With so many pumpkin beers appearing on store shelves, you may be wondering why you’re not seeing our Rogue Farms Pumpkin Patch Ale.
Mother Nature has a funny way of testing us.
We had just started picking our Freedom hops, one of seven varieties we grow at Rogue Farms, when we got word that our wheat was ripe and ready.
So with pickers in the hop rows and combines in the wheat field, we got to work bringing in two crops at the same time.
The season of harvesting our beers and spirits is just getting started. Read all about it by clicking on the image below.
Big thunderstorms moved in overnight at Rogue Farms in Tygh Valley, Oregon, forcing us to hold off harvesting our Risk™ malting barley.
Maybe we’ll be able to resume this afternoon, maybe tomorrow or the next day. It’s all up to Mother Nature.
We can’t harvest wet barley. Too much moisture in the grain when it’s stored in the silo can lead to all sorts of problems ranging from fungal disease to spontaneous combustion. You read that right. Wet grain can get so hot all on it’s own that it will suddenly burst into flames.
But that’s the least of our troubles this time of year.
This is the greatest time of year to be a Rogue Farms honeybee.
We’re in the middle of the summer nectar flow, when gazillions of wildflowers, blackberry flowers and clover fill the fields surrounding our farm.
It’s the honeybee’s version of an all you can eat for free buffet. But for our bees, that’s not good enough.
We’re about a week away from the summer solstice, aka the longest day of the year.
On June 20th, the sun will rise over Rogue Farms at 5:25am and won’t drop below the horizon until 9:02pm. 15 hours, 36 minutes and 31 seconds of daylight.
This is when is our hop bines go into overdrive. Long periods of daylight trigger the natural hormones within hops that cause them to grow several inches in a day, several feet in a week. You can literally watch the hops grow.
So how’s this year’s crop coming along?
The next several days are going to be stunning at Rogue Farms in Tygh Valley. Lots of sun and warm days in the upper 40’s and 50’s.
Which means it’s time for us to get to work.
This morning we began plowing, discing and harrowing the 100 acres of fields where we’re going to seed this year’s crop of Dare™ malting barley.
We want to give our Dare™ seeds the best start possible on the growing season. So we plow, disc and harrow to break up the clumps of dirt and sod into smaller and smaller pieces, and to return left over field debris back into the soil where it breaks down into natural humus. When we’re done the soil will be smooth, easy to plant, and full of nutrients.
While that’s going on, we’re also inspecting our irrigation system, making repairs, and moving the big wheels into place.
If Mother Nature continues to cooperate, we’ll plant our Dare™ malting barley during the first half of April. Rogue Farms Dare™ barley is a spring variety that grows quickly during a season that lasts about four months. So mark your calendars for late July or early August. That’s when we expect to harvest this year’s crop.
From there, we’ll send it to the Farmstead Malt House where we’ll floor malt and micro malt the grain in small artisan batches. Then we send the bags of malt to the Rogue Brewery in Newport where we’ll smoke and roast it into a variety of flavors for Brewmaster John Maier. Dare™ barley and Dare™ malts are just of the proprietary palate of flavors we grow here at Rogue Farms.
The journey from ground to glass isn’t fast and it isn’t easy. But as agri-fermenters we believe growing, malting, roasting and smoking your own barley makes a difference that you can taste in every bottle of Rogue Ales and Spirits.
Please join us at Rogue Farms this spring as we begin another season of growing beers and spirits.
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.
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