I’ve always been attracted to the idea of foraging for wild food, but I haven’t often made the time to go out and look. Since I started to grow my own hops I’ve got to know the characteristics of the plant, and I’ve noticed a couple of places where it grows apparently unnoticed around London. I’m not tempted to harvest any myself – one location is by a busy road and must have picked up some serious exhaust gases and dust – but it’d interest me to find out the back-story of these vines which have a very specific purpose but seem to have been forgotten by whoever planted them, if indeed they were planted deliberately. I’ll gradually post more pics and locations as I find them.
There’s an abandoned, fenced-off plot at the corner of Cholmeley Park and Archway Road. Around the end of August hop cones were visible through gaps in the sagging fence, amongst the thick vegetation inside.
The path beside the Thames in Richmond Park is the last place I expected to find hops. It was too early in the year to pick anything when I found them, and it’s probably against the bylaws anyway. This little plant was somewhere along the long curve of the path shown in the map below.