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.