With the big flood of February behind us, we’re back to work at Rogue Farms for a new season of growing beer and spirits.
The flood caused an 11 day delay in the biggest chore this time of year, digging up and replacing rhizomes.
Digging up rhizomes by hand.
Every winter we dig up rhizomes in one part of the hopyard, split them, and then replant them in other areas to replace bines that are no longer productive. It’s an annual tradition that helps us maintain a healthy hopyard that will grow hops for decades.
But the floods put us in a real time crunch this year. We need to finish the job before the bines start growing, which could happen in the next few weeks. Everyone is hustling to get it done.
As soon as the hopyard dried out after the floods, farm hands were back in the dirt.
As far as we can tell, the floods didn’t do any damage to the hops. In fact, it might have helped. Last time it flooded like this we had an excellent crop. But there’s a lot more weather to come before we pick the hops in August and we remain – as always – at the mercy of Mother Nature.
Please come join us at Rogue Farms this spring and see for yourself how the hops, rye, pumpkins, marionberries, jalapeños and honeybees are doing.
One of our winter chores at Rogue Farms in Independence, Oregon is finding and removing unwanted hop plants. You see, some bines grow up to be completely useless. They lie around all day, using up precious resources and don’t produce any of the lupulin we use to make beer.
They are the males of the species. Read more
We’re taking a break during the hop harvest here at Rogue Farms in Independence, Oregon to give you an update on what’s happening.
As you may have seen in our earlier post, we kicked off the harvest season when we started picking our Freedom Hops. And two days later we picked our Revolution hops.
That leaves us with four more varieties to pick before the harvest winds down in early September.
We do more than grow and pick the hops that we use to create Rogue Farms ales, lagers, stouts and porters… we also process them on the farm just a few feet away from the hopyard.
Here’s the journey, from bine to brew, in photos.
15 hours, 36 minutes and 32 seconds.
That’s how much daylight we’re getting today and tomorrow, making these days the “longest” of the year. And at 10:04pm PDT we reach summer solstice. The official start of summer.
Our Rogue Farms hops bines should be arming out at incredible speeds, growing up to a foot per day. But they’re not. And there’s something else strange going on that has us scratching our heads.
It’s a couple of weeks to the summer solstice and we at Rogue Farms in the peak of the running season.
More than 15 hours of daylight has our hop bines in overdrive, growing several inches a day, several feet a week. So far, it’s all about the bines.
But bines are nothing without cones. And now we can report that the cone growing season is about to begin. That happens when the bines, literally, go over the top.
Beer begins in the dirt.
We were reminded of that this week when we planted our new variety of aroma hops here at Rogue Farms. No fancy hop planting equipment to do the job for us. Just a bunch of shovels, hole digging, and a ton of dirt.
When the sun came up this morning at 5:38am – everything changed here at the Rogue Farms Hopyard.
We are now in that magical time of year, when the periods of daylight stretch beyond 15 hours, long enough to awaken the dormant growth hormones inside the bines.
The running season is here.
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.
What’s the difference between a Cascade hop and a Perle hop?
There are the technical differences, alpha acids vs beta acids, myrcene vs humulene, the kind of information that anyone with a computer could find in about ten minutes. But what fun is that?
Please allow us at Rogue Farms Hopyard to suggest a more interesting way to know your hops.
If stringing the Hopyard is our biggest chore of spring, then training day comes in close second.
Training day at the Rogue Farms Hopyard actually runs almost a week. The work is slow and done by hand. There is no machine to speed things up.
But without training, there’d be no harvest. Enough said.
So here’s what we do to train our hops and why it’s so important.