The History of Sakura Ridge

Sakura Ridge began as an after dinner conversation in 1999 between three old friends chatting in the living room of a small A frame built over a babbling brook in the middle of an exotic fruit orchard (Ho Ho Wai Wai) in Hilo, Hawaii.

John and Deanna Joyer were attending the University of Hawaii, fulfilling their lifelong dream of finishing college after raising a family in Hood River, Oregon. John was pursuing a degree in agriculture and managing the orchard while Deanna, studied art and worked in a local restaurant. Deidra Wager, Deanna’s childhood friend was running Starbucks Coffee in Japan and flew in from Tokyo for a long weekend, hungry for familiar faces and simple food.

“Wouldn’t it be great to have a cherry orchard? And yes a B&B would be fun too” led, five years later to the opening of Sakura Ridge, the Farm and Lodge. John and Deanna returned to Hood River with their degrees and began work on the 40 acre farm planted in pears and cherries. Deidra was still on assignment in Tokyo but participated in the planning and visited as she could during the first two years of operation.

Armed with education and experience the three partners began to realize their vision of an organic working farm with a bed and breakfast serving exceptional food. John had worked in orchards in the Sacramento delta and on his grandparents farms in Minnesota in his youth, and Deanna and Deidra grew up working in restaurants and resorts in Northern Minnesota.

Sakura Ridge is the realization of a dream combined with lots of hard work. It has been a long and fruitful journey!

The farm was originally planted in apple trees in the 1880s. The pear and cherry trees were planted in the 1980′s. Sakura means cherry blossom and epitomizes the fleeting quality of life and the beauty of nature in the Japanese culture.

The cycle of nature is visible at Sakura Ridge throughout the year.

Each spring thousands of fruit trees at Sakura Ridge burst into bloom, chicks are hatched, young lamb go to pasture and bees are busy pollinating everything!

Summer brings an abundance of berries, veggies, flowers and fresh farm eggs. The sun is high in the sky day after day and Mt Hood reflects it for many a marvelous sunset.

By fall the fruit trees are laden and ready to be picked. Squash and beans are waiting to be stored for winter meals. Tomatoes are begging to be canned; cherries and pears are dried for future use in granola, salads and snacks.

By the end of November the snow starts to fly, the wind can howl or the air can be cold and still; fog rolls in and often obscures the mountain. A quiet winter peace settles over the farm.