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Thread: In the Hop Garden

  1. #211
    Pub researcher (unpaid) rpadam's Avatar
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Wittenden View Post
    Do you ever come across newly set up gardens in your travels? I found one yesterday when following a diversion in the back lanes between Biddenden and St Michaels. The young plants were climbing up substantial canes,while the poles and wirework were work-in-progress.
    That's a stage I've never seen in my 'x' decades, although I know that the only active hop growers near home have replanted their various gardens on a cyclic basis, usually with one lying fallow for a few years.

  2. #212
    Pub researcher (unpaid) rpadam's Avatar
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    Default A miscellany of roofs (or should that be rooves?)

    So what do we have here?
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    One square oast with a cowl? Yes. Two cowl-less roundels with what looks like shingle-clad conical roofs? Sort of. And another cowl-less square kiln? Not quite...
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    So, getting closer, those are definitely a pair of roundels, but who would adopt timber roofs where there are kilns directly underneath? The answer is no-one, but the conical brick roofs were clad with shingles on conversion to residential use (for some reason that escapes me). But what's that down the far end?
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    It turns out to be a little gazebo with a hexagonal floor plan and shingle roof (that, if you are generous, might hint at other nearby structural forms?).
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    But what about that other cowl-less square 'kiln'? This turns out to be a modern garage built with an oast-style roof as an architectural fancy!

  3. #213
    Pub researcher (unpaid) rpadam's Avatar
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    Default A fine example

    We've had a picture of this 2½-storey oast before (see the first picture in post #122), but that really doesn't do the place justice, so here are another couple of views (taken on another Boris walk taking the same route back home).
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  4. #214
    Pub researcher (unpaid) rpadam's Avatar
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    Default The newest hop garden...

    Quote Originally Posted by Wittenden View Post
    Do you ever come across newly set up gardens in your travels? I found one yesterday when following a diversion in the back lanes between Biddenden and St Michaels. The young plants were climbing up substantial canes,while the poles and wirework were work-in-progress.
    Quote Originally Posted by rpadam View Post
    That's a stage I've never seen in my 'x' decades, although I know that the only active hop growers near home have replanted their various gardens on a cyclic basis, usually with one lying fallow for a few years.
    Spurred on by Wittenden's report, we cycled out in the appropriate direction to try to find the newly planted hop garden. Just when we thought we must have somehow missed it, here is what we found.
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    Some of the new hops are showing more vigorous growth up the temporary canes than others, presumably because they were planted earlier, and only a limited number of hop poles have been loosely installed so far. However, I don't imagine that it will be too long before the remaining poles go in, the wirework installed and everything tidied up in readiness for the following season.
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    Back down the road a bit, here are a couple more of the same grower's established hop gardens that will soon be supplemented by the new one.

  5. #215
    Pub researcher (unpaid) rpadam's Avatar
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    Default Progress?

    Quote Originally Posted by Wittenden View Post
    This is a modern picking, drying and storage facility near Tenterden in Kent.I've driven past-I think it is complete now, and should be operational this harvest.It is enormous!
    https://www.instagram.com/p/BxdBjAZlj58/
    Built by the same outfit that has just planted yesterday's new hop garden, this huge "hop processing facility" (which I think is Euro-babble the funding bodies wanted instead of "oast" on the sign) is surprisingly difficult to photograph from any angle.
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    Mind you, the previous oast is quite interesting in its own way (and a lot easier to see), and the hops probably don't care anyway!
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  6. #216
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    Default Old school

    On our way to find the modern "hop processing facility" and newly planted hop garden on Sunday, we cycled round a loop to find another hop grower in another parish a few miles away.
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    This one is a much more traditional affair, and I can't work out whether the old oast is still working (because the space now occupied by the first-floor window used to house an electric fan to aid drying, but there is also no obvious sign of a replacement).

  7. #217
    This Space For Hire Wittenden's Avatar
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by rpadam View Post
    On our way to find the modern "hop processing facility" and newly planted hop garden on Sunday, we cycled round a loop to find another hop grower in another parish a few miles away.
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    This one is a much more traditional affair, and I can't work out whether the old oast is still working (because the space now occupied by the first-floor window used to house an electric fan to aid drying, but there is also no obvious sign of a replacement).
    My neighbour! They haven't used the old oast for a few years now,the hops being dried in a bin system in the portal frame buiding in front of the picking machine.
    "At that moment I would have given a kingdom, not for champagne or hock and soda, or hot coffee but for a glass of beer" Marquess Curzon of Kedlestone, Viceroy of India.

  8. #218
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Wittenden View Post
    My neighbour! They haven't used the old oast for a few years now,the hops being dried in a bin system in the portal frame buiding in front of the picking machine.
    Thank you - another mystery solved!

  9. #219
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    Default Heritage hops

    Since it was such wonderful weather, we went for a trek after finishing work to find another operational hop farm, first seen from a distance and then getting increasingly close.
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    Whether ti's due to the varieties grown, the soil or the micro-climate, it becomes very obvious that these hops have shown much more growth than in the other recent examples. Luckily, the footpath runs through several of the hop gardens, so one can see the various different means of support for the wirework around the edges.
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    Looking much closer, you can also now see how the trained hop bines climb clockwise up the twine strings.
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  10. #220
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    Default Historic oast

    If you have bought a Westerham Brewery bottle in a National Trust gift shop (or the same beers from elsewhere), the hops were almost certainly dried in this imposing traditional oast that sits above the hop gardens featured yesterday.
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    As well as the four round kilns set around the white weatherboarded stowage building, you can also see the greenstage (covered first-floor loading / unloading platform) and the slightly less appealing hop picking machine shed and a pair of silos (possibly for mulching the waste bines and twine?).

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