It’s been quite a week at Rogue Farms in Tygh Valley, Oregon. We just finished harvesting 100 acres of Risk™ malting barley. Hard to believe that we planted these seeds just nine months ago.
Over winter, we watched and worried as a deep cold snap damaged some of the young shoots. But spring came and so did the sun, drying out the soggy soil left behind by the winter rain. Under picture perfect, clear blue skies, our Risk™ barley sprang to life, leafing, tillering, booting, heading, filling and ripening.
And then it all comes down to a week in July with a starting date determined by Mother Nature.
We began each day of harvest with a test cut. A small section of the field is combined and then check for moisture, plump and protein. If the grain meets our standards for malting quality, we move on to the main harvest.
This year’s harvest of our Risk™ just happened to fall during a rainy spell, causing a few delays. Wet grain is harder to combine and more easily damaged than dry barley, and being out in the middle of a farm field during a thunderstorm is never a good idea. So we waited until the rains passed and the grain was dry enough for reaping, threshing and winnowing.
When the combine is full, we transferred the grain into a truck. We loaded up 10 trucks during this harvest, 514,285 pounds of some of the finest malting barley we’ve seen. This may be our biggest yield ever.
Before we send the trucks off to the grain silo, we’ll climb on top and sort through the barley looking for damaged and skinned kernels.
The work goes all day until the sun drops behind the Cascades.
The 2014 Risk™ malting barley harvest is now one for the record books. But the end of the harvest is not the end of the story here at Rogue Farms. In a few months we’ll bring this year’s crop to our Farmstead Malt House where we’ll floor malt and micro malt the grain by hand. Then we’ll drive it to our Brewery and Distillery in Newport, Oregon to be roasted, smoked, mashed, brewed and distilled.
GYO become DIY. The Rogue Revolution of growing your own and doing it yourself is how we grow our beers, spirits, sodas and ciders from ground to glass.
Come join us at Rogue Farms for the harvest season!