Hops for Relaxation

Hop Vine at Main Street Trees Nursery

Hop vines are a treat in any garden and very easy to grow. This photo shows how big my vines are now—these are already 12 feet tall! This variety is Nugget Hop. I’m also trying out 8 other varieties.

Multiple uses: Hops are of course an age-old key taste ingredient in beer brewing. I like to trade some dried hop flowers with my home-beer-brewing friends—in exchange I get a taste of the beer! The full bunches of greenish flowers are also worth the effort just for themselves. They can be dried for an arrangement or used herbally as a sleep aid, either in a tea or stuffed into a pillow.

Hops will get very tall and harvest can be done after the vines are brought low. Later in the year I’ll post harvest photos of the part that is used—the fragrant, sticky flower. Over the winter the rhizome is dormant underground and the last year’s dried vines are clipped off. Then in spring, the new vines quickly shoot up the string or wire used to train them upward.

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