Tuesday, July 1, 2008

A Day On The Farm Is A Good Day Indeed!


Since moving back to Oregon I get really excited for June because not only is it the start of our gorgeous summers but it means berry season is arriving and that makes this girl who grew up on a berry farm really happy! I swear I would be in heaven if our bodies could handle a diet of just berries...I could eat them all day every day!
For the past two summers I've had fun little berry picking parties with friends at Krugers Farm on Sauvie Island, about 15 miles from downtown Portland. This year we had our picking party near the end of the season (we had a really short season this year) so the berries were smaller than normal but still packed with amazing taste! Some of the berries went to freezer jam, some into a baked goody with fresh rhubarb, some into the freezer for later, and many eaten fresh at each meal for the last few days! Next up is Raspberries and Blueberries...cannot wait!! Farmer Don, see you soon!
Farmer Don driving the tractor out to the "good" field of berries!
Look at this cute map of my favorite farm on Sauvie Island...it's such a perfect farm!

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Catching Up With One Local Summer

I was sooooo excited to join the One Local Summer Challenge but the first few weeks of it became a little more challenging than anticipated! Between traveling and trying to save all my nickels and dimes (ie. not buying anything more than necessities) for costs associated with buying my condo in mid-July I wanted to use up all the food I currently have. Up until week 4 of the challenge I hadn't been able to make a whole meal with local foods but I've tried to incorporate what I have from my community garden plot or what I've been given each week from my fellow gardners.

So, here is what I've done so far for One Local Summer:

Week One: I was given a bunch of delicious lettuce from a neighbor at my community garden (3 miles from my home). I also bought some local rhubard to freeze and mix with strawberries in some kind of yummy goodness once our Oregon strawberries are ready! Week Two: I'm on vacation this week with my mom and we had some DELICIOUS steamed shrimp at a cute beach restaurant on Tybee Island, Georgia. The shrimp was advertised as being caught right off the beach in a boat owned by the restaurant for catching all their seafood. That's pretty darn fresh and local :) I've also never had shrimp where I've had to take their little legs off...not a big fan of that as it felt a little too barbaric.
Week Three: Still traveling for part of the week and while in Charleston we had local fried green tomatoes. Again, delicious, especially with the fruit salsa! I should have planted some green tomatoes in my garden as I really liked the taste of them! Next year :)Week Four: WooHoo...ALL LOCAL MEAL!! We are in the middle of a heat wave here in Oregon so fresh raw food sounded great!! Earlier in the day some friends and I picked berries at Krugers Farm on Sauvie Island and at their farm stand I also picked up some local red peppers, cucumbers, and nectarines...YUM!!! I topped off my meal (actually, meal"s" as I prepared enough for lunch on Sunday!) with lettuce and spinach I have growing on my balcony, radishes from my garden, and a couple of slices of Oregon's Local Tillamook Cheddar Cheese from Tillamook Oregon. This was a PERFECT local meal for a hot day!!I'm hoping by Week 5 I will have some zucchini and yellow neck squash ready in my garden...yum yum!

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

To Do: Remember My Password!

Just when I thought I was going to be on top of blogging I go and take another month off...so sorry! I'll be a little honest with you and confess that part of the reason was I forgot my password for blogger...oops :) Anyway, the other reason is that life got a little hectic these past few weeks with things like finishing up an academic year, getting ready for an awesome vacation, and buying a home! Yes, in a matter of a 7 day time-frame I decided to see what it would take to stop renting and next thing I know I am submitting an offer on a condo and getting it accepted...crazy! That week of learning the in's-and-out's of being a first time homebuyer was A LOT of extra stress but luckily it was followed by a great week and a half of vacation with my momma to Tennessee, Georgia, and South Carolina! We had such a great time and now that I am faced with packing up my apartment I can only wish we were still on vacation!

Here are some pictures of the past month :) Updates on One Local Summer and my garden will be coming soon, I promise! I made sure to write down my password :)
My friend Wendy and I spent a lovely Saturday morning taking pictures of wildflowers in the Columbia River Gorge...they were so beautiful!
Here is one of my best friends Emily getting married :) Her wedding was in TN and it was so cool to be able to be there to see her marry the man of her dreams! Emily, you are a BEAUTIFUL bride and I swear I have never seen you smile so much before!
While in TN we stayed with my friend Mandi and as always time with Mandi is time well spent :)
After Emily's wedding my Mom and I drove to Savannah...what an AMAZING CITY!!! The humidity was not so amazing but we still had a great time wandering all around it's gorgeous historic district! Our camera's needed a break at the end of each day with how many pictures we were taking!
Bonaventure Cemetery in Savannah is really cool, sooooo much history there and the Spanish Moss is just gorgeous! They say Bonaventure is one of the nation's most haunted places and we could totally picture the spirits partying it up when night falls. Think of the fun they must have frolicking through all the moss!
Spanish Moss and my pretty momma! Avenue of Oaks at Boone Hall Plantation outside of Charleston South Carolina. Cannot help but think "Run Forest Run" when I see this picture :)Charleston was BEAUTIFUL! The houses are to die for and I cannot imagine what it must be like to live in them! This was a little house for the historic neighborhood we were wandering around in but doesn't it have great windows!! Just how I pictured beaches in South Carolina to look like :)
Sunset on the dock...what a perfect way to end vacation! Thanks for taking a look at my month in pictures!

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Check Out My Etsy!

Well, I finally bit the bullet and started an Etsy shop for selling my photos as either prints people can frame or as cards :) I've had it open for two days and already sold two prints...woohoo!! Go ahead and take a look!!!

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

One Local Summer Challenge

This spring I checked out the book Plenty from my local library and I loved following the journey of a couple from the Pacific NW (Vancouver BC) dedicated to eating completely from a 100 radius for an entire year. Between their story, reading past blog entries from a flickr contact who did something similar, and knowing that I live in the middle of one of those most furtile farming valleys in the country I thought it would be fun to join the One Local Summer Challenge starting June 1st!

So far about 80 people are on the challenge to eat one meal a week with all ingredients except oil, salt, pepper, and spices being local from 100 miles of our homes or from wherever we are located that week. My main objectives for this challenge is to use my garden produce first, support local farmers for the remaining ingredients I need, adapt my meal planning to make conscience choices of what is in season and most readily available (products not creating a large carbon footprint to get to my kitchen), and try fresh recipes I have never had before! That last reason is why I planted eggplant in my garden. I've never tasted it but for some reason think I don't like it...that will change this summer as I'm determined to make eggplant a main ingredients for a few of my One Local Summer Meals!

It's not too late if you want to JOIN the challenge! And Mom, I fully expect you to participate in this challenge with me when we find ourselves on vacation to Savannah/Charleston in mid June! Maybe Paula Dean or her boys will make us a delicious local meal :)

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Another Month, Another Post

Ok, so it seems like this blog is only getting monthly updates lately. Sorry! I just don't feel the inspiration for writing on the blog like I used to :( Seems like Flickr is my best outlet but I promise to be better in the future with the blog. So much to look forward to...yummy fresh seasonal recipes, summer travel, and living life to the fullest in the bright summer sun! So, don't take BerryBungalow off your "favorites list" yet... I promise to be back on track soon! My academic year ends in a few weeks so I am sure I will be back to being a regular poster soon :)

But, for my monthly update here are a few things I've been up to lately!Our students are always coming up with creative events...like Braine Freeze, a fun slurpee drinking contest. They got even got two tenured faculty to compete! You woman are my hero's as there is no way you would catch me doing this! My friend Rodney is back in town for the week so we of course had a BUSY week but with his trip starting the last week of tulip season we had to go back to the tulip farm! So Lovely!
After tulips we went to Silver Creek Falls and got wet walking behind this fall! Silver Creek Falls State Park is in the area of Oregon I grew up in so it was fun showing it off to a friend! Then the next day we had an AMAZING day snowshoeing on Mount Hood! The Oregon Cascade Mountains has a record amount of snow this year. Check out Timberline Lodge and the snow banks that go up to the third story!! CRAZY!!! The weather was absolutely beautiful and set the bar pretty darn high for the next snowshoeing day!

On Rodney's last day we hit the beach and checked out Cape Disappointment in Southeast Washington. What a gorgeous state park and we enjoyed stumbling onto this gorgeous lighthouse! I'm hoping to go pack to the Cape later this summer to see more of it's beauty!
The last few weeks have been busy with work and me doing a lot of hoeing to get my community garden plot ready for planting! After many blisters from my workdays my dad came for the big day of planting...cannot wait to see Mother Nature do her thing and for the garden to grow!! I'll keep everyone updated on the progress :)

See you soon!

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Spring TulipFields

Check out my Flickr Page for pictures of this weekends visit to Wooden Shoe Tulip Farm...over 40 acres of tulips all at the peak of their beauty!!