The Wild World of Hops

Episode 37: Welcome to the world of Hops, Humulus lupulus.

In this relaxed conversation with organic farmer and Hops grower Acadia Tucker, we discuss this unwieldy and happy to be alive plant. We touch briefly on the history of Hops, which like its illustrious relative Cannabis, was once feared as a “wicked weed.” Now revered for its distinctive bitter flavor and potency as a nerve tonic, Hops is grown worldwide.

Acadia talks about the difference between a bine and a vine, how to propagate Hops, and why the European Corn Borer is such a tenacious pest for Hops crops.

We chat about what Hops needs to thrive, how to integrate Hops into your landscape as a home grower, and how It can grow so tall that farm workers in the past used to harvest it wearing stilts!

Acadia and I also discuss the chemical components of Hops and some of the nonalcoholic ways to utilize it including paper making, fiber, natural dye, and as a medicinal tea for relaxation and insomnia.

Acadia Tucker is a regenerative farmer, climate activist, and writer. Her books are a call to action to gardeners everywhere to get growing! Acadia is the author of Growing Good Food: A Citizen’s Guide to Backyard Carbon Farming and Tiny Victory Gardens: Growing Good Food Without a Yard. Acadia lives in Maine with her farm dog Nimbus (see photo! of Nimbus running through the Hops) where she grows Hops and other perennials. Learn more about Acadia Tucker at

Other links mentioned by Acadia in this episode:

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