Thursday, March 30, 2017

Deal Hop Farm - April Mailing

Rhizome at Martha Trust
We have been a little overwhelmed by the response we have had locally - We now have 126 gardens involved and looks like we will plant about 260 hop plants!

This includes a fantastic diversity of sites with clusters of growers on all the allotments locally, Walmer Castle Kitchen Garden, Ripple Steam Brewery, Martha Trust, Rippledown Centre, Pines Calyx Garden, One pre-school group, Just Reproach, Lighthouse,  Sea Café, Community gardens at the Landmark and Deal Rail Station, people sharing gardens, others sponsoring them at the community spaces plus many, many gardens around the Town. We have one auxiliary site now in France!

You can see what the Deal Hop Farm looks like at our Google Map

Thank you everyone for cooperating with the ordering & collecting system (and a special thank you to the volunteers on the stalls)

Key things for April:

1) Membership Survey
We are looking at ways to collect your thoughts & feedback - We will need to a similar survey in May & August to see where the hops are in the growing process to plan the harvest & brew.

We are using this to get your feedback on how you have found joining the Deal Hop Farm, to gauge numbers for the 6th April meeting, to see if people what to be involved in the organising side or if they want a tee-shirt!
So please have a go and let us know how you get on. The survey is online here

Thursday 6th April 6:30pm - The Alma, West Street Deal.
    We have our first General meeting with a Talk on the 'Humble Pint' by David Cliff of the Ripple Steam Brewery
    Chance to people to compare notes and meet others in the 'Farm'. We will have Hop Twine & pegs available.

     As well as the Talk we will do quick progress report. Free to members - Non-members £2.

3) Thursday 20th April 6:30pm - The BoHo (upstairs) Beach St Deal
     Our first Organisation meeting - These are open to all members.
     We need volunteers to plan the rest of the year. These include but not an exhaustive list:
  • Business & finance planning
  • Planning the Harvest
  • Planning the options on brewing
  • Developing a drying solution for the hops
  • Collection of hop related songs & memories
  • Develop a constitution for the group & usual officer roles
  • Plan the Oktoberfest
  • Communications & PR
  • Just to help generally
  • Chief Taster role
Please use the enclosed survey to flag up your interest/skills

4) Deal Hop Farm Tee Shirts
We have some samples of the tee shirts available. These are £10 each 'Fruit of loom' Softspun Tees, two styles 'Standard fit' and 'Women's tapered fit' sizes S-XXL. Please you the survey to let us know if you want one & if so the size.

5) April Growing Notes
Gill B's Rhizome with seaside mulch

  • By now your hop rhizome would have been planted (if not & you need further help/guidance please contact us asap)
  • Some of you may be seeing the first buds grow above the ground. Please don't worry if yours have not come up at this time - it could take until early May.
  • If buds are showing keep an eye on them and ensure they don't become snail/slug food. You can use a whole range of measures from beer traps, physically removing them, broken egg shells as well as organic commercial products. Key thing is to keep the area you are growing free from garden litter (dead leaves etc).
  • Once the buds have formed into Bines of about 10-15cm you will train them up the hop twine. We will be doing some 'Twiddling' workshops at the Landmark Garden on this in April and sending out more info during April.
  • Now is a good time to have finalised how the plants are going to be supported: Wall/fence trellis, horticultural wire, or larger structures.
  • Watering: Probably little if any to be done now. If you are growing in a container check weekly how moist the soil is about two inches below the surface. Remember: Once the plant is growing always water the ground and not directly on the plant (bines), as could create the conditions for a couple of diseases to establish.
  • Feeding: Nothing to do at the present

Please post your Hop photos to the Facebook Group DealHopFarm or send them to us at

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Deal Hop Farm - Meeting & Talk: 'The Humble Pint' Thurs 6th April

Deal Hop Farm has its next meeting/talk on Thursday 6th April at The Alma pub on West Street at 6:30pm. 

Our speaker is David Cliff from the Ripple Steam Brewery who will talking on the 'The Humble Pint' a brief history of beer & hops.

Cost £2 for non-members

The Deal Hop Farm has also a organisation meeting at the BoHo on April 20th at 6:30pm

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Deal Beach Clean 2nd April

The next Deal Beach Clean is on Sunday 2nd April at 9:30am meeting at Deal Pier. 

This clean is part of our series for the Marine Conservation Society where we log the litter we find on the beach.

All pickers, gloves, bags supplied and the clean will last about an hour to hour & half.

All Welcome

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Deal Beach Clean - Sunday 2nd April

We have our next Deal Beach Clean on Sunday 2nd April at 9:30am meeting at Deal Pier. 

This clean will be one of Marine Conservation Society cleans where we log what we find on the beach. For full details on the MCS work please see their website here

Pickers, Bags and Gloves all provided

Deal Seedy Saturday 18th March

Thank you to everyone who came to our Deal Seedy Saturday Seed & Plant Swap yesterday - Especially grateful to all those who donated plants and seeds. 

Many seeds taken with some going to some first time growers - please tell us how you get on :)

The stalls from Deal Town team for SE in Bloom and Deal Hop Farm had a busy day

Thanks to our DWI volunteers and big thanks to our wonderful entertainment from the Landmark Uke Club (which meets on Friday's at the Landmark Centre 10-12 cost £1)

Our next Seedy will be in May/June date TBC

Our Photos are here

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Victoria Park Clean Saturday 18th March 2pm

We are organising our first Park Clean at Victoria Park meeting at the Mill Rd Car Park end at 2pm

Pickers, gloves and bags provided - clean will last just over an hour

Part of #GBSpringClean a national series of events sorting out litter in the country

Monday, March 13, 2017

Deal Seedy Saturday 18th March 10:30am

Our next Seedy Saturday will be on Saturday 18th March at 10:30-12:30pm at the Landmark Garden, High St Deal.

Please bring seeds to swap or donate (ideally seeds should be about a year old with a description of what they are :)

We will also have the Deal Town SE in Bloom on hand to tell us about this year's competition and how the community can get involved.

The Deal Hop Farm will be there with their last remaining hops looking for a loving Deal home

Gus will be there offering a garden tool sharpening service for a small donation.

Entertainment will be provided by the Landmark Ukulele Club

Monday, March 6, 2017

Deal Hop Farm - Last orders please!

Deal Hop Farm - Last orders please! 

(always wanted to say that)

We have 45 hops to distribute to paid members + 7 ones where we have requests but not paid.

We have checked the stock there are about 5 which we have to put into our intensive care nursery (ok a large DDC Recycling box with lots of compost) to check that they are Ok but we will hold these back for a couple of weeks.

This means that we will get a few more in at the end of this week ( which means placing the order by noon Tuesday).

We have had a couple of you ask for extras at the larger sites - so if you want a few more or if you know someone who wants to join please email me at before 12 Tuesday.

Final distribution is this Friday and Saturday (10/11th March) 10:30am to 12:30 at the Landmark Garden Deal High Street (please bring a bag with you)

If you have contacted me today or received an email today you are included.

Next Deal Seedy Saturday 18th March 2017

We have our next Seedy Saturday at the Landmark Garden Deal High St on Sat 18th at 10:30am

Please bring your seeds to swap/donate - all welcome

We will have colleagues from Deal's SE in Bloom team, A Garden tool sharpening service, some music from the Landmark Uke Club

Sunday, March 5, 2017

Walmer Beach Clean 5th March - Thank you

We had our postponed Walmer Beach Clean this afternoon at 1pm between the showers! 

We managed to collect over 28kgs in a little over an hour.

A big thank you to all our volunteers and special mention to all those souls who turned up to the published time of 9:30am in the middle of horizontal rain and 45mph gusts!

It was not safe to do the clean then but shows how community minded people are in Deal, that they are prepared to give it a go!

Thank you to the Sea Cafe for supporting us today!

We have our first Park Clean on Saturday 18th March at 2pm at Victoria Park (meet at Mill Rd Car park end) and our next beach clean will be a full Marine Conservation Society one at Deal Pier on Sunday 2nd April 9:30am.

Sunday 5th March Beach Clean - Weather Warning

Walmer Beach Clean: Weather Forecast is not looking good for 9:30 Heavy rain & high winds. 

The Beach Clean has been postponed to 1pm today

 meet at the Sea Cafe

Friday, March 3, 2017

Martha Trust Joins Deal Hop Farm

We have had an amazing response with over 100 gardens, allotment holders, community gardens and spaces joining the Deal Hop Farm in a little over four weeks. People just love the idea of community grown beer!

We are especially pleased to welcome the Martha Trust to the project. The key aspect of our project has been to bring the entire community together in a common enterprise and to reflect one of Deal’s great strengths; its diversity.

We will be distributing hop plants to our members at the Landmark Garden on Fridays and Saturdays between 10:30 to 12:30 (starting on 3rd March and finishing on the 11th March.)

We will be organising a number s of talks and workshops on the history of hops & beer making, tips for growing your hops and planning for harvest in September and ‘Deal Oktoberfest’ where we will get to taste the fruit of our labours.

We need to get plants into the ground in the next few weeks but we will be opening our doors for new members later in the autumn.”

George White, Chief Executive of the Martha Trust Said
“ It is fantastic for Martha Trust to be involved in local community projects such as the one with Deal With It.

The growing of Hops is a great opportunity for the residents to get outside in the fresh air, plant the hop and monitor the progress as it grows.

I have a feeling we will also have a number of volunteers to assist in drinking the proceeds in the fullness of time!

Thank you to Deal With It for involving Martha in this great community project”

Let's give Deal a Spring Clean

Deal With It has organised two local events to support the brand new Great British Spring Clean which roll out for the first time in 2017, with a view to it becoming an annual event helping to bring people together and clean up the country.

TV wildlife presenter and children’s favourite Steve Backshall is lending his support to the campaign, which is backed by the key anti-litter charities including Keep Britain Tidy, Keep Wales Tidy and Marine Conservation Society.

We see this as great opportunity for us to have a community response to litter in the town. Our hope is broaden the involvement of other community groups and individuals as well hitting all those litter ‘grot spots’ in the town.’

The group has one of its community beach cleans this Sunday 5th March on Walmer Beach starting at 9:30am meeting at the Sea Café on the Green.

On Saturday 18th March at 2pm the group will be organising a ‘Park Clean’ of Victoria Park. Meet at the Mill Rd Car Park end of the Park.

Thursday, March 2, 2017

Victoria's Green Matters - 2nd March 2017

Deal With IT's Secretary Victoria Nicholls writes a regular column on Green Issues for us:
Those of you who saw the recent article about the lack of snow in the Alps over this winter will take this as an illustration of the effects of climate change so close to us, just across the water. This is a very real problem for the ski resorts that rely on the winter season to make their living. The French Alps are beautiful at any time of the year, the lower slopes being home to beautiful green pastures carpeted with wild flowers in the summer but with a very different beauty in the winter, usually all covered with snow. But not this winter. Add to this the terrible storms and flooding in the North of England of Christmas 2015 and climate change is very real indeed.

In contrast, it was good to read that electricity generated by renewable energy made up nearly nine-tenths of the power that was added to European electricity grids last year. There was 24.5 GW of capacity built across Europe last year, 86% of which came from wind, solar, biomass and hydro, beating the 2014 record of 79%. For the first time, wind power has overtaken coal to become the EU’s second largest form of power generation after gas.

While this is very much good news for the present; for the long term only seven of the 28 EU countries have clear policies for the years beyond 2020. There seems to be less policy and political ambition for renewables than there was five or even three years ago.

The amount of wind power capacity installed in Europe is 153.7GW but this is a relatively small fraction of the area’s 918.8GW of total power capacity. The industry needs to grow to fill the gap created as governments force the closure of old coal plants to meet climate change goals. The UK has committed to do this by 2025.

There obviously needs to be far more support from governments to help renewable generation if we are to meet the targets set by the Paris agreement. The removal of subsidies for coal production must happen if we are to clean up our act and there must be no encouragement of new open cast coal or fracking in this country.