Sunday, October 05, 2014

The Day of the Triffids Hops

Hops are an alarmingly triffid-like plant at the best of times. In John Wyndham's famous novel, Day of the Triffids, the mobile plants are able to uproot themselves and roam the world at will, stinging humans into submission. Hops haven't quite got to that stage yet, but what with their arrow-like buds, their ability to wave around in the air during the day, and their rapid rate of growth - you can virtually see them growing; they gain several centimetres every day in their season - you can tell they could teach the triffids a thing or two.

Ours are currently going like the clappers up the fenced-off bit of garden in front of the beehive. Four weeks ago there was just one or two little nips poking out of the ground. A few days after that, there were six or seven nips poking through the ground. A few days more, and they were waving around in the air, looking for a fence to climb up. Within a week, the longest hop-bine had found the fence, and days after that the other tendrils were grasping at any old piece of fence or netting they could find, too. They grew and grew, going up several finger lengths every day, and creepily twining here and there, almost making you feel like they were turning their heads to watch you as you went around the garden. Three days ago, there was a lull in their activity; perhaps they were deciding what they should do next. Two days ago, they had started developing a system of representative government. Yesterday, they were agitating outside the back door for greater rights for non-animal inhabitants of the household. Today, the situation has become tense and I'm not sure if I'm going to be able to prevent them going to war.

So it's been exciting watching them develop in the back garden, all right. I wonder, though, if I'll be able to use some of their cones in my brews this year? We'll see, I guess.

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