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Bringing In Our Amber Waves Of Grain

About half of being a farmer is knowing what to do with whatever Mother Nature sends your way. This summer, she’s sending us a lot of heat.

From the wildfire warnings at our farm in Tygh Valley, to the quickly growing crops in Independence, the heat this summer has compelled us to do everything faster.

This week we harvested our ten acres of McKercher Wheat, about three weeks ahead of last year. After a strong start this spring, the wheat ripened early thanks to the sunny days and unusually warm temperatures of the past month.

A combines reaps, threshes and winnows McKercher wheat at Rogue Farms of Independence, Oregon.

A combines reaps, threshes and winnows McKercher wheat at Rogue Farms of Independence, Oregon.

Why wheat? As much as we love our malting barley, wheat brings new flavors and mouthfeel to our beers. Previously it was a hefeweizen and this year our Pumpkin Savior Wit. When Rogue Brewmaster John Maier gets a look at this year’s Rogue Farms malted wheat, he may be inspired to invent something entirely new. But first we’ve got to grow it.

There’s another reason we grow wheat. It runs in the Rogue family.

McKercher wheat in July. Wheat was likely the first brewing grain, but fell out of favor when its cousin barley was domesticated about 1,000 years later.

McKercher wheat in July. Wheat was likely the first brewing grain, but fell out of favor when its cousin barley was domesticated about 1,000 years later.

Our ancestors, the McKercher brothers, came from a milling family in the Perthshire region of Scotland. Traveling across the world, they landed in Linn County, Oregon in the 1880s and set up shop as farmers and millers. For 50 years the family grew and milled the finest wheat and flour in the land, including winning the “World’s Best Flour” award at the 1905 Lewis and Clark Centennial Exposition.

The McKercher family mill in 1940. Salem Library photo.

The McKercher family mill in 1940. Salem Library photo.

So we know a thing or two about wheat.

The harvest season kicks off in big way this week at Rogue Farms. We’ll harvest our Dream Rye, and pick our two acres of Dream pumpkins. The honey may be ready to gather any day as well. If you ever want to see, to really know where beer and spirits come from, now is about as good as it get.

Head out to Rogue Farms and join us for the harvest season. We’re growing, picking, reaping, threshing and winnowing the Revolution!

roguefarms grow the revolution_web

 

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