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The Harvest Season Begins!

The calendar says summer is just getting started. Not the time of year you normally think about bringing in a crop.

But Mother Nature doesn’t always stick to a schedule. Thanks to a spring growing season that was unusually warm and sunny the Rogue Farms cherries are ripe now. So what if they’re a couple of weeks early? It’s time to get the ladders and baskets out of the barn and head into the orchard to start picking.

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Flower Power For Our Honeybees

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.

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Estate Grown Hops

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?

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Seeds Of A Revolution

We took advantage of the gorgeous weather this weekend to plant this year's crop of Dream pumpkins.

It's amazing to think of how these tiny seeds revolutionized the way we do things at Rogue Farms. We'd been growing our own seven varieties of hops and two varieties of malting barley. But when dropped our first seeds of pumpkins in the soil a few years ago, the GYO revolution took a big leap forward.

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Tree To Table At Rogue Farms

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.

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Back In The Land Of Hops And Honey

Feel that buzz in the air at Rogue Farms?

That's our honeybees, just back from a working vacation in California.

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New Summer Hours At Rogue Farms

The forecast for next week is warm and sunny, and we can't think of a better way to celebrate than to join us for a beer at Rogue Farms.

In honor of the excellent weather, we're going to be open every day of the week with expanded hours Friday and Saturday.

Our new summer schedule is:

Sunday - Thursday, 11am to 9pm
Friday and Saturday, 11am to 10pm.
Farm Tours, Weekends at 3pm.

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Estate Grown Flavor

We're adding a new crop to the proprietary palate of flavors we grow at Rogue Farms in Independence, Oregon.

This spring we planted five acres of wheat in a field next our Dream pumpkin patch.

A step forward in the Grow Your Own Revolution.

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Spring Training For Beer

In just a few weeks, May 20th to be exact, we cross a magical threshold at Rogue Farms.

On that day we’ll get 15 hours, 2 minutes and 1 second of daylight. These “15 hour” days will be with us for another couple of months.

Hops love 15 hour days. They crave those long periods of daylight to trigger growth hormones that send the bines climbing up the trellises several inches in a day, several feet in a week.

But first we have to give them a head start. It’s called training.

Training starts by picking the best looking bines from a mound.

Training starts as we pick the best looking bines from a mound. Only a few of the bines will be trained. The others we’ll cut back to the ground.

We have 1549 strings per acre, 65058 strings in the entire hopyard. We train each bine by hand. It’s time-consuming work, but one of the most important chores we do all year. Without training, the bines will just spread out over the field. Climbing up the trellis strings gives them maximum exposure to the sun they so desperately need to grow and produce cones.

The best bines are wound clockwise around the trellis strings. Clockwise because that's how bines follow the sun.

The best bines are wound clockwise around the trellis strings. Clockwise because that’s how bines follow the sun.

Bines climb the strings with tiny hairs that are about impossible to see without a magnifying glass. If you rub against them they are irritating to the skin. Which is why most of the time we wear gloves when handling hop bines.

Then they're tied in place. After that, we let Mother Nature and sunshine take care of the rest.

Then we tie them in place. After that, we let Mother Nature and sunshine take it from here.

There are a lot of places that get more sun that we do in the Wigrich Appellation. But most of those places don’t get “15 hour” days. Nor do they have our mild and wet winters and springs, nor our rich alluvial soils. Our climate and soil are two big reasons why Rogue Farms has the world’s best terroir for growing hops.

Please see for yourself by visiting us at Rogue Farms this spring. Taste the difference terroir makes the next time you open a Rogue ale, porter, lager, stout, mead, braggot, kolsch or spirits.

roguefarms we grow beer and spirits_web

 

Planting Season

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.

Drilling Dare In The Rain

What we’re pulling behind the tractor is called a seed drill. It cuts furrows into the soil, drops in the seed, and then pushes the dirt back over the seeds.

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.

Spring rains over our fields of Risk malting barley.

Spring rains over our fields of Risk™ malting barley.

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.

roguefarms grow the revolution

 

 

 

 

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