Coverup at the Rogue Farms Hopyard

November 25, 2013

INDEPENDENCE, OR - We’re going to let you in on a little secret. We just planted barley in our hop rows at Rogue Farms in Independence, Oregon.

 

We are not replacing our beloved hops with barley.

 

Instead, this is about the terroir of the Wigrich Appellation and the wonderful alluvial soil where we grow ingredients for our beers and spirits.

 

Eons of flooding covered the Wigrich Appellation with a legacy of volcanic dirt. First was the Ice Age floods from 13,000 to 11,000 BC. About twice a century, the floodwaters covered the entire Willamette Valley, from Portland to Eugene, hundreds of feet deep.

Flooding at Rogue Farms in January of 2012

Flooding at Rogue Farms in January of 2012

 

More recently, there are the seasonal floods of winter. Sometimes the Willamette River can’t handle all the rain we receive here in Western Oregon and brand new lakes suddenly appear all over the valley. This is the kind of flooding that bedeviled Oregon’s pioneer hop growers, the Native Americans who preceded them, and Rogue Farms in 2012.

 

But the floods are also a blessing. They leave behind rich alluvial loams, a type of soil that’s perfect for growing hops. That’s something worth preserving. That’s why we planted barley.

 

New shoots of barley emerging in the hop rows at Rogue Farms

New shoots of barley emerging in the hop rows at Rogue Farms

 

The barley we planted this fall is a winter cover crop. It’s only job is to prevent soil erosion. Eons of flooding are good. A week of flooding can be very damaging.

 

By the time the barley stalks are full height – about four feet tall – the roots will form a complex web that will keep the soil in place against rain and flooding.

 

And during high water the stalks will lie down over the field, covering the dirt like a straw carpet.  So while you’ll never taste this barley in a Rogue Farms beer or spirit, it will make a huge difference in the quality of the seven hops we’ll harvest next summer.

 

When you grow it, you know it. And when you know it, you’ll protect it.

 

Please visit the farm and see how we grow hops, rye, jalapeños, honeybees, pumpkins and a cover crop of barley.

 

For more information on visiting the farm, click here.

 

 

World Class Beer & World Class Tuna

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We Know Hops

August 29, 2014 - RNNN
  INDEPENDENCE, OR -When KOIN-TV of Portland, Oregon wanted to learn about the hop harvest, they came to Rogue Farms in Independence, Oregon.   With the big wave hop harvest...

Harvesting Our Beers, Spirits, Ciders and Sodas

August 13, 2014 - RNNN
INDEPENDENCE, OR – Just in time for the harvest season, the Rogue Department Of Agriculture has released the Crop Report, Harvest Edition 2014.   The Crop Report is a must-read...

Marshalling the Way

July 24, 2014 - RNNN
NEWPORT, OR – The Rogue Revolution rumbled through the rain soaked streets of Portland, Oregon today as Brewmaster John Maier and Rogue President Brett Joyce led the annual Oregon Brewers...

The Chew Joins The Revolution

July 9, 2014 - RNNN
NEWPORT, OR – It’s not every day that a television crew from New York comes knocking on the door of the Rogue Brewery and Distillery. So when ABC’s The Chew...

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