Harvest will be upon us before we know it, and the realisation of this tipped me out of bed early this morning to head down to the farm for a look at our hops.
Humphrey was out, then back, then dashing out again on some farmer type business, so I was left to my own devices to assess the state of play. My (amateur) reading of the situation is thus: early rain has caused excess vegetative growth in some of the Goldings, stopping the sunshine getting down the bine and causing the flowers to concentrate at the top - this will lead to a lower yield. In other areas this hasn't been a problem and the bines are in cone all the way down. Maturity is patchy - some plants in burr, some in full cone - it is early for East Kent afterall. Apart from that, they look clean, unbruised, and loving the warm sunshine.
This pundit is going for a 5th September start to the eastest of east Kent's hop harvest. Here's some photos: