That buzz you hear on the drive into Rogue Farms is the sound of our 7,140,289 honeybees back from their working vacation.
They spent winter pollinating an almond orchard near Tracy, California. We brought them back just in time for the start of the spring nectar flow.
Some of the hives near the entrance to Rogue Farms. FYI, we won’t plant the jalapeños until June.
A nectar flow is when plants go into overtime producing nectar to attract honeybees. This is a period of fierce competition. Gazillions of flowers are blooming, each trying to lure a honeybee with the promise of nectar in exchange for the bee’s pollination services.
Just a few days into spring and we’re starting our first big chore of the season – stringing and staking our 42-acre hopyard. The job requires nearly a dozen farmhands and days of back breaking work. But if you want to grow your own beer, this is what you got to do. It starts with the string…
The string is called coir, a biodegradable twine made from Sri Lanka cocoanut husks.
We took a stroll through our hopyard this morning and look at what we found!
The first bines of the season are emerging from the soil. They’re so tiny, about the size of a bottle cap, we almost didn’t see them.
A new bine pokes through the dirt in the 42-acre hopyard at Rogue Farms.
The calendar may say winter, but it feels like spring here at Rogue Farms. It’s been four to five to degrees warmer than normal for the past few months. Everything is running ahead of schedule.
So thank you Mother Nature for giving us a head start on spring planting in the Revolution Garden.
Planting irises. We’re not interested in the flowers, but care very much about the rhizomes. Better known as Orris Root, they add floral notes and aroma to our gins.
Some of last year’s botanicals, like Chamomile, are dormant and will emerge later in the month. Add to that Angelica, Coriander, Juniper, Cucumbers, Ginger and the above mentioned Orris Root. We’re also planting Grains of Paradise, a spice native to West Africa. We don’t know how it will do in the terroir of the Willamette Valley, but we’re willing to take the risk and follow our dream of growing more of our own ingredients for Rogue Spirits Spruce Gin and Pink Spruce Gin.
A garden in late winter is like a blank canvas, waiting to be filled with flavors and aromas.
We’re also planting some traditional garden crops, vegetables and spices that we pick, cook and serve guests here at the farm.
That includes broccoli…
…and Mustard Greens.
Join us this summer for one of our farm fresh lunches or dinners and bring home a bottle of Rogue Spirits gin. Both are made with flavors from the same place, the Revolution Garden of Rogue Farms.
At Rogue Farms we’re dedicated to crafting all our beers, spirits, ciders and sodas using ingredients we grow ourselves. Come join the grow your own Revolution!
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.
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.