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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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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