You’re looking at what might be the last field of rye left in Oregon.
This is the 20 acre field where we’ll plant our 2014 crop of Rogue Farms Dream Rye. We plowed the field this week.
When the soil dries out some more we’ll finish up with discing and harrowing it.
Plowing the field of Dream Rye. Note the soggy soil in the middle of the photo.
One of the things we learned when we started growing rye is that rye farming has all but disappeared in the state. A couple of years ago there were only 250 acres of it – all down in Southern Oregon in Lake County. In 2013, rye farming in Oregon had shrunk so small that the government stopped publishing the numbers.
The plowed field.
So just like our barley and our hops, we learned that if we wanted to ensure a steady supply of rye, we better grow it ourselves. As agri-fermenters of craft beverages, we like knowing where our ingredients come from, how they were cultivated and how they were harvested.
John Maier inspecting the Dream Rye last summer.
Our commitment to growing our own doesn’t stop with the harvest. This year’s crop of Dream Rye will be trucked to our Farmstead Malt House in Tygh Valley, Oregon where we will floor malt it and micro malt it by hand in small, artisan batches.
John at last year’s harvest where he raked the swathed rye into windrows.
Dream Rye is just one of the ingredients in our proprietary palate of flavors we grow at Rogue Farms. John Maier will use this year’s crop to craft future batches of Roguenbier Rye Ale and to mash a Rye Whiskey.
Growing and malting your own isn’t the easiest way to make beers and spirits, but we think it’s the best way. You can taste the difference in every bottle and glass.
Please join us at Rogue Farms this spring for the planting season!
Mother Nature sure knows how to keep us on our toes!
We had just started harvesting our barley in Tygh Valley (see story here) when – wouldn’t you know it – the Dream Rye we grow in Independence was ripe and ready.
Two major harvests at the same time? Let’s get to work.
The arrival of turkey chicks is always a surprise here at Rogue Farms. They just show up one day, seemingly out of nowhere.
That has to do with the secretive habits of our hen Juniper. She disappears every now and then, sometimes returning with chicks and sometimes not.
This week, she came back with four cute, tiny fuzzballs.
The wind storm that flattened several acres of our Dream rye field turned out to be nothing more than a harmless blowhard.
A week later and the rye is straightening itself upright. Except for a few spots here and there, we’ll be able to harvest almost all of it.
And the news keeps getting better here at Rogue Farms in Independence, Oregon.
We need rain at Rogue Farms. Days of steady rain last week – with more to come in the forecast – is welcomed after one of the driest spring seasons on record.
But that Saturday hail and wind storm we could have done without, especially after we saw what it did to our Field of Dream Rye.
After some brilliant sunshine, several days of clouds and rain are coming in to the Rogue Farms Hopyard.
We could use the rain. This is one of the driest spring seasons ever.
So here’s where we stand with our four major crops, the very stuff you’ll be drinking soon in a Rogue Farms ale, lager, pilsner, mead and kolsch.
The Rogue Farms 35 acre field of Dream Rye lies north of Chatoe Rogue along the Willamette River.
We checked out the field of Dream Rye over the weekend and we’re really pleased with what we found.
The shoots are ankle to shin high, healthy and green, and appear to have survived the winter in great shape. Even the few acres we had to replant after they were flooded are looking good.
Even better, no signs of slugs. The last time we planted rye in late fall, slugs wiped out the crop in just a few days. So this time around we tilled the soil, making it inhospitable for slugs.
For those of you familiar with seeing the Dream Rye field on the way into the Hopyard – it’s not there anymore. There wasn’t enough room for all the new rye we want to grow. Increasing our acreage from 15 – 35 acres meant searching for a bigger plot. We found the space in a field just north of the Chatoe Rogue along the Willamette River.
This is just the beginning of what we hope will become another great batch of Rogue Farms Roguenbier Rye Ale.
A close up view of Dream Rye. The rye will turn light brown and stand 5 feet tall by harvest time.
We just started on the expansion of our Dream Rye field. Most of the field has been plowed and when weather permits we’ll go through it with a disc and harrow. That will break down the clumps, create a fine texture and smooth out the field and make it ready for planting.
Some rain kept Rogue Ales Farmer Doc McCallister and the crew out of the fields for a few days this past week, but soon they were back to work planting the rest of the Risk™ 2-row winter malting barley.
The process is often called drilling, because the rotating discs that drop the seeds into the furrows are said to “drill” them into the ground. Drilling next year’s Risk™ crop began a few weeks ago. That first section of barley is now 2-3 inches tall and thriving in the cool weather and rain.
We get some amazing scenes this time of year as the weather transitions from summer into winter. The alternating days of rain and sun create some great images like this stunning photo of rainbow over the Rogue Ales Barley Farm.
This weekend we noticed the Rogue Ales Risk Barley emerging from the soil. The Risk Barley was planted just a couple of weeks ago in preparation for the 2013 Summer Harvest. Pictured below are what the shoots look like.
You can still see the kernels
We also raise cattle at the Rogue Ales Barley Farm. That’s Tygh Ridge in the background. It lies north of the farm and protects it from the winter wind storms of the Gorge.
A freshly plowed field with irrigation wheels