The history of Oregon hops begins in the dirt just a few miles south of Rogue Farms in Independence.
The year was 1867. Farmers Adam Weisner and William Wells planted the state’s first commercial hopyard near the small town of Buena Vista. For reasons that are unknown to us, the first crop was a failure. But their attempts to grow hops caught the eye of Eugene area farmer George Leasure. Using rootstocks from Weisner and Wells, he started Oregon’s first successful hopyard two years later on the banks of the McKenzie River.
A Willamette Valley hopyard in 1900. From Oregon State University.
Hop Fever quickly spread throughout the Willamette Valley. Hops loved the loamy soils, the cool and wet winters, and the long sunny days of summer. By 1905, Oregon was the top grower of hops in the United States and would soon overtake Germany as the top grower in the world.
At Rogue Farms, we’re proud to be part of Oregon’s hop heritage. Come join us this fall and relax with one of our farm grown beers and spirits in the oldest hop growing region of the state.
To learn more about Oregon hops history:
Visit the Oregon Hops and Brewing Archives at Oregon State University.
Ride the Buena Vista Ferry during a tour of hop country.
Search for historic hop photos in the Oregon State University Archives.
Read about Rogue’s beginning and the famous naked lady in a bathtub.
One of the wildest growing seasons at Rogue Farms is coming to a close, and we’re already getting started on planting next year’s proprietary palate of flavors.
Read more about it in the latest edition of the Rogue Farms Crop Report by clicking on the cover image.
Unless you’re a farmer, what we’re about to tell you may not make a lot of sense. Not at first.
We started working the fields where we’ll plant our Dare spring malting barley. Actually drilling seeds in the ground? No. That’s five to six months from now. But there’s a lot to do between now and planting time.
Plowing a field of spring barley begins in the fall at Rogue Farms in Tygh Valley, Oregon.
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Autumn is one of the busiest times of year for the beekeeper at Rogue Farms.
There’s no more wild sources of nectar and pollen for our honeybees to forage and soon it will be too cold for them to leave the hive. So in the next few weeks our beekeeper has 7,140,289 mouths to feed, medicate and shelter before winter arrives.
The bees took care of us this spring and summer by pollinating our crops and making the honey we used in our kolsch, mead, braggot and sodas. Now it’s our turn to take care of them.
A scene from this year’s honey harvest at Rogue Farms.
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Check out this story about Rogue Farms in the latest Modern Farmer. Beer and spirits begin on the farm!
There’s two things you can count on during winter at Rogue Farms in Independence, Oregon. It’s going to rain, and it’s probably going to flood.
One of our most important chores this time of year is to protect the soil from erosion during the winter rainy season. And the best way to do that is to plant some barley.
Here we are plowing the soil between the hop rows. The ground is covered with a stubble of left over bines, twine and plant debris. It all gets broken up and plowed back into the earth.
When Rogue Soda Jerk Steve Distasio is looking for inspiration – all he has to do is drive 62 miles to Rogue Farms.
Steve mixes honey harvested from our 7,140,289 honeybees in every batch of Rogue Soda. And when he wanted to create soda with a citrus and cucumber flavor, we picked cucumbers for him right from our garden.
So it was no surprise when we looked out the window the other day and there was Steve, wandering through the pumpkin patch.
Man on a mission. Rogue Soda Jerk Steve in our four acre patch of Dream Pumpkins.
Waiting for a hazelnut harvest is all about patience.
The nuts began falling from the trees nearly a month ago. But we have to wait until there’s enough nuts on the orchard floor before the harvest can begin. The timing is entirely in the hands of Mother Nature.
This week Mother Nature said, “Let’s go.”
Hazelnuts begin falling in early September as the nights get cool and the winds grow stronger.
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We woke up this morning to find the hopyard shrouded in fog and thought it was so stunning we just had to snap these photos.
Fall is here and winter is coming. Each season here at Rogue Farms is different and beautiful in its own way.