Willamette Valley Cheese Company: Salem

I love driving Oregon's back roads. You never know what you are going to find among the tractors, corn fields, and filbert orchards. Yesterday, it was Willamette Valley Cheese Co. We were somewhere west of Salem on our way to the Evergreen Aviation and Space Museum in McMinnville. The directions we had started out with turn out to be unreliable, so we were letting Google Maps guide us. I was enjoying our drive through the country with a golden fall sun lighting our way, when we turned a … [Read more...]

Elkton Oregon: Wine Tastes Different Here

  Fall is here and, for me, it brings thoughts of wine tasting. Over the past 25 years or so, I feel like I've had a front row seat to the blossoming Oregon wine industry. With family and friends I've sampled wine in historic buildings in downtown Hood River, up dusty lanes lined with oak trees in Douglas County, amongst Christmas tree farms in the Willamette Valley, and overlooking the beautiful Applegate Valley outside of Grants Pass. With over 400 wineries located around the state, … [Read more...]

Johnson Farms: North Eugene

Nestled  just outside of north Eugene, where urban growth butts against farmland, sits Johnson Farms. Established in 1915, Johnson's is a century farm -- a farm that has been owned by the same family for over 100 years. Johnson's began when newlyweds Alfred Johnson and Oma Davis started growing vegetables and raising livestock to sale. The farm is now owned and farmed by their grandson, Walt Johnson who gets business help from his daughter, Amanda. I first became aware of the farm when Rick … [Read more...]

Agrarian Ales

When you compare the number of breweries that I've written about on this blog (0) with the number of wineries (about 17) and distilleries (4) it should be pretty obvious that I'm not really a beer drinker. I enjoy a nice beer on occasion but rarely do I seek it out. That changed yesterday when we explored Agrarian Ales with some friends. The best way I can describe Agrarian Ales is that it is a "destination brewery." Located off Coburg Road, between Coburg and Harrisburg, this is not a place … [Read more...]

cgFEAST: Building a healthy food system in Cottage Grove

Last April, on a sunny Sunday afternoon, the First Presbyterian Church in downtown Cottage Grove hosted its annual Meet My Farmer event. Vendors and participants packed the main hall promoting and discussing a wide variety of food-related activities. A woman passed out leaflets promoting a local community garden, a farmer discussed her raw milk and the share system she used to sell it, Saginaw Vineyard poured wine tastings, and the Cottage Grove Garden Club sold plants and talked about … [Read more...]