Fruit-ful: Harvest Festival weekend brings out the bounty

The picking ladders, in some places, are still in the trees, but the 2013 fruit harvest is mostly bin-found by now, and ready for eating.

Harvest Festival and the Gorge Fruit and Craft Fair events (details, page A10) this weekend are one fun manifestation of the hard work of growing, nurturing, and harvesting of pears and apples.

If you are visiting Hood River County for these festivals, we welcome you.

If you live in the area, we encourage attendance because it’s a great way to talk directly to the women and men who grow the fruit, as well as to enjoy great food, music, and fun contests.

Notable associated events to find this weekend include “All About Pears” wine, beer and cider exposition at Mt. Hood Winery in Pine Grove, and “The Crush” art exhibit through October, celebrating grapes and wines, at Columbia Center for the Arts.

Meanwhile, the fruit itself will be available in ample supply at both events and at local fruit stands for weeks to come. If you miss the festivals, drive a few miles and buy your fruit directly at the source; few places anywhere have so many opportunities of this kind, so close to where we live.

Be it standard fruit or a specialty, the Hood River harvest looks good, and the choices are prime at this weekend’s festivals.

Flags Lowered: PFC Cody Patterson

Gov. John Kitzhaber has ordered all flags at public institutions to be flown at half-staff from sunrise to sunset on Sunday, Oct. 20, in honor of Private First Class Cody Patterson.

“PFC Patterson was a proud Army Ranger dedicated to serving his country,” said Kitzhaber. “His commitment to his fellow soldiers and personal courage is inspiring, and his death is a tragic loss. I ask all Oregonians to pause this Sunday and recognize his legacy of service and sacrifice.”

PFC Patterson, 24, of Philomath, died Oct. 6, in Afghanistan of injuries sustained when enemy forces attacked his unit with an improvised devise. He was assigned to Company B, 3rd Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment, Fort Benning, Ga.

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