I always look forward to the way morning and evening light begins to shift in the last weeks of summer. Even if the afternoons are still hot enough for swimming, there is an eagerness to move on from the extravagant sweetness of berries to the crisp tang of apples and the rooty dulcitude of pears. There are few places better than the Willamette Valley for enjoying the fall harvest foods. Apple and pear orchards abound, and many of them will have pumpkin patches, corn mazes, and hayrides in the upcoming weeks.
If you are interested in preserving late summer/early fall foods, a great place to check out is Peoria Road Farm Market off of Highway 34. Here you can find tomatoes, pears, apples, and cucumbers in large quantities at bulk prices for preserving or pickling. We also explored the U-Pick flower garden and had a lot of fun picking bouquets from a colorful variety of blooms – including giant sunflowers. In October they will have a pumpkin patch and hay rides.
If you prefer to pick your own apples, Heavenly Harvest on Highway 20 is expecting the U-Pick season to being in October. Other U-Pick farms include Fairview Farm out on Lakeside Drive, and Adair’s Orchards in Albany off of Highway 226. Call ahead for an appointment and to confirm availability.
36452 Highway 226 SE
29204 Lakeside Drive
5757 Highway 20 NE
Peoria Road Farm Market:
33269 Peoria Road
By Maria Murphy