Matthew is once again leading proceedings, ably assisted by Bruce and Denise as well as the Hogs Back Hoppers. Newly formed in 2021, the Hoppers are local volunteers with a shared interest in the hop garden and working outdoors.
Work got underway early on Tuesday morning, with the first rows of Fuggles hops cut and delivered to the picker. The hops are just at their prime, so it looks like a bumper crop this year.
Luckily, we drafted in some extra help. Meet Sovereign, the gentle giant, who was busy in the hop garden helping to bring in the hops in the traditional way. Sovereign, who is a rare breed Suffolk Punch, made light work of his load. A common sight in years gone by, Sovereign is turning back the clock to help make this harvest more sustainable.
BBC South Today popped in to film and featured the harvest on its evening programme.
The Hangar has been transformed for the picking, drying and packing of the hops. It smells amazing with the aroma of freshly picked hops pervading the air!
The first hops have now been dried and packed, before they are sealed in a vacuum and stored on site until we need them in the brew house. So the hops really go “from field to firkin in a furlong”!