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Nelson Historical Society Journal, Volume 1, Issue 5, December 1961



Nelson was first, and practically the only, hop-growing area in New Zealand, and as a natural sequence had the first brewery. Some of the first hop-growers in the Stoke area were:—

Mr Harley (below the bank in Nayland Road), Sir Edward Stafford, the Orphanage Farm, Mr Saxton, Mr John Bradley (the old hop-kiln on Mr Manson's property is a relic of these days), Mr Alf Bradley, Mr E. Chisnall, Mr W. Roil and Mr Jellyman.

Other crops grown at that time were oats, wheat, barley and potatoes.

The fruit-growing industry, which was to become the main occupation of settlers in Stoke, did not commence until about the middle 1890's, when Mr Miller and Mr Hale planted about five acres each along Nayland Road, Mr Miller's property being where Harman's is now, and Mr Hale's where Palmer's house now stands (1949).