Hops, Crab Apples, and Beer

12Sep10_Beer_IMG_0494After a week of being quite sick, I was out this weekend looking for various plants.  Though I was seeking a source of Bog Myrtle, Heather, and Mugwort, I found instead, a rather abundant source of Oregon (Pacific) Crab Apples.  In less than 15 minutes, I picked about a gallon of the apples, probably making more than a few bears very unhappy.  As for the plants I was looking for; I will have to wait until next year, as most of the plants are either succumbing to fall, or are in the mountains, and I have not recovered from my cold sufficiently to hike so where mountain heather grows.

What I found interesting is that I have passed by the same place several times per year for the past 30 years, and have never seen the apple trees before.  Several of the trees looked quite old, with bent and mangled trunks.  I tried to pull up one of the new trees, but it was too firmly attached.  I plan on returning to the site in the Spring to bring home two or so of the trees for my garden. 

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I returned to the Jensen-Olson Arboretum yesterday to see if the hops had developed cones yet.  They have not, unfortunately.  I spoke with one of the volunteers about the hops plants, and he stated that they are quite old, initially growing on one of the sheds on the property.  He had no idea if cones ever developed, so I suppose I will have to find out by growing my own next year. 

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Bottled a batch of Bock today.  Three weeks and it should be ready, if it all does not explode in the bath tub, that is.

An extra picture today!  While at the arboretum, the volunteer cave us some poppy seeds from the poppies I like, as well as a Golden Delicious Apple that had fallen from the tree.  It is not large, as can be seen, but in Juneau, for an apple it is almost a miracle…


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