With the last of this years crop emerging from the airing cupboard, I got my new vacuum packing machine out and with a big, custom made bag…
We got the last two bines of Fuggles hops in this weekend.
Time was definitely running out as autumn encroached and the cones neared late middle-age.
Two plants remained, those occupying the west and north corners of the Fuggles pyramid. The west facing plant provided far more cones, on a thicker stem that were less mature than those on the north facing plant, the cones of which had already started to turn over ripe. I hadn’t expected to see such a difference due to orientation to the sun.
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.
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.
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”…?