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.

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.

Jul 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.

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.

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.

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?