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A3castlesA

Hop Crop 2018 ~ Rain Stops Play

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Abergavenny Food Festival yesterday so harvesting had to wait until today & it rained… all day, without a pause.

So next week harvesting will conclude (weather permitting)…

…and my airing cupboard should have been vacated by last weekend’s crop…

Hop Crop 2018 ~ drying

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Dried hops
& my Fuggles glut

Damn it! Forgot to weight my hops before starting to dry them…

So four days in the airing cupboard and my Fuggles have proven themselves way more impressive in terms of yield ~ just over 1kg of partially dried cones from two plants in comparison to 100g give-or-take from my four Cascade plants.

But ohhh… the smell of those Cascase hops makes any amount worthwhile.

We’ll harvest the rest of the Fuggles this weekend & remember to weight them.

Hop Crop 2018

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So having planted four Cascade and four Fuggles hop plants last winter that have prospered over the summer and with what feels to me like an early autumn setting in, last weekend it seemed that the time was ‘ripe’ for harvesting.

I think the pictures tell the story…

The Fuggles plants have been very profuse, yielding a total of five mushroom crates, each of which has been half filled.

Whilst nowhere near as profuse, the cascade plants provided a ‘blissful’ aroma…

More on yields once the cones have completed drying in the airing cupboard that I’ve requisitioned for the purpose.

Hop Planting 2018 ~ pyramid posts

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Pyramids up!

With shoots from the hop plants appearing above ground and snaking up their protective sleeves it was time to put the central pyramid / wigwam posts which will provide the growing structure for the plants into the ground.

The coir twine rigging up which the hop bines will grow is fastened to the top of each of the 5 metre ash posts using ring brackets. With the posts placed and wedged firmly in the holes and the rigging connected back to the base of the growing hops we’re good to go.

Hop Planting 2018

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Establishing the hop garden

In beautiful winter light, the first stage of the hop garden (as yet to be un-named) was planted on the 6th of January 2018.

I planted four Cascade (furthest in the pictures) and four Fuggles (closest) rhizones into ground prepared with compost and fertiliser.

Now what to call the garden? “The Western Beacons Hop Garden”, “The Black Mountains Hops”…?