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.
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.
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.
Freedom is back. So is Independent and Rebel.
The signs that marked where we grow our Rogue Farms Freedom, Independent and Rebel hops were absconded with by a group of malcontents on – of all nights – Halloween. Suspicious timing…
After waiting patiently for the misfits to return their ill-gotten contraband, we realized that some people will never do the right thing. So rather than let it get us down, we had new signs made and hung in their rightful places today.
They may take our signs, but they’ll never take away our Freedom!
Check out our new signs, meet our Potbellied Pigs Voo and Doo, and enjoy one of our world class beers, spirits, ciders and sodas this winter at Rogue Farms in Independence, Oregon. We’re open five days a week with expanded hours coming this spring!
Look at what we found in the mail today, an article about the rebirth of rye whiskey featuring Brewmaster John Maier and Rogue Farms Oregon Rye Whiskey.
We admit to having a soft spot in our hearts for rye. It’s a hardy little grain that has never gotten the kind of respect that’s been afforded to barley, wheat and corn. Rye will grow under amazingly adverse conditions, but that toughness also gives rye an edgy, spicy flavor. It’s nice to see that craft spirits fans are starting to appreciate rye as much as we do.
Our Rogue Farms Dream Rye will be harvested in summer, floor malted and micro-malted at our Farmstead Malt House in Tygh Valley, then mashed, fermented, brewed and distilled at our Brewery and Distillery in Newport into our next batches of Oregon Rye Whiskey and Roguenbier Rye Ale. Open a bottle and taste for yourself the unique flavor of the Rogue of grains.
2014 was an incredible year for us at Rogue Farms. We seeded, cultivated and harvested two new grains, picked our first crop of orchard fruit as well as more than a dozen other crops, and opened the Rogue Cidery and Sodaery.
So what’s in store for 2015? Look for our first batch of Oregon Rye Whiskey, plus new beers, ciders and sodas. Here’s what we’re growing in the new year for our always expanding proprietary palate of flavors.
Join us for our final blow out party of the year, Hops, Hogs & Holidays, this Saturday at Rogue Farms in Independence, Oregon.
It’ll be a day of Holiday crafts, live music, a visit by Santa and we’ll wrap it up with a big ham feast. Please see below for more information, or call Rogue Farms at 503-838-9813.