Deliberate Agrarian
Snippet #31

Hops in May

Dateline: 20 May 2014

click picture to see an enlarged view

Things are busy around here. A lot of people are buying a lot of Poultry Shrink Bags. I wish I had more time to focus on my garden. This morning I went out and did a little wheel hoeing before having my morning cup of coffee, and then tackling the mail orders for the day. And I snapped the picture above.

I planted that hops years ago. It is in one corner of my garden. I was warned by a reader that I shouldn't plant hops because it will go wild. I can see where that could happen, but I have kept it from spreading. The picture shows the hops plant at the base of a 12' high T-Post hops pole like I show how to make in my Planet Whizbang Idea Book For Gardeners (page 21 & 22).

Hops is a fun plant. 

That's it for today…..


Kathleen Stoltzfus said...

Do you know of any other vining plant that might be very similar to hops? I got a load of soil in last year, and everywhere I put it there are baby plants coming up this spring that look, feel, and act like my hops but with a slightly different leaf. My hops has just 3 lobes, but these new seedlings have maybe 5.

Survival Gardener/David The Good said...


Might be a type of bindweed. Could also be a type of bramble.

Down south we get "Virginia creeper" which pops up all over and has 5 leaves too.


I tried growing hops here without luck. I think we're too far south but I need to try again. I wanted it for beer. As a stand-in, I'm growing wormwood. It used to be used regularly to bitter up ales, so I'm hoping it will work. If not, I suppose I could always make absinthe...

Herrick Kimball said...

Dr. Good,

(If I'm am, as you recently stated, an engineer, you are then a Dr. of horticulture…. diplomas don't matter with us, eh?)

Thank you for answering Kathleen's question. Believe it or not, I was going to reply and tell her to contact you and send a picture. And then you popped in with some possibilities. Excellent.

I hope it's not bindweed. That's a dreadful thought.

I'm sorry you can't grow hops. Perhaps I can send you some strobiles from my hop plant later in the year.

I had a microbrewed beer at Genesee Country Museum in New York a couple years ago. They have a hops house and show how they made beer in the old days. The beer was very dark and very bitter. Practically medicinal in taste. I rarely drink beer but wanted to give it a try, for some historical perspective. I can't say that I liked it all that much. But it did make me feel better.

Julie said...

For mild insomnia or anxiety, a half cup of dried Hops flowers put in a muslin bag and placed inside your pillow case has a sedative effect. No side effects, either!

Herrick Kimball said...


I've done it. And it works!

Kathleen Stoltzfus said...

I'd like to send a photo of one of the vines in question to get an opinion, but not sure how/where to do that. What has me wondering if it's hops is the sort of scratchy/ prickly surface texture of the vines.

Survival Gardener/David The Good said...

"a half cup of dried Hops flowers put in a muslin bag and placed inside your pillow case has a sedative effect."

So does slamming a couple three cold ones. But yeah... side effects. For me, the main side effect is that I crave cheese dip and corn chips. This is Not Good for someone that values their thin frame and wishes to continue in that thin-ness.

Survival Gardener/David The Good said...


E-mail me a picture or two at the "Contact David" link on the sidebar of my site. I'll do my best to ID your mystery plant.

Survival Gardener/David The Good said...


Diplomas are for sissies. We live in the real world and make things happen. Family economy for the win.

Sheila said...

I wanted to grow hops too, but for the yeast for breads that can be made from the hops. Very, Very old recipes on how to make a batch of "cake like" pieces with the hops to use for breads that people would save to last longer or for an additional source of yeast.

odiie said...

While doing a walk about on our property, three years ago, I found hops growing on our back 40. Wild ginger too! That was a good day. :)

Could the vines be wild cucumber? They are scratchy and not edible, just a nuisance around here.

Sheila-I'd love to learn to make that yeast. Would you share?