Monday, August 06, 2007

All Hopped Up in Moxee

These children are running through... ?
a. insanely tall hedges
b. an English maze
c. a hop field

As those of you who read the title already know, the answer is C. The munchkins are my preschoolers.

Here are a few interesting facts about American hops:

  • They grow freakin' huge.
  • They are the flavor in beer.
  • They are related to one of America's other favorite plants, marijuana, and contain the same active ingredient.
  • 75 to 90% of them are grown in my area, depending on who you talk to.
  • They are the star of almost every late summer/early fall festival in the Yakima Valley.
  • Because of their prevalence in Central Washington, I can drink all I want without compromising my commitment to buy locally. I'm not an alcoholic; I'm merely supporting local industry. :-)
This weekend we trekked east to Moxee to check out their annual Hop Festival, but we were sidetracked by the hop fields themselves. They are an impressive sight--thousands of acres of fifteen foot tall plants on either side of the road. By the time we finished gawking, it was time to go home for nap. So if you are dying to hear about the drunken festivities or want to know how a mood-altering substance can bring a community together, check out the official website here.