The calendar says spring doesn’t arrive for another nine days, but at Rogue Farms we’re calling it now.
For starters, the sun is out and we might even warm up into the sixties by the weekend.
But the big news is what’s happening right at our feet. The bines are emerging.
A Rogue Farms Independent hop bine emerging from the soil.
There’s nothing like seeing the first bines of the season to get us excited about another season of growing beer and spirits.
And that’s not all. Over by the processing facility we just received our shipment of coir, the twine we use to string the hopyard.
Each bale contains 550 pounds of coir, a twine made from the stringy material found in coconut shells.
Stringing and staking the hopyard is one of the most important chores of spring. Eventually those tiny hop bines will grow to 30 – 40 feet long, but only if we give them a way to grow up towards the sun.
Here’s what the hopyard looks like now.
Pole and wires – but no strings.
When stringing and staking begins, it takes about a week or so to complete the job.
A fully strung hopyard. In case you’re wondering, that shadowy figure is not Bigfoot.
Once the bines are a couple of feet high, we’ll train them to the climb the strings. We wrap one or two bines clockwise around a string and tie them in place. Clockwise because that’s how hops follow the sun throughout the day.
Weather permitting, we’ll string the hopyard on April 1st. We’re also getting ready to plant our 20 acres of Dream Rye. By late spring we’ll plant our acre of Marionberries and four acres of Dream Pumpkins. Jalapeños by summer. The season of growing our proprietary palate of flavors for our craft beverages is underway.
Please join us at Rogue Farms this spring and see how we grow beer and spirits!