A lot of what we do at Rogue Farms is about the next season, or the season after that.
Newly planted hops don’t produce a harvestable crop for two years. The malting barley we seed this fall won’t be reaped until July. Farming teaches us patience and to take a long range view of things.
A good teacher is our Prickless Marionberries. Planted last spring, they won’t produce berries until next summer. But we’ve still got plenty of work to do. This week was training camp.
Marionberries are natural climbers. Over the past couple of weeks we installed a trellis system of poles and wires for our berries to climb.
But they won’t grow up without our help, and that’s where training comes in.
Marionberry grow vines, also known as canes, that can reach 20 feet long. After our berries grew several feet we grabbed the canes and loosely tied them to the lowest wire on the trellis. The string we use is called coir, the same material we use to train our hops.
Gloves are important. Our Prickless Marionberries may not have thorns, but they still scratch.
Longer canes were tied to the top wires. Two acres of berries and more than 1,602 plants, all of them tied by hand.
Not a bad way to spend a couple of days away from the “office.”
Rogue Farms is in the heart of Marionberry country. Nearly all the marionberries produced in the United States are grown within a couple of hours from our farm. So while it would be easy for us to buy them from someone else, we’d rather grow our own. There’s something about growing your own and doing it yourself that makes everything taste better.
The Marionberry Braggot we craft from this berry patch won’t be ready until next summer or fall. But craft beer, just like farming, sometimes requires patience. Once you’ve tried our braggot, made with real marionberries we grew ourselves and the honey from our 7,140,289 honeybees, we think you’ll agree it was worth the wait.
Come out to Rogue Farms this fall and see how we grow beers, spirits, ciders and sodas from ground to glass. Join the Revolution!