Braving Bees To Train Our Berries
We’re a couple of months away from harvesting our two acres of Prickless Marionberries. The canes are growing fast and filled with flowers. Some are already growing berries. This is going to be a great crop.
But even in excellent growing conditions, like we have at Rogue Farms, marionberries require a lot of hands-on attention. This week it was time to train the primocanes, the new canes that emerged earlier this spring.
To understand why we do this, here’s a couple of marionberry terms to know.
Primocanes are the first year’s growth. They don’t produce any fruit. Our job is to take as good care of them as possible so that they make it through next winter and become floricanes.
Floricanes are canes in their second year. These are the ones that blossom and grow berries.
Once you’ve established a field of marionberries, you’ll have a mixture of primocanes and floricanes on the same plant. Primocanes are trained to run along the ground, floricanes are trained to the trellis wires. That keeps them separate so the floricanes get all the sun they need to produce berries.
This Is Gonna Sting
The other thing to know about training marionberries this time of year is that they are filled with honeybees.
That’s not a coincidence. We planted our marionberries next to the colonies of our 7,140,289 Rogue Farms honeybees. The bees pollinate the marionberries for us and bring back the nectar to the hives to make honey. We use both the berries and the honey to brew our Marionberry Braggot.
So training season is also stinging season. Grabbing the canes and tying them together riles the honeybees and might get you stung a couple of times. But it’s all part of the day’s work at Rogue Farms. Once we were done the bees left us alone.
You can see our honeybees, Prickless Marionberries, Dream Pumpkins, cucumbers, seven varieties of hops and more by coming by Rogue Farms this season. Watching the crops grow before your eyes, and knowing that they’re the ingredients in the beer you’re drinking, is an experience unlike anything else.
Join us and see how we grow beer, spirits, ciders and sodas from ground to glass.