Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Hops

Driving from the Garden Route to the Klein Karoo over the Outeniqua Pass, one passes a couple of farms growing plats that creep up strings hanging from wire frames. I used to wonder about it till I found out that it was hops. Now I don't know much about hops other than the fact that it is used primarily in the brewing of beer. So I went to the handy information tool that is Wikipedia.

Hops are actually the female flower clusters, commonly called cones or strobiles, of the humulus plant. The hop plant is a vigorous climbing herbaceous perennial, and is trained to grow up strings in a field called a hopfield, hop garden or hop yard when grown commercially. Male and female flowers of the hop plant develop on separate plants, but because viable seeds are undesirable for brewing beer, only female plants are grown in hopfields which prevents pollination.
When we passed this field in December, the plants were still in the growing faze and there were no hops on to photograph yet. The hops in this area near George are only grown in a couple of valleys of the Outeniqua Mountains which must mean that the climate in these valleys must be ideal for hop growing but the surrounding area isn't.
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GPS: 33°51'7.08"S, 22°21'26.17"E

6 comments:

  1. What amazing adventures .... donkey carts and rides, ostriches, museums, and now hops ... wow!! such fun!!!
    enjoy the rest of yr day!!
    Gena @ Thinking Aloud
    a photoblog
    South Africa

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  2. cool- didn't know that about hops- gotta love wiki!

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  3. Baie mooi!!
    *giggle*

    I tried to picture you walking thought there with your camera - what was ur family getting up to??

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  4. Hops = Beer ..... did I pass?

    Seriously though I had no idea that they were a vine. It's funny how you think of things....in my mind I thought that they would be rather like a soybean plant.

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  5. Wow Jonker, that area in the Klein Karoo is full of things to see and do. So where is the beer brewed?

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  6. I had no idea that hops looked like that! It creeps!!

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