It will not be necessary to bring your own sheep to the workshop.
You don’t have to be a professional wrestler to shear a sheep – but it sure helps.
Getting the right combination of strength and balance while shearing off wool is just one of the things you’ll learn at our DIY Workshop: Sheep Shearing and Spinning. The workshop will be held this weekend at Rogue Farms in Independence, Oregon starting at 1:00pm on Sunday, April 14th. There’s a $10 charge for this workshop, but you’ll be going home with your very own drop spindle.
At Rogue Farms we love DIY. It’s why we grow our own hops, barley, pumpkins, rye, honey and other ingredients for our beers and spirits.
We hold a DIY Workshop every month. Here’s the schedule for the rest of the year.
DIY Workshop Calendar: (All workshops are held on Sundays)
- May 19th: Backyard Beekeeping
- June 2nd: Cycling the Willamette Valley
- July 21st: Composting and Worm Farms
- August 11th: Sausage Making
- September 14th: Soap Making
- October 27th: Cider Making
- November 10th: Smoking Food
- December 15th: Cooking with Rogue Beer
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?
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Hops bines appear in early March and are ready for the first cut by the end of the month.
It’s almost time for the first cut of our 42 acres of aroma hops.
We trim back the bines every March. It’s good for the health of the bines and it prevents uneven growth.
Hops are susceptible to mildew and fungal diseases, which are most likely to start in early spring because that’s when we get the most rain during growing season. The first cut removes diseased leaves and spores. As the the bines and leaves grow back, the weather turns drier and the crop is more likely to be disease free.
We also want to give the bines a “fresh start” so they grow and ripen at the same rate. I’s important that the all the hops are ready for harvest at about the same time. The harvest is usually spread out over a two or three week period in August and September. That gives us enough time to process one variety while the other varieties finish ripening. But what we don’t want is a situation where half the Revolution hops are ready for harvest, but the rest won’t be ready for another week. That’s a hop growers nightmare.
And so, the first cut is almost as big of a deal as the second cut, aka the harvest.
While waiting for the bines to grow, March is also a good time to repair and maintain the trellis wires.
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.
Rogue Farms thanks Holly Moxley of Bottles and Bottega, Portland for this beautiful painting.
Last year a field of rye, this year a ten acre pumpkin patch.
That picture you’re looking at is our new ten acre pumpkin patch. We just got done tilling the soil and making it ready for planting. All we’re waiting for is the right time, some strong backs, and pumpkin seeds.
The new location is what used to be our Dream Rye field. But we outgrew that spot and moved the rye over by the Willamette River.
The really hard work is yet to come. Just like last year – and the year before – we’ll plant the pumpkins by hand. The rows will be laid out, thousands of tiny holes will be dug, even more thousands of seeds will be dropped into those holes, and then we’ll cover them up. The difference this time around is we’ll plant ten acres this year while before it was just two acres. Planting is scheduled for May, but a specific day is TBA.
We grow our own pumpkins for Rogue Farms Pumpkin Patch Ale. John Maier won’t brew with canned pumpkins, pureed pumpkins or extract. It’s gotta be fresh from the farm.
Here’s some photos from last year’s planting.