Company Drinks 2016
London Borough of Barking and Dagenham
October 2016

Drinks Range 2016

Kathrin Böhm

“Going picking” is a well known term to everyone who grew up in east London mid last century
and it stands for the annual mass exodus of families – mainly women and children – to Kent to make some extra money from fruit and hop picking.

A lot has changed since these hopping days. The geographies and demographics of east London have shifted dramatically, resulting in less clear divisions between city and countryside and a much more diverse population. Fruit and hops are still grown in Kent but are either machine picked or harvested by seasonal
workers who now predominantly come from Eastern Europe.

The invitation to go picking again is as much a reflection of the past and the immense popularity of hop-picking, as it is a reflection on local resources and identities, cultural traditions, the value of labour and new collective possibilities. Going picking is also a practical task to understand and make use of what grows
in the places where we live today.

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