There are so many craft beers out there with really naff puns on the word hop for names, I just thought I’d get the hoppiness/happiness out of the way right at the start.
Anyway, the humble hop. I’ve decided that that’s what I’m going to attempt to cultivate in my soon-to-be-renovated glasshouse. They grow in abundance in Nelson where it’s much sunnier and much warmer than Dunedin, and my mum reckons they grow in Farnham, Surrey, where the climate is much more similar to ours here. So surely I should get some decent produce in a glasshouse? I’ll even put some outside to grow up the posts of the deck. Besides, what the fuck else does one grow in a glasshouse? I mean, tomatoes are all well and good but by the time your crop is ready so is everyone else’s and they’re dirt cheap in the supermarket. No, I’m going to grow me some fucking hops.
Well, that is the idea, anyway. Getting hold of the little green bastards is proving to be quite difficult. It would be probably be easier to buy marijuana than hops. And I’m not even really joking. I have spent several evenings trawling the information superhighway and coming up blank. There are loads of stockists of dried product, but not live plants or even seeds.
TradeMe has proved to be the only outlet and there are precious few vendors there. I managed to secure a single female Smooth Cone and a ‘probable’ Green Bullet for $25 between them. Probably way over the odds, but right now, I’m not really in a position to complain.
The green bullet was purchased off a really interesting hippy dude out at Aramoana, he reckons it grows a few inches a day in growing season. Either way, this little plant looks super healthy and I expect to get a few flowers at least this summer. The smooth cone came down from the North Island somewhere, from a reasonably commercial outfit (i.e. they take Mastercard). I was a bit worried that it would arrive brown and shrivelled after a week in the back of a van, but it appears healthy enough, at least its (somewhat scant) foliage is green. Hops are rhizomes so you just basically get a piece of root and transplant it, so I’m told. Then once it’s established, it takes over your garden because it grows voraciously. I’m keeping all mine in pots and planters, just to be on the safe side. There are worse ‘weeds’ to have in your garden though…