Tuesday, April 16, 2013
One of Hood River’s biggest, and oldest, businesses is holding a little party.
Diamond Fruit Company hosts an open house on April 24, celebrating its centennial.
The event goes from 1-3 p.m., with cake and refreshments served, and tours “for those who haven’t been through; they can see what a packing house looks like,” said DFG president David Garcia.
“It will have the theme of looking back at the 100 years and how we got here,” Garcia said.
The Diamond cooperative started out as Apple Growers Association in 1913, back when apples were virtually the only fruit grown in the valley. Turn to page B12 for an interview with David Garcia.
In the first years of the 20th century, Hood River valley was strawberry-growing territory.
Since then, strawberries are essentially a local crop, apples shrink each year in their total portion of overall fruit volume, and this rich agricultural area has evolved into one of the nation’s top pear-producing regions, and that is by far the primary fruit coming in and out of the massive packing house in downtown Odell.
Diamond is part of a complex of three packing houses, with Duckwall-Pooley and Stadelman Fruit, within a five-block radius, doing the same work for local growers.
Diamond will host an employee luncheon on April 24 and then open the doors to the public. The growers and members will celebrate at the DFG annual meeting in late June.
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Lawnmower torches Arbor Vitae on Portland Drive
The riding lawn mower driven by Norma Cannon overheated and made contact with dry arbor vitae owned by Lee and Norma Curtis, sending more than a dozen of the tightly-packed trees up in flames. The mower, visible at far right, was totaled. No one was injured; neighbors first kept the fire at bay with garden hoses and Westside and Hood River Fire Departments responded and doused the fire before it reached any structures. Westside Fire chief Jim Trammell, in blue shirt, directs firefighters. The video was taken by Capt. Dave Smith of Hood River Fire Department. Enlarge