March is an anything goes kind of month. Cold and dreary one day, sunny and warm the next. March is volatile. March keeps us on our toes.
At Rogue Farms, March is also the start of the growing season.
Rogue Farms Tygh Valley: Risk™ Malting Barley
Our 100 acres of Risk™ malting barley were dormant over winter, but resume growing as the temperatures warm up. Our main chore this month is moving irrigation equipment into the fields.
Thanks to the rain shadow cast by Mt. Hood, spring and summer in the Tygh Valley appellation are dry and sunny. The stalks will grow waist-high by May, and ripe for reaping, threshing and winnowing by July.
Rogue Farms Independence: Hops
Normally, March is the when we see the first tiny bine sprouts of the season emerge from the soil. But February was anything but normal and, as we mentioned last week, the bines are already out and growing.
Our 42-acre hopyard is usually low maintenance in March. Watch the bines grow, prune them once or twice. But with a warmer than average month ahead of us, we may be stringing and staking our hops earlier than expected.
In her first few weeks on the job, our gardener Stacia pulled thousands of weeds from the Revolution Garden. With March here, her attention turns from weeding to planting. On her to-do list is planting ginger, chamomile, lavender, sassafras and dwarf spruce. Some of our perennials like woodruff, junipers orris root and angelica are already growing. What grows here goes into one of our Rogue gins, ciders and sodas.
During March, our 7,140,289 Rogue Farms honeybees are 600 miles south, pollinating an almond orchard in Northern California. The warmer weather and plentiful supply of almond pollen and nectar helps our honeybees rebuild their strength. When they return in April, they’ll be greeted by blossoming cherry, apple and maple trees. Happy bees make better honey, and better honey means we brew world class kolsch and braggot.
Floods And Snow
Because March is the transition month from winter to spring, we never know what to expect from the weather. More floods and major snowfall are not out of the question. One of our biggest blizzards ever to hit Rogue Farms arrived in late March of 2012.
Whatever Mother Nature sends our way, we’ll roll with it. Because we grow our ingredients in some of the best hops and barley terroir found on earth, these things usually have a way of working out for the best.
Don’t forget, March is a great time to drop in and visit us at Rogue Farms. See the Ground To Glass journey unfold before your eyes. Join us!