At Rogue Farms we’re having one of the nicest stretches of weather we’ve seen in months. The sun is out and the days are warm.
It’s perfect timing for the biggest chore of the season – stringing, staking and training the hops.
The “string” we use at Rogue Farms is called coir. It’s a twine made from Sri Lanka coconut husks. We cut down the string during the harvest and leave it on the hopyard floor as mulch.
New strings have to go up in spring, or the hops won’t have a way to climb up the trellis. Crews ride through the hopyard on one of the strangest contraptions you’ll ever see, tying one end of the strings to the wires.
The work must be done with military like precision. There are more than 1,500 strings per acre, or 63,637 strings in the Rogue Farms 42 acre hopyard.
Each of the 63,637 strings are knotted by hand.
After the knots are tied, we drop the other end of the string to the ground.
Then another crew comes in after the first one, pushing the bottom end of the string deep into the ground and staking it taut.
After days of stringing and staking, here’s what the hopyard looks like when we’re done.
The final step is called training. Hops need as much exposure to the sun as possible, and a well made trellis system of poles, wires and strings is the best way to make that happen. But bines need our help. So when they’re about two feet fall we take the best bines from every plant and wrap them clockwise around the strings to give them a head start.
In about six weeks, the periods of daylight at Rogue Farms will run 15 hours and longer. This is when hops begin their incredible growth spurts, climbing several inches in a day, several feet in a week. Cones begin to form in June, and the harvest usually occurs in late August and September.
The season for growing beers and spirits is just beginning. See how we do it, from farm to table, at Rogue Farms.