Humulus Lupulus, Anyone?

image courtesy of Missouri Botanical Gardens' Rare Book Collection: http://www.mobot.org/

Back in March I dug up and divided some hops rhizomes as our sprouting vines were already showing signs of vigor that I am not sure the arbor which they are established along was completely designed to manage. Dividing hops rhizomes is quite easy and enjoyable: dig down to where the rhizomes are trailing, evidenced by their first emerging sprouts (which the British used to harvest and eat, like we do asparagus). I aim for clipping those furthest away from the crown first, and use caution digging around the crown itself. With a pair of sharp hand shears trim 3-4" pieces of rhizome that each have 2+ sprouts emerging from it.

I potted the rhizomes I'd harvested into 1 gallon containers, watered and waited until they started to leaf out and establish roots. Then, with some courage and hope, I reached out to the good folks at Fermentation Solutions, our favorite local fermentation supply store. I asked if they wouldn't mind keeping a few one gallon pots of this medicinal, fragrant vine around their shop -- just to see if fellow home-brewers in the South Bay Area might be interested... 

And, as it turns out, some home-brewers were!

I brought an additional half dozen plants to the shop last week: a mix of Cascade, Sterling, and Willamette vines. 

If you are local and have an interest in adding an easily grown, perennial vine or two to your garden or yard, preferably alongside a fence as they will need support sooner than later, I encourage you to swing by Fermentation Solutions, on Winchester Blvd., in Campbell. These plants would love a new home and can become a beautiful & fragrant living shade structure which, based on our warm Spring weather thus far, I think we will need come Summertime.