The hop harvesting season is upon us (as you’ve no doubt noticed in my “Fresh Hop Watch” lists in the daily news posts) and I’ve been thinking about harvesting hops: I have my own small hop plant in the yard with flowers on it ready to be picked any time, and recently a friend of my wife’s posted on Facebook that they have hops with a ton of flowers in their yard that they won’t use—which after an inquiry I’m free to pick for myself.
Which got me to thinking, particularly after reading about events like the Lucky Lab’s Hop Harvest and GoodLife Brewing’s own community fresh hop beer project, that there should be a website directory that lists “community” hops available to harvest: something where people could list locations where there are hops freely available for picking for anyone who wants them. You would of course be able to search by location and there should also be some sort of “courtesy status” that could list when the hops have been picked so people don’t waste their time hitting up hop sites that have already been harvested.
Along those same lines I thought it might be interesting to “seed” some locations in the fall or spring with hop rhizomes, places they might grow well on their own and would be freely available for harvesting when they mature; sort of a “Johnny Appleseed” notion for hops, which could work well with this website directory idea.
(Incidentally, what would you call such “free” hops—feral hops?)
So, there’s a free idea thrown out there for someone to develop—if it hasn’t been done yet. If there’s a site like that out there (I didn’t find one in a cursory search) let me know!