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.
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.
We had a lot of fun with the kids from the Monmouth-Independence YMCA who came out to the Rogue Farms Hopyard last week.
They’ll be regular visitors this summer. We built raised garden beds for them and they got to work right away digging holes and filling them with the plants they brought with them.
And then they saw the pigs…
It’s been over a week since we put the pigs on arthritis medicine and the difference is amazing.
To be honest, it’s also quite a relief to see that Voo and Doo have plenty of life left in them
When the first flowers of the season appeared in our neighbor’s cherry orchard, we knew the spring nectar flow had begun.
This is one of the prettiest times of the year on the Rogue Farms Hopyard. And for the Rogue Honeybees, one of the busiest.
In Greek mythology, it was the hunter Narcissus who was so handsome that when he saw his own reflection – he fell in love with himself.
Today, we’d call him Tom and he’d be a turkey.
The first big event of the hops growing season is stringing the trellis wires in the Rogue Farms Hopyard.
There are thousands of strings, made from Sri Lanka cocoanut husks, that are tied to the wires, dropped to the ground, and staked into the hop rows.
As you’ll see in the photos, it takes military like precision to get it all done right.
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?