What’s the Word?In Washington County, Oregon

Archive for the ‘Farmers Markets’ Category

Recipe: Nutty Berry Torte

Posted on: August 1st, 2014 by Jackie Luskey 2 Comments
Make our delicious recipe for an Oregon berry torte.

Make our delicious recipe for an Oregon berry torte.

Do you suffer from berry anxiety disorder? Symptoms include extreme concern about one’s ability to consume as many fresh Oregon berries as possible during the summer months. The disorder manifests itself in weekend u-pick outings, excessive visits to farmers markets and long drives, spotting berry crop signs along the Vineyard and Valley Scenic Tour Route. You know what they say: food is medicine. So cure your summer berry anxiety disorder with our scrumptious (and gluten free!) recipe for nutty berry torte!


Nutty Berry Torte

Adapted from Carol Kicinksi’s Simply…Gluten Free Desserts

Pecan Crust
2 cups Jossy Farms pre-picked walnuts (pecans and hazelnuts work, too!)
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
1 pinch kosher salt
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit
Spray a nine-inch pie plate with non-stick cooking spray
In a food processor, pulse nuts, sugar and salt together until ground
Add melted butter to the food processor and pulse until combined into the mixture
Press the mixture evenly into the pie plate, taking care to make sure it is evenly spread
Bake crust for 12-15 minutes or until lightly browned.
(The crust may be a little soft, but it will continue cooking outside of the oven and firm up)

Let crust cool completely before adding the filling.

Torte Filling
8 ounces of softened cream cheese
¼ cup superfine sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
Freshly squeezed lemon juice from ½ of a lemon
2 pints of assorted berries
(we like Gordon’s Acres raspberries, Smith Berry Barn blueberries and Ungers Farms Albion strawberries)

¼ cup jam (we like Unger Farms raspberry jam)
2 tablespoons of Chambord raspberry flavored liqueur

In a medium sized mixing bowl, beat cream cheese, sugar, lemon juice and vanilla with a mixer until well blended.
Spread cream cheese mixture onto bottom of the pecan crust
Top with berries
Refrigerate for four to 12 hours
In a separate small bowl, whisk together jam and Chambord until well combined
Drizzle the jammy liqueur over the berries and serve

Tell us your favorite dish to make with Oregon ingredients and maybe we’ll give it a whirl in our own test-kitchen!

Find places to stay. | Create a personalized itinerary. | Find places to eat. | View the digital visitor guide.

What’s in Season and Where to Get It

Posted on: July 7th, 2014 by Jackie Luskey No Comments
Check the farmers market boards (or our website!) to find out what's in season in the Tualatin Valley.

Check the farmers market boards (or our website!) to find out what’s in season in the Tualatin Valley.

The Tualatin Valley is bursting with the juiciest of produce right now. A drive down the Vineyard and Valley Scenic Tour Route makes curves and bends around strawberry fields, corn stalks and acres of pear trees—and that’s just to name of few of the agricultural bounties found along the route.  For a one-stop-shop of the area’s best food finds, head to one of our farmers markets. Here, farmers congregate to share what’s ripe right now. No matter when you visit, you can always find out what’s growing with our “Seasonal Guide to Oregon” on our Farms & Markets page.

Now, let’s see what’s in season now, as well as a sampling of the u-pick farms and farm stores where you can get it. Please note that many of the farms listed below actually offer a wide array of fruit and vegetable options; so feel free to continue exploring your u-pick and farm stand options!

Berry Fever
Stain your fingers purple with Oregon’s best berry u-pick farms. Pick berries by the bucket while dreaming up tantalizing cobbler and pie recipes.
Blackberries: Rowell Brothers U-Pick
Blueberries: Blueberry Hill Farm, Bonny Slope Blueberries, Muir Blueberry Farm, Sara’s Blueberries (all u-pick)
Marionberries (short season): Hoffman Farms Store (u-pick)
Raspberries: Gordon’s Acres (u-pick)
Strawberries (short season): Groveland Acres (u-pick)

Stone Fruit
Pick ‘em quick because these beauties enjoy a relatively short season. It’s hard to beat a perfectly ripe peach in the summertime.
Apricot (short season): Beaverton Farmers Market’s ProFarm Produce (farm stand)
Cherries (short season): Duyck’s Peachy Pig Farm (farm stand; other fruits available for u-pick)
Peaches: Jossy Farms (u-pick)

Cooking Mainstays
Sweets don’t have to rule your summer produce. Experiment with new soups, casseroles, and sauces, too!
Beans: Dairy Creek Farm & Produce (farm stand)
Herbs: Unger’s Farm (farm stand; also great for berry u-pick)
Lavender: Oregon Lavender Festival (u-pick and farm stand)
Tomatoes: Gramma’s Farm Store (farm store)

Signs of Next Season
Even in the thick of summer, there are signs of fall. Fall favorite produce—like apples and potatoes—actually begin their seasons as early as late July or August, which is good for picnic fare like apple pie and potato salad.
Apples: Smith Berry Barn (farm store, late August)
Potatoes: Baggenstos Farm (farm store)

What’s your favorite fruit? Whatever it is, don’t settle for the grocery store when getting it. Take a little getaway so that you can get to know your favorite foods, up-close-and-personal.

Find places to stay. | Create a personalized itinerary. | Find places to eat. | View the digital visitor guide.

Tualatin Valley Scenic Bikeway: Wheel Turn 5

Posted on: June 25th, 2014 by Jackie Luskey No Comments
Avid cyclists take a break at Olson's Bike Shop along the Tualatin Valley Scenic Bikeway.

Avid cyclists take a break at Olson’s Bike Shop along the Tualatin Valley Scenic Bikeway.

Are you ready for a quaint downtown, vintage trains and a ma-and-pop bike shop? We’re back with our fourth installment in the “Wheel Turn Series” of the Tualatin Valley Scenic Bikeway. As a review, you can cycle backwards and read the previous Wheel Turn blog posts:

After riding 17th Avenue for an easy stretch—passing cute city parks along the way—turn right onto Elm Street for a dose of Forest Grove’s small business charm. Unsurprisingly, Olson’s Bicycles welcome bikeway cyclists to pop into their shop and say hello, use the restroom and pick up any mid-ride supplies.  The full-service bicycle shop is well-equipped for any necessary tune-ups, or just a granola bar.

If you happen to be riding on a Wednesday, take a cultural detour to the Old Train Station Museum on 19th Avenue. Open Wednesday s from 9:30 to noon (or by appointment), the century-old train station now holds 150 years of local history. Get up-close with old-time locomotive gear, WWI and WWII era photographs, and emblems of Forest Grove’s early days.

The parallel Main Street is worthy of a bikeway pit-stop, as well. The sweet stretch confirms all of the history that the Old Train Station Museum so lovingly documented. A slow cycle through the historic street shows impressive and well-maintained architecture from a bygone time. From May to October, Main Street offers a First Wednesdays Farmers Market, complete with handmade crafts, wine tastings and scrumptious tamales.

After enjoying small-town bliss, cycle back toward the Tualatin Valley Scenic Bikeway, which you can pick up again on 20th Place. Following signage, you’ll weave through another range of Forest Grove neighborhoods before turning left onto Oak Street, which will set you up for a long breadth of agricultural delights ahead.

For the full effect of the Tualatin Valley Scenic Bikeway, check out this stunning video from the Path Less Pedaled:

Find places to stay. | Create a personalized itinerary. | Find places to eat. | View the digital visitor guide.

Red, White & Blue Memorial Weekend

Posted on: May 16th, 2014 by Jackie Luskey No Comments

As the first in the line-up of summer holidays, Memorial Day can kind of sneak up on you. Just a week away, you still have time to plan a patriotic getaway. Below, we’ve correlated the colors of the American flag with the best-of-the-best in Memorial Weekend shenanigans.

Celebrate Memorial Day with red wine, white EasyGo Farm alpacas, and blue flowers from the Beaverton Farmers Market.

Celebrate Memorial Day with red wine, white alpacas from , and blue flowers from our the Beaverton Farmers Market.

Red Wine
Pinot is our favorite color. Oregon Wine Month goes out with a bang as the wineries of the Willamette Valley joyously open their doors for the annual Memorial Wine Weekend. Participating wineries are generally open May 24-26 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Check individual wineries for extended hours at select spots.

White Alpacas
Of course, white wine is also welcome on the Memorial Wine Weekend trail, but don’t miss out on the luxurious fluffy, white fleece at the Open Alpaca Barn (May 24-25, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., free). Alpaca mothers and babies will be outside to welcome visitors, as will artists working on handspun yarn.

Blue flowers, berries and treats
While blueberry season won’t be in full swing until July, summer produce will be sprinkled among not one—but three!—fresh farmers markets. Choose from the Beaverton Saturday Market, Cedar Mill Farmers Market or the Hillsboro Saturday Farmers Market. Whether you want blue berries, blue blooms or a blue-frosted cookie, you’ll find it.

Remembering Our History
Of course, it’s important to remember the people who fought for the red, white and blue, too. In honor of Memorial Day, take a visit to the Washington County Museum (Wednesday-Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; $4-$6 admission). The exhibit “Americans All: The Bracero Program in Washington County” tells the history of how Washington County came to have the largest Latino population north of Sacramento. This story includes not only how Mexican and Latino immigrants came to Oregon’s Washington County during World War II, but also how Mexico joined the Allies in 1942 to help find the Axis.  Come learn about this largely untold, yet fascinating and important slice of Oregon and world history.

Have a happy, safe and wonderful Memorial Weekend with us!

Find places to stay. | Create a personalized itinerary. | Find places to eat. | View the digital visitor guide.

Five Can’t Miss Mexican Food Stops

Posted on: May 5th, 2014 by Jackie Luskey No Comments
Pepita's playful decor matches the vibrant Mexican flavors of its food.

Pepita’s playful decor matches the vibrant Mexican flavors of its food.

With Cinco de Mayo, we are salivating for a fiesta-themed lunch. To be honest, though, the quest for good Mexican food is a signature part of any foodie’s vacation. Oregon’s Washington County has a vibrant Hispanic population that gives way Hispanic culinary hotspots. Thus, we present five can’t miss Mexican food spots in Beaverton and Hillsboro:

Uno: Pepita’s Mexican Restaurant & Cantina (4190 SW Cedar Hills Blvd, Beaverton)
Entering the unassuming storefront, patrons are gleefully surprised at Pepita’s ornately decorated interior. From piñatas to streamers and stained glass, every inch of the walls and ceiling is plastered with splashy flare. The standard taco plate is elevated with perfectly marinated meat. Any day can feel like Cinco de Mayo with a margarita or Mexican hot chocolate flavored milkshake.

Dos: Amelia’s Mexican Restaurant (105 NE 4th Ave, Hillsboro)
Rustic Mexican food in a cozy setting. Yes—that’s Amelia’s. This Hillsboro favorite has well earned its fan following with consistently stellar Mexican fare. Hungry? You won’t be after chowing down on the Burrito Loco, which weighs a whopping 2.5 pounds; though, some of that may be “water weight” from the signature green tomatillo sauce smothered all over it.

Tres: Ochoas Lupitas (9549 SW Beaverton Hillsdale Hwy, Beaverton)
Ochoas Lupitas is a stand-out food truck. The small kitchen pumps out a large menu, including the ultimate late night treat: $1 tacos. Get the authentic cabeza, lengua and tripas varieties, too.  Top each taco with picks with perfectly pickled jalapenos, onions and carrots.

Cuatro: Beaverton Farmers Market (12375 SW 5th St, Beaverton)
Hooray! The Beaverton Farmers Market is back. Every Saturday from 8 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., head to the Casa de Tamales stand for 40 varieties of tamales. Spice lovers will love the unconventional salsa and sauce flavors, like asparagus-mole.

Cinco: Salsa Market (4265 SW Cedar Hills Blvd, Beaverton)
Follow your nose. The street outside smells of the cinnamon sugar baked goods lovingly made there. Besides dessert, Salsa Market is serious about marinated meat. Pick from the vast array of marinades, which pair splendidly with a bag of spiced, dried mangoes.

Find places to stay. | Create a personalized itinerary. | Find places to eat. | View the digital visitor guide.

Ask a Local: Sheri Wantland

Posted on: April 28th, 2014 by Jackie Luskey No Comments
Sustainable, preservation-focused wetlands are Sheri Wantland's mission...and showing visitors a good time!

Sheri Wantland of Clean Water Services and the Fernhill Wetlands gives visitors her inside scoop on Oregon’s Washington County


When it comes to vacation planning, nothing is more valuable than the local scoop. So, we turned to Sheri Wantland, Public Involvement Coordinator at Clean Water Services. Sheri ensures the continued preservation and enjoyment of the Fernhill Wetlands. As a 25-year local of Oregon’s Washington County, she has the ultimate tips.

What makes the Fernhill Wetlands so special?
It’s one of the best places for birding and now Clean Water Services is creating natural treatment wetlands with a water garden, dramatic boulders, lovely arched bridges and trails designed by the world renowned landscape designer, Hoichi Kurisu.

What do you love most about interacting with visitors?
New and returning visitors are surprised to learn the natural treatment wetlands will benefit wildlife, water quality and ratepayers.

What’s one can’t-miss attraction?
Forest Grove is one of Oregon’s oldest cities with National Historic Districts, elegant homes and notable architecture.

Describe a perfect day in Washington County.
Homemade breakfast with fresh local berries, a stroll through the farmers market for fresh flowers, a hike on Cooper Mountain and lunch at Cruise In Country Diner. Then, stops at a hilltop winery for amazing views, a drive around Hagg Lake and through Forest Grove’s historic neighborhoods, a walk through the Water Garden at Fernhill and dinner at the McMenamins Grand Lodge.

What’s a “hidden gem” of the area?
The only genuine bald eagle nest on display in the world is at the education center at the Jackson Bottom Wetlands Preserve.

What’s your favorite summer event?
Tualatin Riverkeepers’ Discovery Day is the easiest canoeing ever. You can’t beat the scenery and serenity.

Where do you go when you want some seriously good grub?
Maggie’s Buns has yummy home style cooking and one of her famous cinnamon rolls is a meal in itself.

What should visitors take home as a souvenir?
A lovely Pinot Noir from one of our many excellent wineries.

Describe Oregon’s Washington County in 5 words or less.
What more could you want?

Previous Ask a Local Posts:
SakéOne’s Steve Vuylsteke
Bag&Baggage’s Scott Palmer
Vine Gogh’s Jenny Schildan

Easter Bunny Escapades

Posted on: April 14th, 2014 by Jackie Luskey No Comments
Harvey the Bunny is a cousin of the Easter Bunny, living right here in Oregon's Washington County.

Harvey the Bunny is a cousin of the Easter Bunny, living right here in Oregon’s Washington County.

From sugary Peeps to fluffy bunny tails, Easter creates one of spring’s sweetest weekends. For many, Easter is a time for families to bask in the sun, appreciate the vernal season, and simply spend quality time together. Why not accomplish all of that—to an even higher degree—while on an Easter retreat to Oregon’s Washington County? Below, pick your favorite kind of Easter Bunny and see the activity that matches with it.

Photogenic Bunny
A picture with the Easter Bunny is a #throwbackthursday in-the-making. Take little ones to Bridgeport Village for picture ops with the bunny, as well as egg decorating, dances with Radio Disney, and a tax-free Sunday dress (April 19 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.). Additionally, the Easter Bunny will be making an appearance at Washington Square through April 19th.

Bunny Hop
Discover local shops via a family-friendly
Orenco Station Easter Hop (April 19 from noon to 2 p.m.; free). Bounce from a specialty kitchenware store to a pro cycle shop (and another dozen stops in-between) for Easter goodies that are Oregon-inspired.

Farm Bunny
We all know that real bunnies love their veggies, which is why the last
Beaverton Winter Market is a fun Easter stop (April 19 from 10 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.). In addition to the season’s last root vegetables, there will indeed be sweets from local bakeries. Decadent Creation’s macarons are freckled with vanilla beans, making the treats look like speckled robin’s eggs.

Boozy Bunny
For a grown-up Easter treat, head to the Bubbles & Bunnies event at Kramer Vineyards (April 19 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.; $10 tasting fee). Guests receive an Easter egg upon arrival with a special treat inside—from discounts on wine purchases to complimentary tastings. Pair the vineyard’s 2011 Brut with local Quail Run Creamery goat cheese.

Don’t forget—We’ve got ways to celebrate and observe Passover, too!

P.S. He’s not the Easter Bunny, but Harvey is the favorite bunny of Oregon’s Washington County.

Find places to stay. | Create a personalized itinerary. | Find places to eat. | View the digital visitor guide.

Girl Scout Vacation

Posted on: March 12th, 2014 by Jackie Luskey No Comments
Camp like a Girl Scout at L.L. "Stub" Stewart Park with many badge worthy activities at your fingertips.

Camp like a Girl Scout at L.L. “Stub” Stewart Park with many badge worthy activities at your fingertips.

Woe is me! The Girl Scout cookie season is over. No more Thin Mints. Where did I hide my secret stash of Somoas? What I love most about Girl Scout cookie season, though, is asking the girls at the cookie stand about the colorful insignia peppering their sashes. Oregon’s Washington County is the perfect badge-earning Girl Scouts getaway. If you’re too old for a troop, then come here for a kitschy Girl-Scouts themed bachelorette party or girls’ trip!

Folklore Badge
An original Girl Scout badge was Folklore, where girls learned how American folk culture played into the country’s history. The Vineyard and Valley Scenic Tour Route is dotted with historical sites like the Old Scotch Church. Here, learn about the Kalapuya Native Americans, as well as early Oregon Trail settlers.

Painting Badge
The Vine Gogh Artist Bar & Studio takes groups step-by-step through the painting process. The studio’s kids schedule includes cute pandas and an educational interpretation of Van Gogh’s “Starry Night.”

Amphibians and Reptiles Badge
The House of Reptiles and Venomous Reptile Museum has a passionate staff for Reptile Parties. Ask about Pago and Priscilla, the Argentine black and white tegu lizard pair who are smart and social!

Triple Threat: Cyclist, Hiker, Sports Badges
Earn a sweep of badges at L.L. “Stub” Stewart State Park, which offers 21 miles of paved and multi-use trails for biking, hiking, and disc-golf. Spend the night in the park’s adorable cabins.

Naturalist Badge
Explore the environment with the interactive Nature Passport, which leads curious minds through nature walks in rural wetlands, refuges, river banks, and forests.

Locavore Badge
Girl Scouts created a slew of amazing, modern-minded badges like this one. Become a locavore pro at our farmers markets, u-pick farms, and the kid-friendly Sweet Story Bakery (who sources its blueberries from the farm co-op Our Table). Discuss art and food together at the nobleONI Café at the Oregon College of Art and Craft.  Chef Leather Storrs is a locavore crusader, bringing his passion for local food to the art school his father built.

You’re going to love Oregon’s Washington County—Scout’s Honor!

Find places to stay. | Create a personalized itinerary. | Find places to eat. | View the digital visitor guide.

Itinerary: Go Irish

Posted on: March 3rd, 2014 by Jackie Luskey No Comments
Chase a rainbow on The Reserve's course during the Luckython race.

Chase a rainbow on The Reserve’s course during the Luckython race.

And just like that, we’re ushered out of the month of love and into the month of luck. Here in Oregon’s Washington County, we never turn down an excuse to celebrate. Saint Patrick’s Day is no exception. Party like a leprechaun with our St. Patrick’s Day weekend itinerary.

Saturday, March 15
In other countries, the holiday is called “The Feast of Saint Patrick,” and a feast it will be with help from the Beaverton Winter Market and its accompanying St. Patrick’s Day Celebration  (12-1:30 p.m.). The closest you’ll come to a four-leaf clover will probably be in cookie form, but luscious green vegetables will be bursting from the stalls as the market transitions out of its winter harvest and into its spring one. Additionally, get into the Irish spirit with live Irish music and dance.

After filling up on super foods, chase after a pot of gold at one of Luckython’s series of runs: 5K, 10K, 15K, 15K team relay, 5K “Headlamp” nighttime run/walk at The Reserve Vineyards and Golf Club. The 7:30 p.m. Headlamp event is complete with green glow-in-the-dark accoutrement. Do an Irish-style reverse carbo-load with a post-run baked potato bar.

Sunday, March 16
Vacations are an excuse to go all out brunch-wise. Reedville Cafe offers a special Irish menu, including the O’Brian Scramble, mixing the classic corned beef with feta cheese.

With sustenance from breakfast, head to Henry Hagg Lake—it’s one of the best places to catch a rainbow. If the multi-colored arch doesn’t peek through the clouds, then fish for rainbow trout instead.

Of course, a St. Patrick’s Day weekend wouldn’t be complete without a trip to the pub. The Thirsty Lion’s St. Patrick’s Festivals at its Tigard or Hillsboro locations include Irish-themed cocktails and live music.

Monday, March 17
Taking a long weekend in the name of St. Nick? So are the McMenamins Grand Lodge and McMenamins Cornelius Pass Roadhouse with live bagpipers and locally brewed Irish-style Stout.

Find places to stay. | Create a personalized itinerary. | Find places to eat. | View the digital visitor guide.

Valentine’s Day with a Twist

Posted on: February 10th, 2014 by Jackie Luskey No Comments
Here in Oregon's Washington County, we find love and fun romance everywhere...especially the unexpected!

Here in Oregon’s Washington County, we find love and fun romance everywhere…especially the unexpected!

Last week, we talked how to wine-and-dine your Valentine. But that’s not every body’s thing. For couples or friends eschewing grandiose romance, celebrate Cupid’s favorite day without veering toward the cloyingly sweet. Instead come to Orgegon’s Washington County for endorphin-rush experiences.

Celestial Love
Love starts with the self, which RoseSprings Center for the Healing Arts knows well through its holistic care. For an other-worldly experience, the center’s mystic messages explores the idea of spirit guides (February 13, 7-8:30 p.m.). Using oracle cards, gain perspective on pressing questions. For a more down-to-earth experience, book a couples massage.

Artsy Love
Love heats up in the glass blowing studio! Don’t buy a gift for your Valentine. Instead, make a gorgeous hand-blown flower at Live Laugh Love Glass’ Valentine’s Date Night (February 14 from 7-10 p.m. or February 15 from 6-9 p.m).

Messy Love
Research shows that couples that exercise together are healthier in body and spirit. Celebrate health and love at the Inaugural My Muddy Valentine 5k (February 15, 8:30 a.m. to 2 p.m., registration $45-$60). Looking-for-love runners can participate in a post-race speed dating event.

Green Love
The recent snowstorm will melt just in time for February’s Beaverton Winter Market (February 15, 10 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.). Lovebirds looking for a low-key hangout can take home more than just veggies: home smoked pork rilletes from Feastworks Chacuterie and a rose and pistachio buttercream French Macaroon from Sterling Catering and Cookies.

Buzzed Love

Even non-romantics describe new love as a certain kind of buzz, which is exactly what you’ll get at the Zwickelmania Oregon Brewery Tour (February 15, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.). Learn about the hops, brewing process, and bottling of our favorite local brews: Ambacht Brewing, Max’s Fanno Creek Brew Pub, Two Kilts Brewing, and Vertigo Brewing.

Pork-tastic Love
Italy is full of romantic traditions and Montinore Estate has adapted a few as its own with Maialata: The Festival of the Pig (February 16, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. $150, reservations required). A Portland restaurant favorite, Nostrana, pairs Montinore’s wine with a day of pork-themed food-making and eating.

 Find places to stay. | Create a personalized itinerary. | Find places to eat. | View the digital visitor guide.