Thursday, August 27, 2009

Hops In The Urban Permaculture Plantation

The picture is of Sam’s hops. Hops are a perennial vine, very prolific, and essential in beer making. Sam is my son, and an amateur brewer.

There are two mature hop plants, Chinook and Centennial, both very bitter and used to flavor American pale ale, Indian pale ale, or jes’ plain pale ale. Chinook and Centennial are both on branches about eight feet long, taken from a lilac. Sam says the branches could have been fifteen feet long. I believe him. These are very lush plants.

A friend has given Sam another plant that currently looks like green wires cut short just above the sod. It’s either Nugget, another bitter hop, or Fuggle, which is milder.

I can’t say much about the plant itself, about what it looks like underground, what good it is to those of us who aren’t brewers, or what it might add to or need from a permaculture plantation. An old rocker back home, Roger Vail, had me smoke it, but Roger has a peculiar worldview, and it didn't do nothin' for me. I like the occasional pale ale, and Sam appears to be an afficionado, so hops seem like an obvious choice for the urban farm.

No barley, though. I’m running out of room.

Grape harvest today, and a brief stint at the Open Arms kitchen.

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