You’re not going to believe this. We don’t quite believe it ourselves.
A few weeks ago we noticed that something odd was going on in our field of Dream Rye. Shoots were disappearing and being overtaken by grass. At first, it seemed like no big deal. The changes were subtle. But the shoots continued dying and the grass spread even further. Eventually we lost nearly all 20 acres of the Dream Rye we planted just a few months ago.
This is what happened.
A banana slug. Photo courtesy Oregon State Extension Service.
Field slugs ate almost the entire crop. Maybe it was the banana slug pictured above. Maybe it was the leopard slug, another variety that’s common to the area. We don’t know and we don’t care. We are fed up with slugs.
What the field of Dream Rye looks like today. It should be filled with bright green shoots of rye.
This is not our only slugfest. When we planted our first crop of Dream Rye back in 2011, it too was eaten away by slugs. The shoots were barely out of the ground when they attacked and ate everything in less than 24 hours. Back then we joked that because gardeners use beer to kill slugs, the slugs were getting even. But that was a small patch of rye. This year it was 20 acres and we are not so amused.
To fans of our Rye Whiskey and Roguenbier Rye Ale, we are not giving up. We’ll be back.
It’s become a rite of winter at Rogue Farms in Tygh Valley, Oregon. A battle with invaders from the north.
Hundreds of Canada Geese descend upon the farm this time of year to raid our Risk™ malting barley. From the air, the vast fields of green barley shoots are a target that’s too attractive to pass up.
We go on the counter offensive, harassing the geese with rifle shots in the air, riding through fields in our ATVs, or sending the dogs out to chase them away. These skirmishes drag on for weeks or months.
A flock of Canada Geese arrive at Rogue Farms to join their birds of a feather in the annual raids on our barley fields.
This year, the geese outsmarted us.
As much as we love sharing the story of Rogue Farms, and our grow your own, craft it yourself way of doing things – we especially appreciate it when others share it too.
Take a look at what Craft Brewing Business did with the pictures from our Winter Crop Report. They created a beautiful photo essay showing the highlights of what we’ve done over the past months to grow our beers, spirits, ciders and sodas. Click on the image below to view the full story.
With spring almost here, Rogue Farms is here to help you prepare your garden for another season of growing fruit, vegetables and flowers.
Come join us Saturday, February 28th for our next DIY Workshop, Preparing Your Garden For Spring.
When’s the best time to plant? How do you make your own compost? Our experts will answer all your questions, and maybe even answer some you hadn’t thought about.
The workshop starts at 2pm, is free and open to all ages. All you have to do is show up. For more information, please visit our event page on Facebook. For directions on to the farm, click here.
Growing your own and doing it yourself is something we believe in strongly at Rogue Farms, and these workshops are one of the ways we share our passion for GYO and DIY.
The Rogue Farms Revolution Garden where we grow vegetables and herbs for our sodas and gins.
Yes, it seems silly to get excited over string.
But this was no ordinary shipment via UPS. When the string arrived at Rogue Farms, the delivery folks unloaded dozens of bales weighing hundreds of pounds apiece. In all, we now have 253 miles of string.
Just some of the bales of string that arrived at Rogue Farms in Independence, Oregon.
From severe drought to floods and snow, and a corn crop that almost drove us crazy, it’s been an amazing year here at Rogue Farms.
Find out how we’re growing our own ingredients to craft world class beers, spirits, ciders and sodas in the Winter 2015 Rogue Farms Crop Report. Please click on the cover image to view the full report.
It’s been a day of wild weather here at Rogue Farms. Last night, a big storm with heavy rain, thunder and lightning knocked out the power for ten hours overnight. That was followed by more rain today and seriously strong winds. Gusts topping 40 mph knocked over some of the big trees. Thankfully, no one was around when they came crashing down.
But if for some reason – and frankly we can’t think of a good one in this weather – if you’re paddling on the Willamette River it might be a while before you can visit us. The fallen trees have blocked river access and cleaning up the mess might take a few days.
When we last checked in with the Rogue Farms honeybees, they were shipping out south to spend the winter pollinating an almond orchard near Tracy, California.
Much to our surprise, their story caught the attention of the Oregon Beer Growler, which wanted to know why we’d go to so much trouble for our bees.
Here’s what they discovered.
“The journey across state lines and back again may sound like one big endeavor for a bunch of bees, but their contribution to the flavor of beer and the health of the environment in general is truly greater than their physical size.” -Oregon Beer Growler.
Click on the image to read the February issue online and see what’s happening in Oregon’s beer scene. Then head to page 18 to read about our honeybees.
At the end of every one of these stories we invite you to come visit us at Rogue Farms.
For us, there’s nothing better than showing folks how beer and spirits begin in the dirt. Spend a day with us and we’ll open your eyes to how that Rogue you’re drinking is actually a farm product, made with crops that we planted, grew and harvested ourselves.
Here’s what you might see on any given day at Rogue Farms.
Walk Among The Hops
Brewmaster John Maier in the rows of Rogue Farms Freedom hops in August.
Trying out the beers at Rogue Farms in Independence, Oregon.
Nobody knows us better than the people who live near Rogue Farms. They’re not shy with their opinions about our farm grown beers and spirits.
Naturally we were pleased when one of the local foodies singled out Rogue as must-have beer for this weekend’s Super Bowl parties.
Rogue offers an extensive collection of styles — some very unique, like its series of Voodoo Doughnut-inspired brews (Lemon Chiffon Crueller Ale or Chocolate, Peanut Butter Banana Ale anyone?) — making it likely guests will find something to their liking.
-Polk Itemizer Observer, A Super Spread For Your Super Party
Like the article says, when it comes to beer, spirits and wine, we have an embarrassment of riches here in Oregon. It makes us appreciate even more how hard we have to work to keep growing world class beers, spirits, ciders and sodas.
Feel free to join at Rogue Farms on Super Bowl Sunday. We’ll have the game on, and you can enjoy our beers on the farm where we grow the ingredients to brew it.