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Kentish Hops growing up north

Discussion in 'The Lounge' started by Terrywoodenpic, Aug 22, 2017.

  1. Terrywoodenpic

    Terrywoodenpic Well-Known Member

    This is a shot of a hop burr in my garden we brought it north with us 27 years ago as a reminder of the happy days my wife spent hop training and picking in her younger days. the burr is the precursor to the hop. and they are always very late up here. But we always had plenty to make a fresh garland to hang in the porch.

    [​IMG]TAXE0372X-web by Terry Andrews, on Flickr
     
  2. Malcolm_Stewart

    Malcolm_Stewart Well-Known Member

    Look after it. The last time I was in Kent, I didn't see much in the way of hops!
     
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  3. Fishboy

    Fishboy Well-Known Member

    Last time I was in Kent - Thanet - all I saw were cabbages.

    Cheers, Jeff
     
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  4. DaveM399

    DaveM399 Well-Known Member

    That's no way to talk about our UKIP council!! We've branched out into corn on the cob in Thanet now!
     
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  5. Catriona

    Catriona Well-Known Member

    Wonderful. I remember how they used to grow beside a little path close to my Hillingdon (Middx) home. I loved the scent! I think real ale was quite popular in a couple of the pubs too. :)
    Great they are growing in your garden!
     
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  6. Terrywoodenpic

    Terrywoodenpic Well-Known Member

    Then you were probable in Thanet or on the way to Margate or Ramsgate.
    My son is a charge nurse at Margate general.
     
  7. Fishboy

    Fishboy Well-Known Member

    Indeed I was.

    I quite liked Ramsgate and, against all expectations, I found the southerners who live there to be a friendly bunch.

    The hotel I was in (The Pegwell Bay) has a tunnel under the road to the pub opposite, although I've also stayed at The Oak on the harbour as well.

    Gadds Brewery makes very nice beer, which doesn't taste even slightly of cabbages.

    Cheers, Jeff
     
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  8. Terrywoodenpic

    Terrywoodenpic Well-Known Member

    Most of the gardens were grubbed out some years ago. though you will see them growing in a number of hedgerows.
    Though the farm (Hukins) where my wifes family usually worked, has been revived to some extent on the back of craft beers.
    There is no way we can compete in the larger market dominated by America and the continent.
    However in the UK we grow male hops with the female ones, so our hops contain seeds, which results in more interesting flavours than the rather bland American and continental beers.
    My wife usually took on 3 acres to train up the strings. each bine had to be trained and cleaned out three times before you were paid.
    Her father was the garden boss during the picking, which by then involved cutting and loading the bines onto a trailer. and getting them to the picking machine before they wilted... which was a job of fine timing. And involved two or three trailers depending on the distance between the garden and the picking machine. I went along a few times, when I could get a day off, and help picking up and keeping the ground clear of hops. My son often went up in the crows nest on the back of the trailer cutting the tops clear of the wires. so that the bines fell clear along the length of the trailer as it moved along.
    At the end of the two or three weeks picking the Hukins family put on a right feast for all the workers. And At Christmas he always brought round Turkeys or Capons as a thank you.
    I see Hukins is right up to date now with a web site.....
    www.hukins-hops.co.uk.
    PS... even the hop string was special. it was made from a very hairy choir and by the time harvest come round it had lost much of its strength and was easy to cut or pull....
     
    Last edited: Aug 22, 2017
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  9. Malcolm_Stewart

    Malcolm_Stewart Well-Known Member

    What a fascinating insight! Thanks.
     
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  10. Terrywoodenpic

    Terrywoodenpic Well-Known Member

    Picture of my late wife, then fiancée, hand picking on Hukins farm in Sept 1959. an a day off from Charing X hospital

    [​IMG]audrey-hops-1959 by Terry Andrews, on Flickr

    Fun day out in Hop Garden Maidstone Kent in the 90's.... my wife is the grey top in the blue jumper top right the lady to her right was her sister in law.
    [​IMG]crop0011web by Terry Andrews, on Flickr
     
    Last edited: Aug 22, 2017
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  11. DaveM399

    DaveM399 Well-Known Member

    Thanks for the complement Jeff, I'm now a Ramsgate local, although I've only been here 37 years, so still a new lad round here! I had a drink in the pub you mentioned many years ago when one of our local celebs was in there, John le Mesurier. Brenda Blethyn is a born and bred Ramsgate girl.
     
  12. steveandthedogs

    steveandthedogs Well-Known Member

    Hop training - did she use a chair and whip or the reward system?

    Sorry.

    Nice pics and information.

    S
     
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  13. Terrywoodenpic

    Terrywoodenpic Well-Known Member

    Hops grow naturally in a counter clockwise twist up the strings. However it is a free for all that has to be sorted. As only 3 bines per string are permitted. Any extras are pulled free and discarded.
    On the second and third training runs any miscreants are dealt with and the lower 18 inches stripped of leaves and tendrils. This is where the bine will be cut , and the stub used to attach onto the picking machine. They are usually cut by the garden boss and helper, just prior to loading on to the trailer. They need to cut just the right amount to fill the trailer and not more, as they will wilt before the next trailer comes back.

    My wife never lost the knack of twisting me round her little finger.
     
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  14. Terrywoodenpic

    Terrywoodenpic Well-Known Member

    This years hops, small ones from lower part of bine, with some of last years dried hops and genuine hop string from the 60's.
    on an Elm hand made breadboard.

    [​IMG]TAXE0411X by Terry Andrews, on Flickr
     
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  15. Catriona

    Catriona Well-Known Member

    Beautiful beautiful - all of it, breadboard included.
     
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  16. Zou

    Zou Well-Known Member

    Yes, it'd be a very strong entry in the still life theme.
     
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  17. Catriona

    Catriona Well-Known Member

    I agree! It's a real winner!
     
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  18. Learning

    Learning Ethelred the Ill-Named

    Now lest this very worthwhile thread runs out of steam on the initial subject of hops can I diversify to the subject of cider apples? About 3 years ago I was instrumental in planting some west country and one Normady variety of cider apples oop here in a hedge in the midlands near Nottingham. I bought the stock from a nurseryman who was propagating and growing them even further North in God's own County, Yorkshire, Pickering in fact. The trees are doing rather well and some have fruited already. Some of the locals were tempted to try eating unripe (by at least a month) some beautifully red Red Stoke, Daminet, and Tremlett's Bitter. I don't care. If the kids learn that they are not worth scrumping before we are up to viable quantities for cider production then that's fine..
     
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  19. Terrywoodenpic

    Terrywoodenpic Well-Known Member

    Thanks but I have never been into entering competitions.
    I guess That I am just not competative, I find it amazing when any one likes my stuff, as I just do my own thing, Anything from booring, to adventurous is all the same, as long as it is meaningful to me.
    The fun is in taking it ... often a short series, sometimes a before..during..and after. But less rarely unlinked shots.
    I enjoy the whole photographic process. But thankfully I no longer have to rely on it, in any way, to earn a crust.
     
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2017
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  20. Zou

    Zou Well-Known Member

    With respect, I think you misunderstand the forum theme threads. They are not really competition, more a theme for inspiration and motivation. A 'winner' is chosen in the loosest sense of the word. An image that the theme-setter chooses either because it brings a certain pleasure or fits the theme perfectly. The poster of that image is then tasked with choosing the next theme and the cycle repeats. Even if you don't post, I highly recommend checking out the threads as they often mix images with anecdotes, recollections, humour and interesting observations. :)
     
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