Riding on the Ranch
This week we took a short break from farm life and headed East to spend a few days with family on a working ranch in Fossil, OR. If you’ve never been, it is definitely a trip to add to your list, it is like stepping back into the Old West.
We had so much fun digging for fossils, hiking, horseback riding and spending time with the grandkids. The highlight of the trip was definitely the horseback ride at Wilson Ranches Retreat. The scenery was spectacular!
The old jail car in Shaniko
We also checked out the Ghost town of Shaniko, an old sheep town that now caters to passerby’s with ice cream, gift shops and a taste of the Wild West.
A great trip, can’t wait to get back to the farm!
The last of the spring lambs (we hope!) was born sometime last night. Thanks to our neighbor who spotted the new mamma and baby along the pasture fence while she was picking cherries, we were able to get them both safely back to the barn.
July is the peak of summer in The Columbia Gorge. There is so much happening on the farm and in the valley you’ll want to plan a few extra days just to fit it all in! The first official month of summer kicks off with the annual 4th of July festivities starting with the Kollas/Cranmer Memorial Run from Odell to Hood River, followed by the parade through the Heights of Hood River. Follow the floats to Jackson Park for family friendly activities all day including the fireman’s BBQ lunch. Enjoy dinner in town and secure a spot early on the waterfront to watch the fireworks display. Check the Hood River Chamber website for details.
July is also the first “official” First Friday in downtown Hood River. For the months of July, August, and September, Oak Street is taken over by artists, vendors, and musicians. Stoll from store to store, taste local wines and perhaps an ice cream from Mike’s or frozen yogurt from Yum!
For a bit of culture, check out the Trout Lake Festival of the Arts, Maryhill Museum Shakespeare Festival, or Nights in White Salmon Wine and Art Fusion happening throughout the month.
After all the festivities, save at least one day for touring the local fruit stands and wineries on the Fruit Loop. Midweek days are less crowded and offer a leisurely pace to enjoy the sights, chat with the farmers, and taste your way through the Hood River Valley. July is peak cherry season, pick your own or buy some fresh from one of the many local orchards. We don’t have any cherries on the Ridge anymore, but July is the start of the berry harvest so expect fresh raspberries, strawberries and blackberries to find their way to the table.
See you at the Farm!
Farmer John’s specialty in the breakfast kitchen is flakey homemade biscuits topped with honey from Sakura Ridge beehives. Yum.
Get out of bed!
The table is set, coffee is out early. We are preparing a farm fresh breakfast. The eggs are warm from the chicken coop headed straight to the kitchen stove. The cherries are picked in the cool morning light. Guests are often seen in the gardens plucking ripe berries off the vine and eating two for every one in the bowl.
Columbia Gorge Winegrowers are celebrating spring with wine tasting around the Hood RIver Valley and beyond.
Spend the night at Sakura Ridge and receive 2 passports free.
Farmer John’s winter project.
Done by Spring…..
Lamb Feeding troughs.
Wood from the forest.
The 20 largest farms in the U.S. receive twice as much$$$$ from government subsidies versus 3 MILLION rural farmers. Small Farm Conference – Oregon State University.