Gravenstein Days comes to the Valley this weekend

The menu for Gravenstein Days, Saturday and Sunday, brings fresh apples, barbecue, pie and ice cream, cider slushies, award-winning wines, and more.

The festival happens at farms and businesses around the Fruit Loop in the Hood River Valley. Gravenstein apples, considered by many to be the best variety for pies, applesauce and desserts, are also a tart and tasty eating apple. Other activities add to the weekend cornucopia. They include:

Dee Fire Department hosts a country barbecue from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. both days, at the fire station at 52235 Lost Lake Road. Volunteers will serve up beef sandwiches and hot dogs, with side dishes, and apple crisp.

Phoenix Pharms Trout Farm, 4349 Baldwin Rd., hosts its annual fishing derby from 10:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. both days. Fishing poles are provided, no license is needed, and participants get a free snow cone.

At Rasmussen Farms, 3020 Thomsen Rd., the weekend brings live music and juggling jesters from 1 to 3 p.m. each day. Visitors can also try "squash bowling," zucchini carving, and a farm-wide treasure hunt. The corn maze, complete with scenes from The Tale of Peter Rabbit, opens for its autumn run.

Gravensteins will be available for U-pick at Kiyokawa Family Orchard, 8129 Clear Creek Rd., Parkdale. Ready-picked apples will be for sale at Draper's Farm, 6200 Highway 35 in Mt. Hood. Draper's offers free pony rides for children.

For more information on Gravenstein Days, phone 1-800-366-3530.

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Parkdale third graders sing "12 Disaster Days of Christmas"

Welcome to your sing-able Christmas gift list. What follows is an emergency rendition of “12 Days of Christmas” – for outfitting your home or car in case of snow storm, earthquake, flood or other emergency. Read it as a simple list, or sing it to the tune of “12 Days” – you know, as in “ … and a partridge in a pear tree…” Not to make light of it, but the song is a familiar framework for a set of gift ideas that you could consider gathering together, even if the recipient already owns items such as a bunch of coats, tire chains and flashlights. Stores throughout the Gorge are stocked up on all these items. Buying all 12 days might be prohibitive, but here are three ideas for checking any of the dozen off your list (notations follow, 1-12.) The gift items needed to stay warm, dry and safe are also coded to suggest items in your abode (A) in your car (C) or both (B). 12 Gallons of Water (A) 11 Family meals (B) 10 Cans of propane (A) 9 Hygiene bags (B) 8 Packs of batteries (A) 7 Spare coats (B) 6 Bright red flares (C) 5 Cozy blankets (B) 4 Tire chains (C) 3 Flashlights (B) 2 cell phone chargers (B) 1 And a crush-proof first aid kit (B) Price ranges? Here’s a few quotes for days Three, Two, Four and Nine: n A family gift of flashlights (three will run $15-30, Hood River Supply, Tum-A-Lum) n Cell phone chargers (two will run $30-60) n Tire chains (basic set, $30, Les Schwab, returnable if unused for the winter) n Family meals ($100 or so should cover the basics for three or four reasonably well-fed days) n The home kit should be kept in a handy place near an exit, and remember that water needs to be replenished every few months. If you have a solid first aid kit already, switch out the gift idea with “and-a-sto-o-u-t- tub-for it-all …” Otherwise, it’s a case of assembling your home or car kits and making sure all members of the family know what the resources are and how to use them (ie flares and propane). Emergency situations are at worst life-threatening, at best deeply uncomfortable if you and your family are left without power for an extended period, or traveling and find yourself in a situation where you need to wait out a storm, lengthy traffic delay, or other crisis. Notes on the 12 gift ideas: 12 – Gallons of water: that’s one per person in a four-member family to last for three days, the recommended minimum to be prepared for utility outages. 11 – Easy-open packaged goods, energy bars, dried food and nuts are good things to include for nutrition. Think of what your family of four needs for three days to stay fortified and hydrated (see number 12). Can-opener also recommended 10 – If you have a propane camping stove, keep extra fuel handy. 9 – Hygiene bags: put packaged moistened towelettes, toilet paper, and plastic ties in large garbage bags (for personal sanitation) Resource list courtesy of Hood River County Emergency Management, Barbara Ayers, manager/ 541-386-1213. The county also reminds residents to Get a Kit, Make A Plan to connect your family if separated, and Stay Informed. See to opt-in for citizen alerts. Enlarge

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