Celebrating Cherries

Fruit Loop serves up cherries, and the trimmings

.Maddi Perry of Cody Farms in Odell holds a basket of the family’s finest Bing cherries, one of many varieties of the mid summer fruit celebrated this weekend through the Fruit Loop.

Photo by Kirby Neumann-Rea.
.Maddi Perry of Cody Farms in Odell holds a basket of the family’s finest Bing cherries, one of many varieties of the mid summer fruit celebrated this weekend through the Fruit Loop.

Hood River valley, Fruit Loop holds its annual Cherry Celebration July 20-21.

Admission to Fruit Loop farms and attractions is free, and most are open from at least 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., wineries open at 11 a.m. There is free parking, too.

Events include the ninth-annual Lavender Daze festival at Hood River Lavender Farms, with live music, 30 vendors (including food and wine), craft classes, varieties of organic lavender for you-pick, and activities for kids. Admission is free (no pets, please).

For details about the Cherry Celebration, a listing of Fruit Loop farms and attractions and a map, visit hoodriverfruitloop.com.

  • Draper Girls Country Farm will offer “Crazy for U-Pick Cherry Days.” Picking cherries is great family fun, and there will be plenty of ready-picked cherries, too.
  • Cherry Karma’s Purple Pit Stop on Eastside Road, north of Pine Grove, will offer “The Cherry Jubilee.” Sample freshly picked Rainiers, Bings, Vans, Stellas, Lapins and Lamberts, and choose your favorites.
  • At Rasmussen Farms in Pine Grove find cherry recipes and cherry products, cherry dessert, and fresh summer vegetables.
  • At Apple Valley Country Store’s Cherry Festival and Country BBQ find barbecue meals as well as cherry pies, cherry cobblers, crisps, ice cream and milkshakes.
  • Pearl’s Place, the first stand you come to on Highway 35 south of Hood River, will offer orchard-fresh cherries with old-fashioned flavor.
  • Visit Hood River Vineyards and Winery to taste Rainier cherry, black cherry and peach ports. There are many other fine wines to choose from, as well.
  • Phelps Creek Vineyards will offer pairings of savory cherry dishes with its estate-grown pinot noirs and dessert wines.
  • Stop by The Gorge White House, in Pine Grove, and sample fresh-picked cherries. Learn the many ways to enjoy them, like the tasty cherry, bacon, and gorgonzola pizza available at its food cart.
  • Want tasty blueberries to go with all those cherries? Visit “Grandma’s Blueberry and Barbecue Bash” at Grandma Mary’s Fruit and Produce in Pine Grove. Buddha Belly’s Teriyaki Barbecue will also be on hand.
  • At the Plymouth Yarns Trunk Show at Foothills Yarn and Fiber, see the alpaca babies and hand-knitted garments made of alpaca and other yarns.

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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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