Today we drove a little over an hour outside of Portland to get to what they call the “fruit loop” near Mt. Hood. There are so many beautiful orchards and vineyards along the way it’s hard to decide which one to stop at. We ended up going to some of the organic U- Pick farms. Obviously, it’s cherry season here and they are oh so meaty and delicious! We got to chill with some furry friends too (goats, pigs and chickens oh my!).
Every Saturday, there is a great farmers market at Portland State University’s campus. Musicians play their instruments providing a weekend soundtrack while people buzz around tasting locally made goodies. Some popular Portland restaurants even pitch their own booths providing hunger relief to shoppers. Oh, I can’t forget to mention the floral vendors. They sell beautiful, assembled bouquets or you can have them make you a personalized one, which is what I did. I took full advantage of the peony selection which I know is nearing the end of their season. The amount of local, organically grown produce here is incredible. There are berries as far as the eye can see. Today, we brought home swiss chard, escarole, tuscan kale, a bunch of carrots (with the greens still attached) and a pile of the most fluffy mushrooms. I’m excited to cook with everything this week, I already know I’ll be making my escarole and bean soup!
Bridges, lakes and flowers oh my! We went to the Rhododendron Gardens just a few blocks away from where we live today. These blooms are all over Portland right now and add the perfect punch of color to the landscape, so just imagine an entire park dedicated to them! We walked graveled paths through the many gardens where we were greeted by mallards and geese. There were perfectly positioned park benches every couple hundred feet. The gardens ground cover had wild berry patches that little critters nibbled on. While navigating the different nooks of the park you could hear the sound of water trickling down river rocks. Very pretty day today.