Sunday, September 26, 2010

Fruitful Harvest

I live in the fruitful Hood River Valley in the shadow of Mount Hood.

The temperate climate, the rich volcanic soil and the rain, rain, rain, combine to make a unique agricultural area. The premium crops for a hundred years have been apples and pears.

In the spring we are surrounded by fragrant blossoming orchards. It's a glorious season.

Now we are in the harvest season, the pinnacle of the agricultural year.

All over the valley there are dozens of farm stands selling fruit and the bounty of the area.

Coming from Michigan, another farming state, it took me a while to get acquainted with the different apple varieties here. The temperate climate in Oregon prevents growing certain types of apples that require cold hard winters. In the northern midwest I was used to eating Cortlands and MacIntosh apples, as well as Winesaps and Empires. I have never seen any of those varieties here.

But there are plenty of varieties to choose from that grow abundantly in this climate.

We even have some festival weekends devoted to different varieties of fruit. The Gravenstein apple weekend kicks off the season. Next weekend is the Honeycrisp harvest celebration.

There are just as many amazing pear varieties as there are apples.

It's fun to try new ones and there is always something new to try.

Along side the bins of apples and pears there are many more kinds of fruit and lots of pie potential!

There is absolutely no reason not to eat well with such abundance available.

The farm stands daily sell garden vegetables that will rival any city's farmers market.

This stand sells grass fed beef and lamb as well as fruits and vegetables.

And a few pies out of my kitchen too.

There is so much to be thankful for here.


  1. Bountiful personified (or would it be "gourdified/fruitified"?)

    I have way too many apple trees - 10 or so, and despite our extreme rain this year, are ambitiously producing Red Delicious, Yellow Transparent, Gala, Snow, and more!! The Red Delicious are bigger than my head. well almost.

  2. The apples in the first picture (on the tree) and the ones by my hand get to be up to three pounds each by the end of October. Giants. The red ones are called Hanners. I've never heard of Snows or Yellow Transparent. Lots of orchardists used to grow Red Delicious for the wider market where they are in demand but no one around here eats them. No flavor.

  3. I can't believe how big those apple are!

    We love Arkansas Black and Mitsu varieties from the mountains of North Carolina. We have to make a long trek to get to the orchard, but it's so worth it.

  4. So many varieties! I think I've read that there were no apples in the New World when the colonists came. They brought them from Europe. Amazing!


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