From our u-pick farms and farmers markets to specialty food sources, such as Bob's Red Mill and Dave's Killer Bread, Oregon's Mt. Hood Territory is a popular source for Portland chefs to get the most unique and highest quality food products.
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As you'll read below, the region is filled with seemingly endless culinary delights to tempt the taste buds of even the most cynical of foodies. Better yet, you can try to recreate these masterpieces yourself with the free cookbook: Tastebound. It's not just a clever name, it really is a culinary journey through the Mt. Hood and Columbia River Gorge regions, highlighting some artful recipes featuring local ingredients from our savviest chefs and restaurateurs. From gingersnap cookies to wild fall mushroom pasta, it's a treasure trove of sweet and savory alike.
This lovely farm in Wilsonville earned it's national attention for the cooking classes it offers in the remodeled barn-turned-Williams Sonoma-style kitchen. Classes typically last a few hours and include a meal afterwards. The Kitchen at Middleground Farms has been expanding its offerings, now with seasonal Thursday evening picnics, Friday and Saturday dinners, Sunday brunches, happy hours and more.
Our Table Cooperative wants to ensure the local community and visitors in the area have easy access to good food. In 2014 they opened their on-farm grocery store and later hired on a full-time chef to prepare meals for the store. Since it is a cooperative, the majority of products it offers are local from their farm or cooperative members; 80% is sourced from Oregon and 90% is certified organic. They now also offer seasonal dinners and brunches, along with a weekly hot food Friday (similar to a happy hour, but for all ages).
Chef Pascal Chureau of Allium Bistro in West Linn created the Field & Vine Farm Dinner Series several years ago, beginning with just a few farm dinners. Now you can find over 30 dinner events from May through December. Don't worry, the later-season dinners offer cover and heat. These farm dinners typically pair a farm with a local winemaker, brewer or distiller, so visitors get a unique farm experience complete with a six course, family style dinner matched with a delicious beverage. We love the unique venues this affords, from an alpaca farm to tulip fields to an elk ranch, even a winery located at rare plant research nursery with some of the rarest plants in the world, the atmosphere is as exciting as the food.
TMK Creamery in Canby is all about having fun while making quality products. And their Cowlebrities are at the center of it all. Their first big food awesomeness they accomplished was introducing the world to single cow cheese. That's right, the cheese is from one cow, so you can really know your maker. They also then embarked on making Cowcohol, vodka produced with the whey created from the cheesemaking process. When you visit their farm, be sure to meet the Cowlebrities, see the creamery from the tasting room through a huge glass window and try their corndogs made from beef sourced from their ranch in the Kalamath Falls area.
Triskelee Farm in West Linn offers an atypical farm tour and experience. Meaning, how often do you get to meet a bunch of ostriches and feed them... while sipping on a local beer or wine? Kiddos can take the normal farm tour, but anyone 21+ who'd like to make it a Tipsy Tour is welcome. As promised, during the tour you'll meet all of their adorable animals, goats, llamas, horses and, yes, ostriches. After you meet the maker, you can purchase ostrich eggs from their farm shop.
Bob’s Red Mill sells over 400 grain-based products (80 of them gluten free) in 80 different countries and counting. This employee owned company is based in Milwaukie where its Whole Grain Store and Visitor Center features its entire product line, and also includes a bakery/restaurant serving breakfast, lunch and dinner. Guided tours exploring the wonderful world of stone grinding whole grains are offered Monday through Friday at the Bob's Red Mill manufacturing facility. Tip: You'll also find the Dave's Killer Bread store directly across the street.
Best known for being a four time Food Network Cupcake Wars winner, Kyra's Bake Shop founder Kyra Bussanich was diagnosed with an auto-immune disorder when she was 20 years old. Part of staying healthy meant switching to a gluten-free diet. Kyra attended the prestigious Le Cordon Bleu patisserie program, which gave her a solid foundation of knowledge about classical French baking techniques, which she was able to apply toward baking gluten-free. By craving, and by necessity, Kyra began experimenting with alternative flours and developed a handful of cake recipes that taste as good, if not better, than traditional wheat-filled cakes.
SuDan Farm in Canby raises Border Leicester, Coopworth and Gotland Cross sheep. Their flock has been closed since 2000 and has been OPP negative since 1998. You may purchase their products online or make an appointment for a visit while you're in Willamette Valley! They are passionate about educating folks about their farm. Lamb sweetbreads, lamb tail (like ox tail) and lamb jerky are just a few things they carry. Check out all of their products to immediately salivate.
Beckham Estate Vineyard is the culmination of the evolving vision and dedication of Andrew and Annedria Beckham. Upon moving in 2004 with the intent of building a ceramics studio, they became inspired by the local farming community and in 2005 began clearing and planting the property surrounding their home. They now farm pinot noir, trousseau noir, riesling, sauvignon blanc, aligoté, gamay noir and a very small test block of Italian varietals.
But that doesn't mean ceramicist Andrew didn't give up ceramics. He now makes the amphora pots in which they make their amphora line of wines. Beckham Estate is likely the only winery in the world where the production of the terra cotta vessels for fermenting and aging is at the winery/vineyard, and is integrated with the farming and production of the wines. They also now sell their amphora to others.
At the End of the Oregon Trail Interpretive & Visitor Center, Clackamas County Master Gardeners tend to an heirloom rose garden and a demonstration kitchen garden featuring vegetables, herbs, flowers and fruits grown by the Oregon pioneers in the 1860s. The kitchen garden showcases the same sustainable techniques that the pioneers used, including composting to enrich the soil, using hands-on methods instead of chemicals to remove pests and weeds, growing hardy varieties suitable to Oregon’s climate and harvesting and saving seed for the next year. The kitchen garden also serves as an educational tool for the public. Master Gardeners make presentations to groups of students and others who visit the area to learn about life in pioneer times.
This fragrant herb has so many wonderful uses, especially in cooking. June through August is the season to take in free smells at Mt. Hood Territory's lavender farms. Just one example is Park Place Perennials in West Linn, a boutique lavender and flower farm with its own small apiary. The farm sources both the honey and lavender to make its lavender infused honey. Go pollinators!
MoonRidge Farms in Beavercreek offers certified organic blueberries, yacon and lavender. Enjoy their 40 acre forest and farmland with walking trails, picnic space, a labyrinth and a unique farm stay experience. They offer u-pick or we-pick blueberries and lavender, as well as seasonal produce. Yacon products include plants, tubers, tea and syrup and also have lavender essential oils, hydrosol, culinary products and personal care products. This unique farm experience has a focus on healing food, plants and products.