Growing! Cooking! Eating!)

Hops Harvest and Hornets, HOMEGROWN Fair submission

The great hops harvest of 2011 is underway. I’ve been a bit neglectful of the garden this summer, but the hops vines have flourished. Some judicious pruning and mulching and tying of support lines took place early in the season, and then, just stand back and watch these babies do their thing. Predicted harvest is five pounds! This is the fourth year for some of the vines and we have 5 varieties planted: Willamette, Nugget, Cascade, Centennial, and Brewer's Gold. 

I used to be frightened of the bald faced hornets that patrol the yard. (Here is a link to three pages of fascinating information and pictures about them.) I would encounter them- and quickly scurry away. Last year they built a big nest on the back of the coop, and never bothered me. They are considered to be beneficial insects because they hunt and eat flies and other bugs. So this year, I’ve been curiously observing a very large and busy nest on the front of one of the outhouses.

These pictures are a couple weeks old, so the nest is bigger now. In the past I would have destroyed it out of fear. Instead we’re avoiding the area and enjoying a less abundant fly population. After frost it will be neat to take it down and inspect the structure more closely. Hopefully no one gets stung before then.

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Comment by Cornelia on August 22, 2011 at 8:56am
Ooooh your hops are beautiful! I totally failed with my crop this year. I didn't get them into the ground early enough, and then I didn't provide enough of a climbing structure for them. Looking forward to trying again next year. Thanks for the inspiration! Will you brew with them?
Comment by Nicole Karr on August 22, 2011 at 9:45am
Yes! My husband brews beer and my brother is also an accomplished brewer ( http://beerblog.jaimevetter.com/ ). Hops are his babies but they seem fairly easy, next spring run some strong string for them to climb. Ours grow up the sunny side of the house to the roof line and shade the house a little. They also are planted along the garden fence and tied from the fence horizontally to the house. Thanks for the comment.
Comment by HOMEGROWN.org on October 27, 2011 at 2:28pm
Thanks for sharing these amazing hops with us! Consider submitting it in the First-Ever End-of-Season HOMEGROWN Fair.  All you have to do is edit the title to include “HOMEGROWN Fair Submission”.  Prizes awarded to the best of the best in all categories, including plants and photography!


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