Last autumn I harvested some wild hops that I found growing locally to use when brewing my beer.
The hops were found growing along the path between South Abingdon and Sutton Courtney. Here is a link to a google map somewhere near where I found them. They were picked on 27th September 2006 and dried using a large cardboard box with lots of holes in the bottom. After drying they were compressed and stored in a plastic bag in the freezer.
This year I am growing hops in my garden. I planted Fuggles and Bramling Cross rhizomes that I got from A Plus Hops as part of a combined order with other members of the Oxford Brewing group. The fuggles currently has two bines growing up, one is already over 2 meters high. The bramling cross took longer to come up, and I only have one bine about half a meter tall so far. They are growing up strings and bamboo canes. I tied two canes together so they can get up to about 3 meters. As this is the first year, I am not expecting a massive harvest.
If you are interested in growing your own hops, then I recommend joining the Grow-Hops group on Yahoo groups.