How collected hops in Kent
• How harvested hops in Kent
The photo shows the hop pickers in Kent, 1928. It turns out that this phenomenon has a curious history.
The era of geographical discovery has enriched Europe with new cultures. In 1586 in the British potato fields first appears, even after several decades of field seeded massively is not so alien clover, turnips, and finally hops. Last of England - all because without hops beer - not beer.
In honor of hops compose poems agronomic properties such as "Five hundred tips on agriculture" Tassera Thomas (1557), withstood many editions. There were, however, and opponents, assures that hops only spoils the taste of the beer and ale.
In the XVII century the hops needed and roads. An acre of hops gives the owner about a ton of production followed by a profit of £ 40, £ 50 and even £ 100. A ton of wheat when it costs £ 9, or barley malt - around £ 5. All because hops terrible is capricious and not everyone is willing to cultivate it.
Soil preparation began almost in December. In March hop cut unnecessary sprouts, in April set the pole on which hops creeping upwards, forming a mound. I hop in the summer it was only necessary to weed and hill, but at harvest, which began in mid-August, threw all available forces. Since the pick boxes hops could only be in dry weather, the harvest is often delayed. The local population was not enough, and in the XIX century, entire families in poor areas of London migrate to the fields of hops during harvest.
By 1870, special trains were created to transport those wishing to harvest hop vines. Londoners who could not afford to travel around the country, usually looked at it while on holiday.
However, living conditions were miserable. Adults and children huddled in barns, stalls, stables and even stables. Hygiene is poor. As a result, the camps volunteers walked infection. So, in 1849, cholera has killed 43 people on a farm.
In the 1860s, the two priests began to visit the field and to campaign for better conditions, eventually forming in 1866, the Society for employment and better housing for hops pickers. By 1889 every one of the founders of the charitable affairs had a team of 12 missionaries.
A hundred years of manual labor continued to be in demand, but by the 1950s, workers began to replace mechanical harvesting. Huts hop pickers were destroyed or converted into ordinary housing, although some of them are preserved in museums.
The Scottish hop growers have used stilts for tying vine shoots. Harvest, too, can be collected with the help of stilts, and you can - tearing down the vine to the support, as the video below.