The community hop growing project in the town - the Deal Hop Farm - has had an excellent 4th season despite the drought, aphids and COVID.
The three harvest days in the town produced at total green harvest of 211.3 Kilos of prima donna hops. About 50 kilos of these went immediately into a Green Hop Pale Ale (brewed by Time & Tide Brewing) and the rest went for professional drying at the Berry and Redsell farms.
We got 40kilos of dried hops for beer brews with Time & Tide between now and next September 2021.
In all we harvested across 175 of our 265 sites with some 307 people involved in the harvest.
The average harvest per rhizome did drop from 925grams to 650grams - and over all we were down by 30% on our 2019 harvest.
Much of this was put down to the drought and timing of the aphids spread. This does seem to be reflected in many commercial hop farms in Kent who had cut hop production anyhow because of reduced demand from COVID but also either saw drops in harvest or alternatively had to irrigate the hop gardens which for the UK is very unusual.
The range was 9grams to 4kilos from one plant. The largest garden site produced 4.9kilos and our largest community site 11kilos
Lots of good feedback on our COVID secure harvest drop offs and we are very grateful to the volunteers who ran the drop offs, social distanced community hop picking, our marshalls for arranging pickups from sites who could not make it or were shielding.
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