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October 25, 2007

Hip hops


The hop harvest has finally happened. Not the one in Bavaria or the one in the Pacific Northwest, which was earlier this month and which all brewers and hop-heads are buzzing about. This was a more low-key harvest -- the one in my backyard (above).

There's nothing new about hop growing in Boston. Hops were first brought over from Europe by English settlers, and some say the first hop harvest in the New World happened in Massachusetts. Over time, though, the US hop industry has moved west, to the gentler, more fertile growing climate of Oregon and Washington.

Hops will grow here, though, so I planted three varieties -- Columbia, Cascade, and Liberty -- in late spring. One did really well, but I'm not sure which it was. I didn't label them because I was sure I'd remember the order I planted them in. Of course I didn't.

I finally got around to picking the hop flowers, and my total haul was 20. Not nearly enough to even give some aroma to a batch of homebrew. But I might try making a batch of pesto using what's left of the basil and throwing in the hops for some extra zing.

Posted by Ann Cortissoz at 01:16 PM
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