Have you looked outside lately? We’ve had record rain, and that means farms in Oregon's Mt. Hood Territory are drinking it all up. The Territory is sprouting, springing, and blossoming in abundance, fueling the opening of farmers markets, Farm Loops, and family-owned, boutique wineries throughout the area.
For the best local pantry goods, freshest veggies, and sweetest fruits straight from the source, your best move is to shop at one of our farmers markets and taste the bounty. With so many local products unique to the individual communities, each market is able to showcase everything that makes its town special. The farmers lift each other up, and it shows in the camaraderie among the producers at each market, which elevates everyone's game, making for the best attendee experience. Plus you can find one open almost every day of the week.
Take it a step further and sample the good life straight from the farm... literally. Because this is such an enriching atmosphere to experience, farmers joined together to form Farm Loops, self-guided routes where visitors can learn about the origins of their food and fiber and connect to a simpler life.
The South Clackamas Farm Loop links 20 producers of everything from fresh cheese curds to yacon. Stop at Lady Lane Farm’s farm stand for fresh Jersey Cow dairy products made daily in their on-farm creamery. For twice the creamery fun, also visit TMK Creamery in Canby, grab lunch from their food truck offering a variety of noshy things using their cheese and meet their “Cowlebrities.”
The Hopkins Demonstration Forest in the foothills of the Cascades showcases Oregon’s forestry heritage. Walk interpretive trails to learn more about forestry skills and riverbank restoration projects.
Nearby MoonRidge Farms grows certified organic blueberries for u-pick or boxes, as well as yacon, a South American tuber known for its healthful properties and sweet flavor. Rent their farmhouse for a restorative farm stay.
End your loop at Wooden Shoe Vineyards and the Wooden Shoe Tulip Farm, which is world-famous for its annual spring tulip festival. Keep things light with a glass of sparkling albariño or blush moscato. While you’re there, visit the farm store, which sells honey, wines, and their own line of Red Barn Hemp products.
This loop connects 15 different farms stretching from Boring to Wilsonville. Start at Liepold Farms, a transitional organic, family-owned farm. Throughout springtime and summer, they have local Oregon berries, including strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, boysenberries, blackcaps, blackberries, and marionberries, picked and available at their berry farm stand.
Book a farm tour at Triskelee Farm in West Linn to get up close and personal with the farm’s ostriches, alpacas, sheep, horses, goats, and peacocks. Thirsty? The farm’s signature “Tipsy Tour” includes beer and wine from local producers to sip as you stroll. And for the biggest omelet ever, you can also purchase their ostrich eggs.
Once a dairy owned by the Luscher family, Luscher Farm is now managed by the City of Lake Oswego, which maintains it as a working example of a small-scale family farm. Don’t miss the Rogerson Clematis Garden on the farm’s grounds, which houses the most comprehensive collection of clematis within a public garden in North America.
End your excursion in Wilsonville. At Frog Pond Farm, go on a Farm Walk-About to meet even more adorable (and unexpected) farm animals, from their camels, and long-horned cows to their emus and guinea pigs. In fact, they have over 80 animals to interact with and feed, plus plenty of farm games for the kiddos. Nearby Tollen Farm proves that smaller is always cuter. Meet their miniature Mediterranean donkeys and ship for a one-of-a-kind treasure for your home and garden.
Before heading out, please call farms ahead of time and check the Farm Loop websites to make sure farmers are able to welcome visitors.
So get your local on and enjoy one, or many, of The Territory's championing businesses of all things homegrown.