February so far is certainly living up to its Country Law reputation of :-
‘February Fill Dyke,
Black or White’
Here the fields are sodden and the dykes are all running brim full and black.
Meanwhile we are hoping for a little respite from the wet. With the expected arrival of this years hop setts, we are hoping that when they arrive we will have a week of dry weather to get them settled out nicely into ground.
I have the 4 varieties ordered which were offered as the choices in this winter’s draw – Bullion, First Gold, Chinook and Northern Brewer.
In this area on another hop farm, hop stringing, which is still all done by hand began on nice days at end of January. Flat caps essential!
Meanwhile indoors our kitchen larder has the delicious aroma from an opened pack of target hops awaiting the next brewing session.
Every time the door is opened we are treated to a mouth wateringly delicious spicy rich fruit cake type aroma – I cannot help wondering why this dual purpose variety is not more poplar for home brewing.
However dull it seems there are signs everywhere that spring is on its way – primroses in flower on sunny banks, green shoots poking up through the soil, the first snowdrops and catkins.