We made a sweet discovery this week while laying down some gravel for our new parking lot at Rogue Farms.
Winnie The Pooh would be so proud.
We're going to let you in on a little secret. We just planted barley in our hop rows at Rogue Farms in Independence, Oregon.
We are not replacing our beloved hops with barley.
Instead, this is about the terroir of the Wigrich Appellation and the wonderful alluvial soil where we grow ingredients for our beers and spirits.
Fire is part of the natural cycle here in the fields and forests of Eastern Oregon. Fire burns off excess undergrowth, kills off old and dying trees and plants, leaves a clean slate for life to begin anew.
This year we used fire as one of the tools to prepare the field where we'll plant next year's crop of Risk™ winter malting barley at Rogue Farms in Tygh Valley.
Fire helps us grow better barley and, we have to admit, is strangely beautiful to watch.
The noises coming out of the hazelnut orchard told us something was up. As we walked over to investigate, we realized what we were hearing was the sound of hazelnuts falling to the orchard floor.
Of all the crops we grow, hazelnuts are unique. If we want to know when our hops are ready to pick, we break open the cones, sniff them and run dry matter tests. For our malting barley we bite into the kernels and test for moisture. But when our hazelnuts are ripe they drop from the trees.
Mother Nature was telling it was time to begin the Rogue Farms hazelnut harvest. A new journey from ground to glass.
No one knows terroir like the Rogue Farms Honeybees.
This year, our 7,156,283 honeybees made 89,453,537,512 stops to collect nectar from flowering hazelnuts, maples, roses, apples, walnuts, cherries, pumpkins, raspberries, marionberries, blackberries and clover. The honey they produced is a sampling of all the flavors of the Wigrich Appellation – a unique taste of place.
And soon, you’ll be able to taste the terroir of Rogue Farms for yourself when the honey we harvested is used to brew 19 Original Colonies Mead, Honey Kolsch and Braggot.
So how do we harvest our honey? Here’s how.
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