Celebration makes HR bounty a-pear-ant


News staff writer

September 16, 2006

The Hood River Pear Celebration this year takes place Saturday and Sunday, all along the Hood River Valley.

Pear lovers will find all sorts of fine food and country fun along the Fruit Loop during the Pear Celebration. More than 18 different varieties of pears will be available to try and purchase. Events include:

Rasmussen Farms’ Pear Party, now in its 13th year. Enjoy live music each afternoon; wine tasting, all kinds of pears, pear treats, and their popular Corn Maze.

Apple Valley’s Food and Craft Fair celebrates great local food and crafts. Find specialties including breads, cheeses, homemade sodas, flaky pear dumplings, unique pear jams and other treats, then browse the craft market.

Sweet treats are the focus at Country Girl Fruit Farm, too. They’ll have chocolate-dipped dried pears, chocolate fondue for dipping fresh pears, and their special pear pies.

Try a tasty “Pie in a Cone” at Packer’s Cookie Stop, or warm cookies, or a delicious pie ….

At Draper’s Farm, there will be pear and apple pies, cookies, and homemade cider, in addition to lots of fresh fruit.

Sparkling vanilla cider, chocolate-covered pears and a wide selection of fresh pears are featured at The Fruit Company (closed Sunday). Take the whole family on The Fruit Company Express orchard Tour.

An orchard tour will take place Sunday, at A & J Enterprises. Find lots of pears and apples, too.

Tours are on tap at Cody Orchards, as well, as part of their “Pear-fect Pears” celebration. There is also accordion music at 3:30 p.m. on Saturday, pear pie, pear samples, and more.

Pear wine and pear butter can be found at Pheasant Valley Winery. All of the wineries along the Fruit Loop will be offering tastes of award-winning wines.

The Pear Celebration weekend is the kick-off of the “Hispanic Heritage Month” observance at Alice’s Orchard and Fruit Stand. Learn about the Hispanic culture with piñatas, recipes, and more.

At the Lavender Valley Lavender Farm, discover lavender-pear vinegar, lavender tea, lavender products, lavender scones and pears, and hand-painted glassware.

Farms and attractions along the Fruit Loop are open from at least 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily (wineries open at 11 a.m.), and charge no admission. For complete information, visit the Fruit Loop Web site at www.hoodriverfruitloop.com.

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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 www.co.hood-river.or.us to opt-in for citizen alerts. Enlarge

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