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.
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We’re scratching our heads, trying to figure out why a wild turkey would leave its brood and join us here at the Rogue Farms Hopyard.
The new bird, we’re calling him Gravy, has family ties to our domestic flock of Royal Palm Turkeys. Our Royal Palm Tom is his father. (See A Scandal At The Hopyard) So Gravy is only half wild.
We think Gravy was rejected by his wild flock for a couple of reasons.
Rogue Farms knows bees and will soon be building more nucs to add more colonies to increase honey production.
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.
The GYO hops at the Rogue Farms hopyard in Independence are ready for harvest, and you know what that means: Wet Hop Ale. Freedom Hops were hand picked by Rogue Brewmaster John Maier this week. A 98 minute drive to our brewery in Newport, Oregon later, those still wet hops were added to the brew kettle to make Wet Hop Ale. Keep your eye out for it in the coming weeks!
Rogue Brewmaster John Maier inspecting the hops at the Rogue Farms Hopyard in Independence, OR.
Hand-picking the Freedom Hops.
98 minutes later: pitching the wet hops into the brew kettle at the Rogue Brewery in Newport, Oregon
The finished product.
Stay tuned on updates on our Dream Rye Harvest at the Rogue Farm in Independence, Oregon- it’ll happen any day now!
We just began harvesting our 100 acres of Risk barley, which closely followed the Dare barley that was harvested a few weeks ago at the Rogue Farms Barley Farm in Tygh Valley, Oregon.
Did you know that the Dare and Risk malting barley grown at our farm goes right into each bottle of Chatoe Rogue Single Malt Whiskey?
Hop Harvest is about to begin! Join Rogue Farms at the Hopyard for the journey from terroir to tap!
Within the next couple weeks, the Rogue Department of Agriculture will begin trimming, separating, sorting, kilning, cooling and baling each of their seven varieties of Rogue GYO Certified aroma hops.
Take a look at the photos below to see the process from start to finish. You can also check out our Hop Harvest video here to learn more, and visit rogue.com for updates on harvest dates and times.
The Rogue Farms Hopyard in Independence, Oregon where we grow and harvest our own.
1. Dry Matter Testing: Tells you when the cones are ready for harvesting. 20% dry matter is a really good number. Of course the old timers used to just pull apart the cones and smell them.
2. Trimming: The harvest begins with cutting the bines just above the ground. Then large machines go through the hopyard and cut the bines from the wires. The loose bines fall into trucks and are brought to the processing area.
3. Separating: Feed the bines into a giant raking machine that strips off the cones, leaves and stems. This machine is called the picker.
4. Run everything through a series of conveyor belts, dribble belts and fans. Coming out on the other end will be nice, clean cones. This technology hasn’t changed since the 1980s.
5. Kilning: Big furnaces heat the hops to 145 degree F to 155 degree F to bring down moisture levels so the hops can be stored and shipped.
6. Cooling: Hops sit around in big piles for 24 hours to cool down before they’re baled.
7. Baling: The hops are pressed into 200lbs bales, wrapped in burlap and hand stitched.
8. The finished product. The Farmers and Fermenters of the Rogue Nation remain committed to saving the terroir of hops and barley one acre at a time by growing their own.