Posts Tagged ‘garden’

My own hops in a beer!

This summer I’ve been watching a few hop vines take over the vertical space beside the garage. They are amazingly productive plants and quickly reached the end of the 10-12 foot runs I had given each of them. Of the 8 or so plants I planted, the Cascade, Centennial and Chinook varieties have made hops this year. I’m hoping the Magnum still will also.

Hop production is pretty light in the first year, so hopefully next year my hop productivity will allow me to switch a few beers to my own source. But for now, I’m happy experimenting with what I have grown.

I added my own hops (Chinooks) to a recent batch of beer. The beer was meant to be a lightly-hopped amber ale. I added a handful of the hops at the end of the boil (should contribute more floral than bitter to the brew).

I’ll probably add some more hops when it gets to the secondary fermenter as well. I look forward to seeing what results!

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Celebrating the Sun

We’re just a month away from the Summer Solstice – the longest day of the year. Hope everyone is enjoying the long days! In the rhythm of the year, Summer Solstice is after spring has sprung and the land is vibrant with the vigorous growth of plants and leaves. Green is everywhere as all the plants want to soak up the sun so they can grow.

This is usually when gardens are growing strong too – summer plants like peppers and tomatoes are in the ground and now they’re growing fast and ripening fruits. It’s the time when we can sit back and enjoy all that is growing, all that is happening. At this half way point in the year, we can also take stock of what we have going on, as it is what we will be harvesting later this year.

Here at the Nomads Lounge, we’ve got a bunch of spring crops we’re enjoying (a wide variety of salad greens, snow peas and snap peas, strawberries), but I can already tell they’re getting towards the end of their season. We’ve got tomatoes, peppers, hops, blueberries (and other berries), figs, peaches, cherries growing. We also created mushroom logs last month, which we may get oyster mushrooms from this year.¬†Outside the plant kingdom, we have several projects in the works too (imagine that!), including a cordwood sauna that is in planning phase and will be ready by Winter Solstice. This is part of a women’s space Tirza has envisioned on the property.

Solstice is coming! As usual, we will be celebrating with a community gathering on the exact day of Solstice (June 21, 2010). Read more about the event here.

What are you working on? What are you hoping to harvest this year?

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