Today I have a bit of an unconventional harvest monday. This is the first time I have shared a hop harvest and local foraging. I'll start with some garden tomatoes first though:
The first of the heirloom tomatoes were harvested today. I have harvested a couple early hybrid tomatoes already but these are the ones a gardener longs for. Starting on the left in the so so picture is Cherokee Purple, Pink Berkley Tye Dye & Giant Belgium. The small ones in front are Velvet Red.
This spring I planted three hop varieties, they grow from rhizomes and are perennial. This variety is Cascade and they are used in hoppy beers and American ales. Pretty good harvest for the first year! The next hop harvest will be Nugget which are used to bitter beer. The other variety I am trying is Goldings, it is not putting out many hops the first year so it will be a wash. Below is a closeup of a hop:
This is a Cascade hop cut open. The yellow parts are lupulin glands. They contain most of the essential oils and resins which give beer their flavor.
Here is a bunch of Elderberries that I picked today well out in the country. They grow wild in wet areas. I have never tried these before but they seem to be rather prized by people in the know. They have a blackberry flavor but are very astringent without sugar. The seeds also contain a small amount of cyanide so they have to be cooked before consuming them, this boils the toxins off. They have many uses like syrup, jellies & pies. They are also used to make elderberry wine and added to beer as well. Not sure what I will do with them yet.
I also came across an apple tree growing on the side of a gravel road today. It must have been a cultivated variety at some point, looks kind of like a Golden Delicious. It was really neglected but the apples still looked good. I picked a bunch and will probably go back in a few weeks when they sweeten up more. These ones will be made into an apple pie, mm apple pie.
7 hours ago