One thing I really love about Suffolk is the number of wild or escaped hops I see everywhere. In towns and gardens whole hedges seem to be quickly dissappearing under twining blankets of prickily hop vines.

Much to my delight, something similiar is happening on a little corner of the shed in my garden. Despite having been hastily crammed into an old wooden wine crate (poor things. I'd previously shoved them into a too-small pot, in the haste of moving and my frantic attempts to take the whole garden with me), my home grown hops, sown late last year, are quickly devouring the lengths of twine they've been allocated and are growing at a hugely impressive rate up, along - and in cases where I'm not watchful enough - over our quaint 3-bay shed. I say qaint, read 'holey'. Some bricks are conspicously absent in key places, and there are some interesting gaps and leanings between walls, which seem to be much appreciated by the bats and swallows seen flitting in and out of them. Not that I mind. Like freckles and little tooth-gaps, theres a sort of pied beauty there to be appreciated.

Growing my own hops has little and less to do with any real love of beer or ales. In the pub, I'm firmly a cider drinker ( ooo-arrr, Wurzles song now playing relentlessly in head. Here, lemme get you too). The Adnams tour in Southwold is a great day out, but the tasting was more or less wasted on me as one after another, I made faces and said 'Oo. It's bitter.'
However ale swiller or not, I'm enjoying having my own hops and watching them scramble up the crumbling brickwork sides of the shed and walls.

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  1. Turibe is right - it is a beautiful shed. I'm wondering if you could use the hops to make yeast or even an alcoholic lemonade? i have no idea where you'd start but it might be fun trying.

  2. Hmmm, will have to look into that. I love the idea of brewing; Lemonade, ginger beer, it's all yummy. Hops are more of a flavouring than a yeasting-thing I think, but this does give me an idea....


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