Life begins at the Hops

There’s a plant which normally grows in a place which is at the end of our walk. I’ve been looking forward to seeing it. I hope it’s there this year. It’s a huge, sprawling climber, growing wild along the canal. It normally takes over the canal bank, the fence and a gate at the end of the towpath. I look for it, eagerly. It’s still there.

“Do you know what this is?” I ask the Puffin Whisperer. She doesn’t. I pick one of its flowers and crush it between my fingers. “What does it smell of?”

“Onions”, she says. It does. It really does smell of onions. There’s another smell there too, underneath the bitter, pungent chive smell. It’s like grass or grapefruit.

“They’re hops,” I say. It smells like an IPA.

Wild Hops - The Hall of Einar - photograph (c) David Bailey (not the)

Maybe the hops are a little too ripe. Maybe they normally smell like that. Maybe it’s just the variety. Maybe that’s put me off harvesting them and trying them in my home brewed beer.

Onion flavoured beer? It sounds as attractive as a chive smoothie to me.

Previous Post
Gadwall at RSPB Ham Wall - The Hall of Einar - photograph (c) David Bailey (not the)

Gadwall at Ham Wall

There's a group of five Gadwall making a racket as they fly in ridiculously close formation at RSPB Ham Wall. Close up they ... Read more

Next Post
United Utilities - The Hall of Einar - photograph (c) David Bailey (not the)

United Monopolies - How much are we paying water companies for our wildlife drought?

Can you remember the last time you spent a day without drinking water? Without cleaning your teeth? Without washing your dishes? Without washing ... Read more

Feel free to leave a Reply :)