I live in the mid-Willamette valley, a fertile place that grows a myriad of plants. One of those that is prevalent near my home is hops. What are hops you ask?
Hops are the fragrant, female flowers of the hop plant.
They grow on towering vines that run row upon row in fields that I pass every day.
Used primarily as a flavoring for beer, they also are used as a medicinal herb. I love to make tea out of them just before bed. They have a very relaxing quality.
My husband is a homebrewer (he makes his own beer), and he has grown hops himself. Your hands get sticky when you pick them from all the pollen and sap they produce.
And when he boils them for the beer, the whole house fills with that bitter and sweet smell. Oh, and one last note, you can cook the young stem tips as you would asparagus – taste a bit like hopped up fiddleheads!