We are officially exhaling at Rogue Farms in Tygh Valley.
There's only about a week left in the month of May and our orchard crops are in excellent shape. Lots of good-looking apples, cherries, plums, pears and apricots.
A long stretch of rain ushered in the barley planting season here at Rogue Farms in Tygh Valley, Oregon.
We’re just getting started on seeding our fields of Dare™ spring malting barley. And like so many things in farming, the rain is a mixed blessing this time of year.
It’s great for the barley. The rain will help the newly planted Dare™ seeds germinate and grow.
But if you’ve ever tried running a tractor through a wet field, only to see it bog down in the mud, then you’ll understand why we wish it was a little bit drier right now.
So far the fields have been in good enough shape. Moist but not wet. We’ve got a lot more rain coming in the next several day so we’re going to take it nice and slow. Drill when we can. Wait when soil conditions are too wet.
Meanwhile, the Risk™ winter malting barley we planted in the fall is healthy and green, and about 8-10 inches tall. It too, likes having rain during spring.
But we did lose a few acres of Risk™ during an extreme cold spell over the winter. We’ll replant them in Dare™ next week.
When you grow your own proprietary palate of flavors, you work with whatever Mother Nature sends your way. Things usually work out in the end, but she sure loves keeping us on our toes!
Please join us this spring at Rogue Farms, agri-fermenters of craft beverages, and see how we grow beer and spirits.
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.
When we say beer and spirits begin in the dirt – this is what we’re talking about.
Here’s our first look at the Rogue Farms 2014 crop of Risk™ malting barley which we planted last fall. The shoots are just barely sticking out of the soil, a couple of inches tall at most. That’s normal for this time of year.
They won’t start growing for another few weeks.
More importantly the new crop looks healthy. A nice green color and no signs of damage.
We were also checking on soil moisture. After one of the driest years on record, a lack of moisture could have been a real problem. But Mother Nature was generous this winter, giving us plenty of snow and rain. We figure we have enough moisture in the soil to get us through spring, the time of year when barley needs it most.
As for our crop of Rogue Farms Dare™ barley, we have to wait a couple of weeks before we start plowing, discing and harrowing those fields. They’re too wet to work right now. Our tractors and gear would get stuck in the mud. We’d rather be starting the field work sooner, but no complaints. Too wet is a better problem to have than too dry.
In less than six months, those tiny shoots of Risk™ malting barley will be tall, brown and ripe. We’ll harvest the grains, then floor malt them and micro malt them in our Farmstead Malt House here on the farm. Then we’ll truck the malt to our Brewery in Newport where Brewmaster John Maier will mash them into future batches of Rogue Ales and Spirits.
Risk™ and Dare™ malting barley are just two of the ingredients in the Rogue Farms proprietary palate of flavors. But like everything we grow, they start in the dirt.
Please join us at Rogue Farms this spring for another season of growing beer and spirits.
Winter is off to a cold start at Rogue Farms in Tygh Valley, Oregon.
We had that cold snap early in December when overnight lows dipped into the single digits – about 20 degrees colder than normal.
And then, two weeks ago, the thermometer outside the Farmstead Malt House registered a bone chilling -15ºF.
It’s a good thing that, along with all the cold weather, we got plenty of snow.
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.
There are two things we worry most about this time of year at Rogue Farms in Tygh Valley, Oregon – wildfires and storms. Either one could wipe out a crop in a matter of minutes.
This weekend, we got a taste of each. Read more
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