Time for the harvest! Actually, it is time for the harvest festival. October is festival time. Most of the large local farmers that are open to the public have some sort of festival going on, and one of the biggest and best is at Baumanís this month. They started their season a week ago but we check in to see what they have planned for the rest of the month. It is a fun time for the whole family!
Speaking of a fun timeÖ as we mentioned last weekend, we are going to Hawaii. The next Garden Time Tour is to Hawaii in February of 2017. It is such a great deal, that we barely announced it and the tour is over half full! Hurry and sign up by the 15th to save $100. If you are a single, no problem, we have other singles that want to go. We will work to match you up with someone so you can save even more! Come and join us for lots of sun, fun, and gardens! Aloha!
This week we featured...
Columbia Empire Hazelnuts
Fall is the time to harvest and one that is especially unique to the Northwest is the hazelnut harvest. Hazelnuts, or filberts if you are native, are growing in popularity. They are healthy and delicious, and you can find them in lots of your favorite candies. To catch a harvest we traveled to Columbia Empire Farms near Sherwood. We met with Andrew, who manages the farm operation, to get the steps involved in harvesting these tasty nuts. He told us that they rely on mother nature for most of the work. It is up to her to make sure the nuts are ripe. When they are they fall to the ground. Then a machine sweeps them to the middle of the row between trees, into a windrow. Another machine comes along and picks up the nuts, leaves and twigs, and separates a lot of the leaves and twigs before it goes to the cleaning facility. At that facility the nuts are washed multiple times and dried. Then they are graded for size before they are cracked and removed from their shells. At Columbia they do all this on their farm and then they make wonderfully delicious snacks out of them. The whole nuts are roasted and packaged for resale. Some of the nuts are salted, and even smoked before they are packaged. But what happens if the nuts are in tiny pieces? For the answer to that we moved to the candy facility. There we met with Linda who showed us how they combine chocolate and nuts to make even more luscious confections. Sometimes the whole nuts are coated in milk or dark chocolate, but if they are just tiny pieces, then they are made into a brittle and covered in chocolate. This brittle has been given the name Ďpoopí as a marketing tool. This poop is made for different groups, occasions and seasons. So you can have reindeer poop, or Squirrel poop, or even gingerbread poop (even duck and beaver poop if you are a local football fan). Never mind the name, it is all wonderfully delicious candy made right here in the valley. If you would like to get your hands on this poop, or any of their other tasty products you can check out their retail website. They also make some killer jams, jellies and syrups!
Bauman's Harvest Festival
Some things change and some things stay the same, but one thing that keeps getting better year after year is the Harvest Festival (503-792-3524) at Baumanís Farm and Garden. With dozens of different activities, there is something for everyone. From hay rides, to corn mazes and barnyard animals, they have all the regular things you would expect at a fall festival. But they go beyond that! They also have gem mining, apple cannons, pedal carts, swing lines and an obstacle course, just to name a few. In the last couple of years they have added a laser adventure and, this year, a huge jumping pad! A lot of these activities are included in your general admission. They also have a bunch of special activities happening on certain weekends.
This weekend it is the giant pumpkin weigh-off and drop. You can see giant pumpkins the size of a car compete for prize money and prestige! This year there is a rumor that we could have a world record squash showing up to the party. Then at 1pm they have the giant pumpkin drop! A 1,000 pound pumpkin will be dropped into a giant pool of water! Come early so you can get a front row seat. If you get there early enough you can also enjoy a pancake breakfast!
The following weekend, on the 8th and 9th they are kicking off the new Bauman Cider Festival, from 11am to 4pm. For $5 you will get a special mug and 4 tokens to sample ciders from 10 different cider makers, including Baumanís own ciders. A tasty day for the adults in the family!
As you can see there is lots going on during the whole month of October. So stop by and check it out. Go to http://baumanshf.com for more details on the Festival!
Slow Flower Grower
Most of us have heard of the slow food movement. That movement focuses on quality local food and how to prepare it. Now we have the Slow Flower movement! This movement is a way for consumers to support and promote local flower growers and florists. To learn more about the movement we stopped by the Portland Flower Market. This is a flower market located in North Portland where local retailers and florists can buy directly from local growers. This is a wholesale market and itís not open to the general public. We talked to Bethany from Charles Little and Company, a grower from the Eugene area. She told us how they sustainably grow and harvest flowers and greens from early April until mid-December and provide them to florists and retailers around the state. They only offer what they can grow outdoors on their 35 acres. It was incredible what they had to offer. Here in early October they had asclepias, celosia, conifer boughs, eucalyptus, rose hips, scented geraniums, and lots of different herbs including sage and mint.
The reason the Slow Flower movement is so important is because these flowers are guaranteed to be fresh and sustainable. You can talk to the grower (or the florist that knows the grower) and be sure that these flowers are supporting local businesses and families. If you donít buy local flowers you can never be sure of the freshness, whether they have been sprayed with chemicals or even where they came from. That is why a gardening expert, Debra Prinzing, developed the Slow Flowers website, www.SlowFlowers.com. Here you can find local growers, florists and retailers who are proud to use local flowers in their creations.
We took a break for a commercial, then we came back and talked with a local florist on why she uses local flowers.
Slow Flower Florist
Moving from the wholesaler, we talked with a local florist next. Sarah from Solabee Flowers and Botanicals (503-307-2758) showed Judy an arrangement she made with flowers from Charles Little and Company. In this beautiful arrangement she used a lot of the flowers and greens we saw earlier. She also had dahlias, ninebark, and cupcake cosmos. Sarah told us that they buy about 90 percent of their product from local growers! They can then tell their clients that they are supporting a local business and family when they get an arrangement from Solabee. It was incredible what they were able to make with only local flowers! If you would like to check out Solabee, they are off of Killingsworth in north Portland, but if you are looking for a florist closer to you (anywhere in the country) you can search the www.SlowFlowers.com website. The site also offers links to wedding florists, shipping information and even workshops and classes.
Mead Market Opening
A lot of local homeowners are getting into beekeeping. The best local source for that has been Bee Thinking. These beekeepers are also discovering the joys of making their own mead and Bee Thinking has responded to this need with their new store the Mead Market (877-325-2221). Located on Hawthorne in SE Portland, both businesses are there to answer questions and provide mead for the masses! We have done a couple of stories before with this wonderful group of people, but with their new location we decided to visit them again.
First we met with co-owner Jill to talk about making mead and some of the products they offer. Making mead is relativity easy. You just need honey, water and yeast. It is so easy to make, that it is considered the oldest fermented beverage in the world. It is also a growing industry. Just a few years ago there were less than 100 meaderies in the US, now there are over 450 in the US alone. The Mead Market is not just about mead, you can also buy numerous other honey related products and supplies too.
Next we moved over for a tasting of mead at the new mead bar! Cameron had 3 for Judy to try. The first one was champagne style from California that was crisp and refreshing. It was made from Oregon radish blossom honey, so it had a local tie-in as well. The second tasting was from Fringe Meadery right here in Portland. It was an Orange Cardamom with a very interesting and refreshing taste. The final one was a draft mead from Redstone Meadery. This one was a pumpkin mead that was incredibly flavorful (in fact William took some home!) They have over 80 bottle offerings and 4 draft offerings in the store! Your chance to enjoy these meads and many others is starting this weekend during their grand opening celebration. You can enter to win drawings, taste honey and meet mead makers from around the area! Everything happens at their Hawthorne location between 1 and 4 on both Saturday the 1st and Sunday the 2nd. Stop by and check out how diverse and tasty mead can be!