Welcome to the second of our special Hop Harvest weekly updates. Here are some of our favourite shots from week to of Harvest 2021.
The Hoppers may be enjoying a well-deserved weekend break, but Matthew is still wading his way through the mountain of hops that need to be dried so none of the freshness is lost.
At the end of Week 1, Matthew tallies up. 18 alleys cut and dried into just over 100 bales. Not a bad week’s work! And there is even time for a spot of maintenance on the picker.
A misty Monday morn doesn’t deter Bruce as he heads off early for the first cut of the day.
A glorious sunny day and the hops just keep on coming! Half an alley cut, and the trailer is already overflowing. The further into the middle of the garden we go, the more laden the bines become.
Hop Watch Live launched this week, straight from the Hangar and out with the pickers. Pity you can’t smell the aroma!
There’s no skimping on the drying process as everyone lends a hand. It takes over 4 hours to get the hops just right – 2 hours on the top to remove the moisture, then another 2 hours lightly roasting inside.
On the night shift, Colin keeps a watchful eye on the hops, which need to condition for 24 hours before they can be vacuum packed. Hops have a nasty habit of spontaneously combusting if they are not dried properly. No pressure, Colin!
Day 10 and we’re exactly half way through the Fuggles crop – 30 rows down, only another 30 to go. There’s some monster hops out there.
A bit of drizzle doesn’t dampen the spirits of the Hoppers and our equally charming Massey Ferguson tractor is back in action in the hop garden. But if you want to meet Sovereign in person, he will be back next Sunday at the TEA Party giving dray rides alongside his fellow Suffolk Punch, Bowler.
Our hops may go from field to firkin in a furlong, but sometimes they make it a little further afield. Some ended up adorning this beautiful old Dorset church, ready for a wedding. Congratulations to the bride and groom and we are delighted to have been a small part of their big day.