a hop-related…situation

i may have mentioned in the distant past that homebrewing is a fixture around this house. if you come to visit you may notice, for example, that there are bottle caps everywhere.

exhibits a through d:

may the jury please note that the last photo is the washing machine.

there is no question, when you walk into our house that we homebrew. i really think there should be an award for creative use of a rental apartment. and i think we should win it.

no closet is safe.

and apparently, our living room isn’t, either.

one of the contacts we’ve met along this adventure is a man who grows organic hops in his backyard garden; a beautiful canopy, the bines (not to be confused with vines) curl up their respective cords, providing shade for the porch and an intoxicating aroma. i’m a little bias, but i think it’s a great use of space.

about  a year ago, this man tried to somewhat downsize his operation; in order to give the tomatoes and peppers in his garden a little more access to sunlight, he got rid of a handful of plants. matt was thrilled to give these plants a new home, and they’ve since been thriving under the care of his mother.

see matt farm! this photo was taken of the new hop garden in july. by next year, it’s going to be hop madness.

but, let’s get back to our current hop…situation. our new friend with the hops contacted matt around a week ago to let us know that he is moving, and that the hops must go. that they are huge, and in full bloom, and he won’t have time to tear them down and dry them and package them before the move, and would we be interested in giving him a hand?

oh, yes. yes we would.

one drive out of the city and two hours of hacking at the hop bines, and we were up to our ears.

these brown yard-waste bags? we filled five.

so, on top of the great apple mess of 2012 that we’ve got on our hands, we are now also in the midst of a hop-related mess.

it may sound like i’m complaining, but the reality is that i’m thrilled with the mess of hops that has found a home in our kitchen (and living room). of all the quirky hobbies i have, this one is the most close to my heart. brewing is an ancient craft and the more i learn about the science of brewing, and about tasting and talking about beer, the more singularly obsessed i become.

so, that’s the short story (which i hope to elaborate more on in future posts). but this isn’t about the quirky hobby itself, but the hilarious tangents that we find ourselves on in order to feed the homebrewing addiction.

and if you do come to visit, i should warn you ahead of time.

there are hops drying in our living room.

normal stuff.

xx katty lea

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