Friday, October 1, 2010

The pumpkins are ready

Finally, Fall is here! This is my favorite season, hands down. My crew and I decorated around the market today, including setting up the mountain of hay. I can't wait to climb to the top. I hope you all have an opportunity to visit us this season and take home a pumpkin or two. We still have you-pick blueberries and raspberries, flowers to cut and honey to enjoy.

New to our market, we are selling Sauvie Island Fruit Company's Fruit Preserves. We have strawberry, marionberry, raspberry, black raspberry and an all-fruit triple berry. This is a local company, just staring out, with a quality product.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Opening Friday September 3

We will open our fields for picking on Friday, September 3. We have Fall raspberries, Fall blueberries and flowers. We did not plant tomatoes this year... too wet and cold. And we removed our thornless blackberries after last Falls harvest.

The blueberries are the 'Elliot' variety. A mid-size berry with a wonderful blueberry flavor. The raspberries are 'Caroline' and they are very sweet and fragrant. The price for you-pick is $1.95 a pound for both berries. We also have a field of flowers. They include 4 types of zinnias, 4 types of sunflowers, cosmos, statice, snapdragons, cleome and a couple other varieties that escape my mind. The price is 25 cents a stem. Feel free to bring a bucket from home that can be filled with water to keep your flowers fresh on the way home.


Wednesday, July 28, 2010

This is my 'other' life

While the market is closed, I still have farm responsibilities. This includes fixing dinner every night for our combining crew. I prepare a meal, load it into my truck, drive it out to the field, set up a table and chairs.

I enjoy seeing my husband and
listening to the stories
about how the crews day is
going. On this evening I
brought out BBQ ribs, coleslaw,
watermelon, bread and homemade
Heath Bar crunch ice cream.

And I do it all again the next day.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Marionberry Barbecue Sauce

This coming Sunday, July 25, will be our last day for summer berries. We will be closed until our fall raspberries and blueberries are ready for picking; usually early September. In the meantime, let's play with our food!
I am frequently on the look-out for new recipes using Oregon's original berry, the marionberry. I came across an excellent recipe in Sunset magazine and then I tweaked it to fit our family's palate. This sauce is good on chicken, pork and turkey. Give it a try. (I love the color of marionberries after they are blended.)

Marionberry Barbecue Sauce

1 1/2 cups marionberries
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup ketchup
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 tea. ground ginger
1/2 tea. ground black pepper
1 tea. Tabasco Sauce
1 tab. Frank's Redhot Original Sauce

Blend all ingredients in a blender. Pour into a sauce pan and bring to a simmer. Simmer for about 5 minutes. Makes about 1 1/2 cups.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Marion and boysenberries are starting soon!

We will open up our marionberry and boysenberry fields for picking on Saturday, July 10th. The price will be $1.75 a pound for you-pick and $2.75 a pound for ready-picked fruit. The best picking for these berries is the first 7 to 10 days; the size and quality will decrease as the season goes on. And our marionberries are certified by the State of Oregon as official marionberries. Don't be fooled by other farms who advertise 'marionberries' but really sell blackberries.

I love marionberries for their sweet taste and ease of picking. But my favorite berry is the boysenberry. Have you ever had a boysenberry pie with a scoop of vanilla ice cream? That is summer to me.


Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Jam recipe taste test

Last week our family and friends had a blind jam tasting. I made three batches of strawberry jam, using three different recipes calling for three very different amounts of sugar. I made all the jam using Puget Reliance strawberries. I was very surprised by the results.

Recipe 1) typical freezer jam recipe; 4 cups of fruit, 6 cups of sugar and 1 cup corn syrup.

Recipe 2) lower sugar recipe; 4 cups of fruit and 3 cups of sugar.

Recipe 3) lowest sugar recipe; 4 cups of fruit and 1 1/2 cups sugar.

I set out the bowls marked A, B and C. I served the jam with fresh, homemade bread. I also served salty crackers and pickles to counteract the sweetness of the jam. We all were very surprised at the overwhelming favorite.

We all thought Recipe 3 had the best 'fresh' strawberry flavor. Recipe 2 was good too. Recipe 1 was by far the least liked by all. I am changing the way I make freezer jam from now on... no more 'loaded with sugar' for our family.

And if you are curious, the pectin I used for recipe 3 is 'Instant Pectin' made by Ball. I liked the ease of the recipe and the taste so much, I am selling it in our market.

I challenge you to do your own taste test and let me know what your family and friends prefer.


Monday, July 5, 2010

wedding ring

To the person who lost their wedding ring at Columbia Farms, please call us again. The phone number you left is no longer in service.


Sunday, June 27, 2010

What a little sunshine can do...

The raspberries and blueberries have ripened! This last week of warmth has ripened the berries beautifully. The Meeker raspberries are delicious, sweet and juicy. The Duke blueberries are ready for pancakes and muffins. The price for u-pick on both berries is $1.75 per pound. We also have ready picked berries for $2.75 per pound.

The strawberries are still producing quality fruit and should continue through the July 4Th weekend. The price for u-pick strawberries is $1.30 per pound and $2.00 per pound for ready picked.


Friday, June 11, 2010

The strawberries are slowly ripening.

I wish the sun would spend a little more time shining instead of hiding behind clouds. The berries are slowly turning red...which is good. We have been picking Honeoyes for a week and we just started picking Puget Reliance today. The Hoods still need a little warm sunshine. We will start picking them on Tuesday, June 15.


Saturday, June 5, 2010

Doesn't a strawberry yogurt parfait sound good?

I have been making my own granola for years and I have come up with a pretty good recipe for a low fat version. To make a parfait: layer sliced strawberries, vanilla yogurt and granola. Simple!

Healthy Granola

4 1/2 cups regular oats
1 tea. ground cinnamon
1/4 tea. salt
1/3 cup honey
1/3 cup molasses
1/3 cup water
cooking spray

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
Combine oats, cinnamon and salt in a large bowl. Mix well.
Combine honey, molasses and water in a microwave bowl. Heat on high in microwave until hot, 1- 1 1/2 minutes. Stir well and pour over oat mixture. Stir well to evenly coat.
Spray jelly roll pan with cooking spray. Spoon mixture onto pan, spreading evenly.
Bake at 325 for 40 minutes or until lightly toasted, stirring every 10 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool. Store in an airtight container.
Yield: 4 1/2 cups


Thursday, June 3, 2010

The strawberries are ready!

Look at what we picked this morning. These are Honeoye strawberries, which is a variety we have never grown before. They are large, have a pleasant strawberry flavor and very fragrant. The field is VERY MUDDY so wear boots. We have set up a berry washing table so you can rinse off your berries before we weigh them. We will start picking Puget Reliance berries sometime around June 9-10; and Hoods around June 11-12.

Friday, May 21, 2010

The strawberries are blooming!

This is what our strawberry field looks like today. The plants are blooming with an abundance of flowers. We will open for the 2010 summer season on Friday, June 4th. This is a new field of berries that we planted last summer. The first year harvest is usually heavy with fruit. The varieties we planted are Hood, Puget Reliance, Honeye and Tillamook.

We are looking forward to June 4th and strawberry season.