A Rogue garden party
Never content to rest on our laurels, we’ve decided we want to grow more ingredients — and to do that, we need some more space. The long winter months gave us plenty of time to think about what we wanted to grow in the coming year. When we were drawing up the plans for the 2017 garden, we realized that the current location of the Revolution Garden just didn’t fit all our big ideas.
So we decided to move it. Agreeing on the perfect spot proved to be the easiest part of the process. Expecting the ground to be full of rocks at that specific location, we built raised beds to house our plants.
When we started digging the trench to lay irrigation, we were reminded once again how lucky we are to have found this location to grow. The soil in the new plot is rich brown, sandy loam. For farmers, that’s the equivalent to striking gold.
We have a lot more work ahead building fencing to protect the crops from deer and other wildlife, transplanting the woodruff, angelica, orris and other perennials, and learning to grow new ingredients.
We’re consumed by our passion for farming, growing our own ingredients and challenging ourselves in the process. Nowhere on the farm is that more obvious than in the Revolution Garden.
Over the next few weeks we’ll be transplanting the garden, planting starts for our Dream Pumpkins and seeding the cucumbers for this year’s beers, spirits, ciders and sodas.
Our central Oregon barley farm in Tygh Valley is much more accustom to severe winter weather. However, we were even taken aback with nearly 45 inches of snowfall over the course of the winter.
In November 2016, we seeded 100 acres of our Risk Malting Barley. The winter barley variety is hearty. In a typical winter, the snow arrives just as the barley begins to emerge from the ground. The snow-fall covers the fields and insulates the sprouts from the freezing temperatures.
This winter, however, took its toll. Just when the snow began melting from one storm, the next storm was right on its heels bringing freezing temperatures and more precipitation. Our barley couldn’t survive the pummeling of the winter weather, and we lost the entire 100-acres we seeded.
It’s never easy to take a loss like this. In the past, we’ve lost 10-acres of Dream Rye to slugs, we’ve lost Dream Pumpkins to wire-worm, we’ve lost barley sprouts to migrating geese, but nothing this extreme. We knew the risk of farming when we planted our first rhizome in 2008. We know we can’t control Mother Nature. We also know Growing the Revolution means following our Dare, Risk and Dream creed.
In early April, we seeded another 100-acres of our Dream Malting barley, our spring variety.
It’s not all doom and gloom though. We’re still recovering from four years of drought. This snow-melt will provide much-needed water that will fill the rivers, reservoirs and provide irrigation water that we and our fellow farmers depend on through the summer.
We’ll harvest our malting barley in late July and take it right from the field to the floor of our Rogue Farms Malthouse in Tygh Valley.
To view the entire Rogue Crop report, click right here. This information was all provided from the fine folks at Rogue Ales & Spirits and the Rogue Department of Agriculture. Big ole thanks to Rogue Farms and beer farmer Cheryl Gillson for letting us reproduce this.