Build a Hop Bine Wreath

Your backyard hops have been harvested and nippy autumn air has turned the leaves crispy and brown. Although the bines are dead now, somehow it seems a bit disrespectful of the plants that had towered proudly over the garden all summer to just put them out for the trash collectors. And it can be a bit costly too if the hauling charge is based on bulk.

Rather than becoming landfill fodder, those withered dry bines can be recycled into a center of attention for the coming holiday season when they are formed into wreaths that welcome visitors into your homebrewery. It’s an easy, quick project, but a bit messy, so wear old clothes and expect to get a bit wet. Here’s how to do it:


Load the bines into the bathtub, plug the drain and shower hot water on them until the tub is full. Gently press the bines into the water, taking care not to break them. Within about
a half-hour, they will become limber
and pliable.


Use a pair of scissors to cut the branches off of the main bines. This will give you straight lengths of bines from which you will be able to form your wreath.


Anchor the largest diameter bine in the handle of a pot and then wrap it around the cooking vessel. Overlap smaller bines on top of largest one, and continue wrapping until only the smallest diameterbines remain.


Ease the bines off of the pot and hold them in place with your hands.


Wrap the small bines diagonally around the bines so that they encircle and hold them in place. Tuck the end of the last small bine into the wreath.


Leave it unadorned for a rustic look. Adding a bow or string of battery-
powered lights can brighten its cheerful holiday look.

These stars of the garden now reign over the holidays as a wreath — Enjoy!