The heady scent of fresh apples is in the air, drawing me out to the country once again.
There is nothing like a fresh apple straight from the farm. No mandated chemical wash, no oiling up like little round weightlifting contestants. Just apples – sweet, tart, crisp and clean.
One of my favorite fall produce destinations is Oregon Heritage Farms, a family owned, farm-direct store that offers apples, cider, and fresh local produce from the end of August through mid-November.
Oregon Heritage Farms grows their fruit trees in long, hedge-like rows using a European system known as Espalier. This method has a long history dating back to the ancient Romans, but wasn’t perfected until several hundred years ago by the French, who are responsible for naming the system espalier (a derivation of the French word épaule, meaning shoulder).
I remember many years ago being fascinated as we watched the thousands of apples trees going in, all set in long, carefully cultivated rows and supported by the unique post and wire support system. If you’ve never seen apples grown in this fashion, it is worth a trip out to Washington County just to see it.
Oregon Heritage Farms now grows about 100,000 fruit trees, including ten varieties of apples, as well as Asian pears and a few other fruits.
A perfect way to spend an autumn afternoon with the family, Oregon Heritage Farms offers free apple and cider tasting throughout the season. In addition, weekends in October are full of activities for everyone in the family: hay rides, apple rope maze, jumping apple, and apple slingshot – all $3 each, with proceeds going to benefit the local Hillsboro High School Baseball team. Pumpkin and food sales from the Snack Shack also go towards helping HHS have a successful baseball season!
In addition to apples and fresh flowers, you can find a variety of hand-crafted items in the farm store.
Every year, Oregon Heritage Farms hosts APPLEFEST in early October. This year’s celebration will feature live music by “Get Rhythm” (who doesn’t love a good Johnny Cash cover band?), face painting by Roger, and balloon artist “Not Your Average Joe.” Learn more about APPLEFEST 2014 here.
Oregon Heritage Farms
Many varieties of apples available, featuring Jonagold, Honey Crisp & Gala. Free tasting of apples & cider. Seasonal vegetables & fruits. Country crafts & gifts. Weekend hay rides in October. Annual Applefest, 2nd Sat. in Oct. Fun for whole family.
Located 8 miles SW of Washington Square on Scholls Fy. Look for our big red barn & Oregon Heritage Farms sign!
mid-August – mid-November
22801 SW Scholls Ferry Road, Hillsboro, Oregon
Disclosure: This post is part of a renewed emphasis on Farm-to-Table, and I received no financial compensation for writing it. I did, however, receive a couple of bags of beautiful apples for free, which I will be highlighting in tomorrow’s recipe post! All opinions are my own.