Tuesday, October 16, 2012
I first went to Cody Orchards Farm Stand because I know the owners, Glen and Donna Cody, having been Glen’s classmate at Hood River Valley High School.
But what has kept me coming back is Donna’s amazing cheerfulness, helpfulness and knowledgeability on every aspect of fruit, and the sheer variety of things the stand has to offer. And it’s always a fun visit.
The stand is Donna’s “baby,” and opened in August 2008 in a former fruit-packing barn. It has evolved from a long, mostly empty space to a long, every-inch-filled treasure trove of fresh fruit, jams, honeys, ciders, pies, fresh flowers, antiques, handmade crafts and many gift items.
As stop number 11 on the Fruit Loop map, Cody’s participates in all of the major Fruit Loop events, including the upcoming Harvest Fest, Oct. 20-21. Special activities this weekend will include a cake walk (every half hour), piñatas, orchard tours (either a hayride or walking tour, depending on the weather) and more.
Visitors come from all over the state — and country — to the rustic old barn, for the fruit and for the whole experience. On a recent weekend, the Chard family of Canby — Ken, Jen, Mairen and Jamison — stopped by after a swim meet for some U-pick apples.
Donna took them on a short walk through the orchard to the striped Delicious trees, explaining to the family how that variety is the one that chosen for its flavor, and blended with another, prettier apple variety to create the Red Delicious.
“They may not be as pretty, but they taste great!” she told the family. She also pointed to a row of “Mystery Apples,” ones that turned out to be different than what she and Glen thought they were planting.
“We don’t know what they are, but they’re really good,” she said.
She gave the Chards instruction on picking apples: “Lift upwards so that the apple comes off easily; don’t pull down or you’ll be taking the bud for next year’s fruit with it!” she laughed.
Jen Chard said the family first came to Cody’s a couple of years ago after asking local friends and family for a recommendation.
“They said this is the ‘insider’ place,” she said. “And Donna is so knowledgeable and so nice; we always feel so welcome. Now we tell all our friends: ‘Come to Cody’s.’”
Only a few weekends remain in the 2012-13 season, and the next two are busy ones: Harvest Fest weekend is followed by the Fruit Loop’s Heirloom Apple Days, Oct. 27-28. Cody’s will remain open until Nov. 21; after Thanksgiving it will offer self-serve-only, weather permitting.
Cody Orchards Farm Stand is located at 3475 Graves Road, just off Highway 35, where the Odell Highway (OR 282) meets Graves Road. Hours are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday; noon to 5 p.m. Sundays. November hours will be 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. For more information contact Cody’s at 541-354-1085 or email@example.com or visit www.codyorchards.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