What’s the difference between a hopyard and field of weeds? It’s the trellis system.
It wasn’t until our brewing forefathers learned how to grow hops on a trellis, away from the damp soil and exposed to the sun, that the wild plant known as Humulus lupulus became a cultivated crop and one of the key ingredients in beer.
A hopyard trellis will last for five decades or longer. But ever once in a while, you need to get down in the dirt and do some repairs.
With no hops growing and the rhizomes dormant underground, winter is the best time for hopyard repairs.
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Just as we prepare our hops and honeybees for winter, this week it was time for our celebrity Potbellied Pigs, Voo and Doo. Voo and Doo are hardy creatures but even they need a warm place to sleep. One of our chores this week at Rogue Farms was to winterize their home.
We laid down a thick layer of hay and cedar chips for them to snuggle in.
Unless you’re a farmer, what we’re about to tell you may not make a lot of sense. Not at first.
We started working the fields where we’ll plant our Dare spring malting barley. Actually drilling seeds in the ground? No. That’s five to six months from now. But there’s a lot to do between now and planting time.
Plowing a field of spring barley begins in the fall at Rogue Farms in Tygh Valley, Oregon.
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It’s been over a week since we put the pigs on arthritis medicine and the difference is amazing.
To be honest, it’s also quite a relief to see that Voo and Doo have plenty of life left in them
When the first flowers of the season appeared in our neighbor’s cherry orchard, we knew the spring nectar flow had begun.
This is one of the prettiest times of the year on the Rogue Farms Hopyard. And for the Rogue Honeybees, one of the busiest.
In Greek mythology, it was the hunter Narcissus who was so handsome that when he saw his own reflection – he fell in love with himself.
Today, we’d call him Tom and he’d be a turkey.
We call them Free Range Chicks for a reason, and lately they’re ranging farther and farther away from their base of operations near the Rogue Farms Hop ‘N’ Bed.
Just the other day, we started seeing them on the lawn between the Hopyard and the Chatoe Rogue. For a Chick, this is a pretty good hike. So what’s going on?
The sad-looking picture you’re about to see is our Potbellied sow Voo on the examination table at the Lois Bates Acheson Veterinary Teaching Hospital at Oregon State. Voo’s had some trouble with her back legs, so we took her in to find out what was going on. The official diagnosis is Bilateral Stifle Osteoarthritis. AKA, knee arthritis.
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Our first Farmstead beer of the season, a farmhouse style Saison, goes on tap tonight at the Chatoe Rogue Tasting Room.
This is a perfect beer for celebrating the spring season. The Saison style dates back centuries to the farms of Belgium and France. They were brewed in the winter months when work was slow, and then served to farm workers during the spring and summer to keep them happy and hydrated.
Although lots of breweries make Saison style beers, ours is made the traditional way, with ingredients that were grown on the farm where the beer was brewed. A true Farmstead beer.
For his Saison, Farmstead Brewer Josh Cronin used Rogue DIY Dare™ Pilsner Malt made from the barley we grow at Rogue Farms in Tygh Valley, and Independent and Alluvial hops grown here at the Rogue Hopyard.
Josh Cronin (left) brewed the Saison during our DIY Homebrewing Workshop in February.