There are SO many reasons to love Portland….and I do. Here is yet another!
We live in the heart of a busy section of Portland, one that gets busier, in fact, every day. Developers have come onto Division street, one block from our place, and are ripping out old businesses and putting in new ones every week. We have recently acquired the name, “Restaurant Row” which is fantastic, because there are a ton of new, affordable restaurants within walking distance, all of which offer delicious, affordable fare. However, I like to cook, and it can be expensive to eat out a lot, so we don’t do it that much.
I like to buy fresh, organic produce…lettuce, berries, all kinds of veggies…and I do a lot of grilling. I have a nice, counter top grill. It is not unusual to have a poached egg on steamed spinach for breakfast, or grilled Brussels sprouts. Yum! But the key to good cooking is the freshness and purity of the produce. The best way to get ace produce is to pick it oneself. We are fortunate in that Portland has a plethora of community gardens, co-ops and a number of nearby farms that allow people to pick their own!
17100 NW Sauvie Island Rd.
Portland, Or 97231
Kruger’s Farm, located on Sauvie Island, offers a full afternoon of activities for kids over the summer, and we will be taking Ingrid there to “help” us pick strawberries. The farm is ready for little hands to romp through their no-spray, U-Pick strawberry fields. Ingrid will get to meet and greet Matilda, the farm pig, and delight in the wild turkeys and chickens that roam the grounds.
U-pick is offered for the following crops: strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, marionberries, boysenberries, blackberries, tomatoes, peppers, pumpkins, and flowers. For the most up-to-date U-pick crop information available, visit their daily Harvest update page.
You can pick from 10 a.m.- 6 p.m. weekdays; 9 a.m.-6 p.m. on weekends
Kruger Farm’s Farm Tunes Concerts brings live music to the farm from 6:30- 9:30 p.m. every Thursday night June 19 through August 28. The family that lives there invites Portland area families to bring their own picnic dinners or to purchase food, beer and wine onsite. There is a modest $10 parking fee per carload. They also offer Farm to Plate dinners.
16205 NW Gillihan Rd.
Portland, Or 97231
Bella Organic’s motto is “Local, Affordable, Organic, Fun”. The farm is certified organic and has more than 100 acres of ground where they grow everything from blueberries to asparagus. Right now, the farm has four different varieties of strawberries available in the U-pick fields — Hoods, Totems, Seascapes and Tillamook. Ingrid will want to see their barnyard animals, I’m sure.
Strawberries are available in June, July and August, as well as blueberries, marionberries and raspberries in July, thornless blackberries in August and pumpkins in October. For the most up-to-date crops available, check the U-Pick page.
Pickers can visit from 9 a.m.-6 p.m. daily (last call for U-Pick is 5:30 p.m.)
Bella’s Sounds and Tastes of the Farm are harvest festivals that occur each Saturday, from July 19-30, at 5 p.m. Proceeds benefit Music for the Heart, an organization that donates proceeds toward heart research. The events always feature a mix of live music by local bands and adult bevvies from local breweries and wineries, as well as artisan foods, compliments of local chefs. Admission is only $10 a car. Great deal!
Columbia Farms U-Pick
21024 NW Gillihan Rd.
Portland, Or 97231
Serene Columbia Farms U-Pick is spread out around a white barn with a green roof. The farm caters to a quieter customer, one who yearns for a farm experience minus the corn dog and pony ride. Kids will love getting their hands dirty while finding ripe, big berries in the fields while parents can take a deep breath and slowly exhale. Serene is the BEST!
Strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, marionberries, boysenberries, and flowers. For the most up-to-date information on what’s being harvested, visit their blog.
Tuesday-Sunday, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Closed the entire month of August.
Columbia Farm’s blog lists terrific recipes using their delicious produce — everything from roasted tomato sauce to blueberry muffins. Don’t have a ton of time? In addition to U-pick, Columbia offers customers the option of calling ahead to order pounds or flats of berries for pick up.
So, we’re all set with produce, guitar pickin’ and summer fun! Can’t wait!