Here's what we're doing this month to grow our beers, spirits, ciders and sodas.
Posts tagged ‘beer’
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.
One of the most valuable resources for any farmer is dirt. While most of us take dirt for granted, a farmer knows that the right kind of soil is crucial to growing crops.
Dirt isn’t cheap. It took millions of years of Ice Age floods and winter flooding of the Willamette River to create the alluvial soils we love so much at Rogue Farms. So we do what we can to protect our soil from the devastating effects of erosion.
Meet the guardians of the dirt.
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.
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.
Beer growing season is officially underway at the Rogue Farms Hopyard. We just spotted the first growth of bines poking up through the soil.
It’s hard to tell from the photo, but the shoots are just a couple of inches tall.
Give them a few months and they’ll be 30 feet longer.
Nuc is beekeeping slang for nucleus, a small group of workers, drones, a new queen and a mini-hive with enough food and brood to get them started on becoming their own colony.
Beekeepers buy nucs to add more colonies and increase honey production. Or they may build a nuc from one of their current colonies. This splits the hive and prevents swarming.
Either way, the key to a successful nuc is making sure the new queen gets along with the workers before she’s introduced. A special device, called a queen excluder, separates the queen from the rest of the hive until it’s clear that everyone is getting along.
– The workers are feeding the new queen through the excluder.
– The workers are trying to kill the new queen – also known as balling the queen.
– The workers are producing emergency queen cells, which means they’ve rejected the new queen and want to produce one of their own.
Whether a nuc is a success or a failure should be obvious in about eight days. After that it’s okay to remove the excluder. And then after about a month, the new colony can be moved out of the mini-hive and into a regular one and begin foraging and producing honey.