Heirloom Apple fest returns Oct. 27-28

The Hood River Heirloom Apple Celebration, Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 27-28, brings out “heirloom” or “classic” varieties, some of which trace their heritage back 100 years or more.

These are the apples which were made into great-grandma’s flavorful pies, or baked to serve at dinner. Many are also wonderful “eating” apples. Some “heirloom” apples may not store as well or as long as commercial varieties; they may be more difficult to grow, or they may bruise more easily. But they taste so good! Their individual flavors and aromas have been compared to those of different vintages of wine.

Heirloom apples include such old-style and tasty apple varieties such as Spitzenburg, Rome Beauty, Newtown Pippin, Winter Banana and Ortley. They were traditional favorites for mouth-watering apple pie and applesauce. And they were so delicious eaten right off the tree! Such special apples are still available, though often in small quantities, and likely not at your neighborhood supermarket. Many people have only heard of them, and have never had the opportunity to actually taste them.

Limited supplies of heirloom apples are available, and will be found all along the Hood River County Fruit Loop during the Heirloom Apple Celebration. Many Fruit Loop farms are offering special activities throughout the weekend.

Admission and parking at all Fruit Loop attractions is free. 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.). For complete information about Heirloom Apple Days, for a listing of Fruit Loop farms, attractions and individual operating hours, and for an easy-to-follow map, visit the Fruit Loop website at www.hoodriverfruitloop.com.

Call the Fruit Loop information number at 541-386-7697.

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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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