MONDAY 04-14-2014

Apr 12, 2014 -- 4:26pm

Email Bill Meyer,   Podcasts on

Past Shows and commentary at BLOG ARCHIVES.

Bill Meyer's Facebook page: 

Follow Bill on Twitter: @BillMeyerShow

MONDAY 04-14-2014 PODCASTS 6AM  7AM   8AM

ALL PODCASTS (last 90 days) on BillMeyerShow.Com


On his show today, Beck decries the taunting which BLM employees took at the Bundy Ranch siege from the protestors. They (BLM) were just "doing their job".

However, history has not been kind to mindless robots just "following orders" from a corrupt central authority. If Beck is going to hang with a "Getting Right With God" stance regarding the standoff protests, then "Getting Right With Who You Take a Paycheck From" should also be part of the plan.

Cliven Bundy is no saint. However, his "sin" of not paying the grazing fees is far outweighed by the greater federal government sin of the coveting, hoarding, and tyrannical control over massive tracts of public lands, lands which should have been disposed of and returned to the states decades ago.

BILL'S GUESTS FOR 04-14-2014

6:20 Rich Edson, Fox Business Network, with last minute tax tips.

7:10 Councilman Chris Corcoran, today's talk on the MURA projects still awaiting wrap ups, Hawthorne Park rebuild.

8:45 BUSINESS SEGMENT with Tina Drake of Mikes Alignment and Brakes in W. Medford. They're putting on a BASIC PISTOL CLASS this Saturday from 9-4:30 at the Josephine County Sports Park, Merlin Exit off I-5. It's classroom time with a LOT of range time, and it's the opportunity to shoot many different types of pistols, and find the ones right for you. $50, Call 541-702-2152 to register or find out more.

8:10 Dr. Dennis Powers "Visiting Past and Present".

Josephine County’s Hop Fields

By Dennis Powers

Used as a flavoring and stabilizing agent in the brewing of beer, hops were first grown on the East Coast and brought into the Mid-West and then Pacific Northwest as farmers migrated westward in their search for a new life. The female flowers of the hops are used, and these help to prevent spoilage by retarding the growth of bacteria, along with imparting a taste depending on the type of hop vine.

The Rogue River Valley between the Cascades and Coast Range was found to be fertile with mild temperatures and just right for growing hops. The industry in this region centered in Josephine County, dating back to 1875 when hops were first grown six miles west of Grants Pass on the J.Z. Ranzau farm. Other farmers followed to where in 1905 a total of 365 acres of hops were under cultivation, and then nearly 600 acres by the early 1930s were being grown in Josephine County.      

The hop plants were planted (taking at least two years to mature), and the vines worked upwards onto wires strung between poles, sometimes ten feet high, like a rose that grows over a trellis. One to two inches long, the conical fruit were light as a feather and turned into a yellowish-green color when ripe. Pruning of the vines began in January, followed by repairing the trellises. The vines were cultivated, twined, and the fruit picked when ripe during the short summer season. The hops were then dried and processed.

Picking hops was hard work, and workers had to get used to the tedious work of “dust and sweat, scratchy vines, and sand in your shoes; dirty hands and the bitter taste that remains, even after washing one’s hands; filthy outhouses and community drinking cups.” Locals mainly worked in the hop yards, stripping the pungent flowers off the vines into a hamper, a heavy canvas bag hung on a round metal frame. It was estimated in the 1930s that an average picker made $1 per day, based on the number of pounds picked.       

Weighers worked through the field to hang sacks onto a scale and record the weight on a ticket. The sacks were then thrown onto a trailing truck, which transported the hops to kilns for drying; air blasts of 140- to 180-degrees Fahrenheit with a sulfurous acid gas fumigation followed that killed the plant lice, pests, and blue mold. The dried hops were then cooled, compressed into large bales, and stored in a cool, dry place for future shipment to the brewery.

Since pickers were not paid by the hour, laborers could choose when to work, such as in cooler hours and stop to eat or take a “potty” break when they wanted to. Thus, kids on summer vacation could pick hops to earn money for themselves or to help the family out.

In the 1950s at their peak, nearly 5,000 acres of hops were being cultivated in this region. Most of the hops were being grown in the states of Oregon, Washington, California, and New York, with the Willamette Valley being a competitor to Josephine County. The hop industry in Southern Oregon, however, dramatically decreased over time by the eighties, due to the mechanization of farms in other locations, overproduction with low hop prices, and the changing tastes of beer drinkers into preferring light beers that didn’t use the hops grown here.

The 250-acre Sunny Brook Hop Yards by Grants Pass was the last, large hop grower outside of the Willamette Valley. In the late 1980s, it announced that it was stopping production; the property was sold in 1989 to the Naumes family’s Wild River Orchards, who planted the site with pear trees. The City of Grants Pass purchased the former Sunny Brook Hop Yards in early 2006 for a future park, and this place is now called the River Road Reserve.        

Hops are now trained on low trellises, and technology has replaced the hand pickers with hop machines. As every agricultural product has cycles of low and high prices, hop costs tripled in a short time during the late 2000s. Oregon with its Willamette Valley was still the second-highest commercial producer of hops in the country behind Washington State, and this price increase caused different farms to consider going back into the business.

For example, the Pierce family decided to start a producing hops farm. Once growing hay and raising cattle in the Valley, they launched a commercial hop yard with different varieties to meet the different producer requirements. In April 2009, they planted 1800 hop plants of a particular variety; in 2012, they added another acre of two other varieties. Located across I-5 from Ashland on Butler Creek Road, their “Alpha Beta Hops” is currently supplying hops to local micro-breweries such as Standing Stone, Caldera, and Wild River, among other users.

There is a cycle for everything and this region is no different.  

Sources: Michael Oaks, “Hops: A One-Time Thriving Industry in Josephine County, Grants Pass, Oregon,” Josephine County Historical Society: June 2002/January 2013, at Hops Industry (With Images); Harriet Smith Guardino, “Of Hops and Men”, Josephine County Historical Society, June 2002, at In Same Article; “Grants Pass: History of River Road Reserve,” at Sunny Brook Hops Farm; Jim Hays, “Is a hops resurgence brewing in Southern Oregon?,” The Oregonian, May 25, 2008, at More on Hops; “Alpha Beta Hops: Hops in Southern Oregon?” at Hops Today.


The armed militia made the difference Saturday in the Bundy Ranch standoff. Feds back down, and won't enforce the court order against Cliven Bundy. (for now) Savor the win, but understand, this is the first skirmish in a much larger war for control of the West's lands and resources.  

While it's "romantic" to strap on the gear and head out of town to support the "last rancher standing", it's important to remember our own Oregon/Northern California backyard.

We're battling with "Gang Green" B.S. right HERE in the Rogue Valley. From the wild sage grouse, to the marbled murrelett, and other Agenda 21 biocentrism stalking horses, all intended by the "stakeholders" to strip the West of any ability for HUMANS to live here.

There are the proposed closing of Table Rocks, the buying out of cattle allotments, monument proposals, and massive compromise being pushed in order to cut a relative miniscule amount of timber on O&C lands. Miners shut out, shut down, and sent to jail, all in order to fufill Green's goal to have Oregon a little-inhabited eco theme park.

Get involved with these public meetings, be the rabble, demand you be a stakeholder. It's getting late, folks. Think about how Bundy has been fighting this battle for more than 20 years. Where were all the protestors and militia while the BLM and Harry Reid were buying out all the other cowboys with taxpayer money for their agendas and cronyism?

We've got our work cut out for us. Don't wait until we're the "last one's standing". 

Return to: BILL MEYER'S BLOG Blog


    An Ad has not been trafficed here..
    An Ad has not been trafficed here..