Sunday, May 06, 2007

Growing Hops: Hops drama!

No, my wife didn't say, "You treat those hops like your kids!" Although I'm sure the thought crossed her mind. No, my kids didn't ask me, "Why do you take pictures of your hops Dad?" Well yes, they have asked that, but, that's not the point. No, it was much more serious than that. Two of my children were playing in the back yard with a neighbor girl. That's where this story begins.

One by one they each took turns piloting a re-purposed four wheeled device down the hill in the back yard. Whereby they would position a second young person at the bottom of the hill to "catch" the one piloting said device. As you might imagine this arrangement filled me with the kind of anxiety that I have come to expect as a father. I've learned to cope over the past nine years though. I thought to myself, "They'll be fine. I shouldn't interfere." I observed the rate at which they were descending and was mostly satisfied that everything thing would be alright. They were in their glory! I went about my business.

As I was typing an article for this very site I heard a noise. Nothing too loud. It might have been a bird or the dog outside. There it was again. As I turned from the computer I realized it was my oldest daughter. Now I knew what it was I heard. She was crying. I asked her why she was crying. Reluctantly she said she didn't want to tell me, because, I would be mad. At this point I heard my wife say under her breath, "The hops." Ooooh, "The hops", I said. I guess I could have been steaming mad, but, she was obviously very upset already. She told me the whole story, straight up. Evidently the child positioned at the bottom failed to "catch" the four-wheeled hop shredding machine and it and my daughter sheered off or mangled over half of the bines on the one side of the trellis. We walked out the the scene of the accident together to survey the damage.

Here on the left you can see the remnants that seem to be rebounding quite nicely the day after. On the right, I saved the severed limbs and placed them in some water to see if they would give rise to new plants.

Yes indeed, a setback for the left hand side of the trellis, but, somehow I think we'll be alright. Meaning the hops, my daughter and The Brew Lounge.

NEWS FLASH: Hop shredding machine photographed returning to the scene of the crime.


Eli said...

Kids... sheesh!

Adam said...

Heheh...yeah and my wife moved the hops cuttings. In the process they fell out of the water! I've heard of hops downy mildew and aphids, but, right now my family is at the top of the pest list ;-)

Anonymous said...

New to hop growing and it's been about 3 or 4 weeks since I put in 4 cascade, 4 magnum and 4 centennial. I was thinking squirels did them in cause nothing came up but something that looked like a weed. Low and behold, 4 of them came up and after checking out your pics I believe 4 are coming up. I planted them horizontally and thought I might of screwed up. They'll get East Whiteland sunlight all day on a hill.

Adam said...


Sweet! Four more to go! Happy to hear the pics helped. All this sun ought to do them some good too. I just watered ours for the first time yesterday.

East Whiteland eh? You must be close. Drop us an email sometime.

Anonymous said...

I planted Magnum and Centinela first and they are all coming up.
My Cascade which went in later are now coming up. Pretty cool. I'm looking for equipment as I never brewed before. I found this guys site how he brews pretty neat.

Adam said...

There are few places locally you could go. If you are in our area think about...

Beer & Wine Emporium call them their site is out of date I think...610-558-BEER (2337).

Brew Your Own in Haverford

Home Sweet Home Brew in Philly

Keystone in Bethlehem & Montgomeryville, but, I haven't been there.

There are lotsa places online, but, I think it makes sense to support the local places if they are good. Home sweet homebrew.

Watch those hops grow! My second year plants are over 8 feet tall now. I'm a little scared ;-)