I've mentioned before that my husband brews his own beer. So... when you combine a gardener and a beer brewer, what do you get? Hops growing in the backyard. I bought a hops rhizome for my husband when I placed my seed order last winter. Hops are an ingredient used in brewing beer, and they grow on a vining, perennial plant that can reach 20 feet tall when fully mature. This rhizome was planted back in May, and look at how many hops we got in the first year! A hops plant doesn't reach maturity until 6 years, at which time it produces a peak amount of hops for decades to come.
We've been toying with the idea of planting an acre of hops if we ever buy some land of our own. I would not plant hops at my rented farmland, because hops are a perennial and can last for up to 50 years - that's quite an expense and undertaking to grow on land that isn't yours... ya know what I mean?
Here are some pics of our first hops harvest! Let me tell you, they smell wonderful.