Best Places for Fall Foraging

Best Places for Fall Foraging around the state written by Jen Stevenson Oregon autumns are our favorite so we’ve rounded up our top three fall foraging destinations for you to put on your to-try list. SOKOL BLOSSER Not just a pretty patio for sipping and soaking in valley views, the Sokol Blosser family’s esteemed Dundee Hills winery is home to one of the finest kitchens in the Willamette Valley. When executive chef Henry Kibit isn’t dishing up savory parsley root custard topped with salmon roe and licorice fern and slabs of tender brisket over fried wild nettles, he’s roaming the miner’s lettuce and morel-strewn hills behind the vineyard, collecting seasonal treasures to incorporate into the six-course Farm & Forage wine pairing luncheons he serves in an intimate, sun-splashed space behind the tasting room. 5000 NE SOKOL BLOSSER LN. DAYTON sokolblosser.com RACK & CLOTH Exit I-84 onto the Historic Columbia River…

Inside the Lives of Portland’s bridge tenders

All along the watchtowers: Inside the lives of Portland’s bridge tenders written by Scott Latta / photography by Shauna Intelisano Even by the dreary standards of Portland winters, 2017 was especially bleak. At one point, five storms slammed Portland in five weeks. The Weather Channel, stating what everyone in the city was thinking, dubbed it “America’s most winter-fatigued city.”When a foot of snow fell in one twenty-four-hour period in January, the nation gawked as hapless Portlanders abandoned their cars along impossibly glassy hills. But the real trouble started two months later, when the sun came out. Federal guidelines maintain that when the Willamette River rises above 12 feet, all Portland bridges must be staffed twenty-four hours a day. Under normal circumstances, it’s not a problem for the county’s eight full-time bridge operators. But as the snow melted in the Cascades—141 percent of its normal depth—it collected in reservoirs within the…

Mckenzie River Chainsaw and Arts Festival

The world’s top chainsaw carvers will be at the Chainsaw and Arts Festival photography by Bradley Lanphear Each year, some of the world’s top chainsaw carvers (yep, that’s a real thing) gather in Blue River to crown the best of the best. The carvers use their chainsaws to transform logs and stumps into finely carved sculptures— eagles, bears, even Sasquatch. The event, organized and held at the McKenzie Community Track & Field, is an annual festival—mark your calendar for July 19-21, 2019, to see the action in person. The Portland Spoon Company  

The Oregon Kiwi

Oregon Kiwi: We are the country’s top producer of this unusual fruit written by Sophia McDonald | photography by Anthony C. Castro Is it possible to grow this tropical fruit in Oregon? Oregon is known for producing world-class berries from spring to early summer. But come September, a strange-looking variety briefly appears for about two weeks. They’re tan globes about the size of a grape. Each has a sweet-tart flavor and a smooth skin that’s entirely edible. Cut one open and the mystery is solved. The flesh of these tiny fruits is lime green and dotted with tiny black seeds. They’re known as kiwi berries, baby kiwi or hardy kiwi, and they’re kin to the fuzzy-skinned fruit commonly found in grocery stores. Oregon is the country’s top producer of this unusual fruit—which is to say there are a handful of farmers growing them on about 125 acres. Peter Dinsdale with…

Oregon Kiwis Do Exist and So Does The Kiwitini

Before I talk about Oregon kiwis, I need to be completely honest. written by Thor Erickson | photos by Megan Morse When the editors of 1859 Oregon’s Magazine proposed that I write about kiwis, I thought they had lost their minds. Kiwis? In Oregon? Really? I went home and binge-watched “Flight of the Conchords” while I did some research. After a healthy dose of Bret and Jemaine, I soon found that kiwis do grow in Oregon, and are becoming quite popular. Kiwi berries (also known as hardy kiwi, grape kiwi or cocktail kiwi) are smooth-skinned and much smaller in size than their furry cousins from New Zealand. I drove out to Dundee to HB&K farms to pick a few for myself. The strawberry-sized kiwi berries, or Actinidia arguta, are not genetically modified minis, but their own perennial vine, native to Japan, China and Russia. Kiwi berries have a short growing season,…

Green Living Around the State

Step inside these recent sustainable home designs around the state written by Melissa Dalton Oregon has some serious green building cred, but there’s always room for improvement. Governor Kate Brown led the state into an embrace of energy conservation when, last November, she signed an executive order stating that newly constructed residences must demonstrate 40 to 50 percent more energy efficiency than conventional construction. Intrigued, we checked out three recent sustainable builds to better understand what our future neighborhoods might look like. The First Passive House in Corvallis exterior photography by David Paul Bayles | interior photography by Jen G. Pywell Choosing to Build their first home was a no-brainer for Carl and Julie Christianson. He runs G. Christianson Construction, which was started by his parents in Corvallis in 1986. Less obvious is that the couple would make their home a certified Passive House. Although Carl’s company had never built…

OK Omens Wine Bar and Bistro

OK Omens is a superb wine bar with an elevated bistro menu that’s worth checking out written by Jen Stevenson | photos by Alan Weiner Photography No longer Café Castagna, but still Castagna’s café, this lively new Ladd’s Addition wine bar retains the same sleek look (and beloved patio) as its predecessor, while debuting a playfully scholarly natural-wine-centric list to pair with James Beard Award-nominated Castagna chef Justin Woodward’s simple but superlative new bistro menu. Settle in for a late summer evening at one of the garden-side tables, inches from fragrant plumes of fresh mint and lemon verbena, and enlist the help of spirited sommelier Brent Braun, who won’t steer you wrong on the perfect bottle to go with Woodward’s burnt-beet-topped steak tartare, grilled squid with chicory and Thai basil, and buttermilk fried chicken with spicy greens and hot sour cream. Like the savory offerings, desserts are often twists on…

Every Other Weekend by Zulema Renee Summerfield

Every Other Weekend: Telling Stories Every Other Weekend takes us back in time interview by Sheila G. Miller photo by Tucker Sharon Portland author Zulema Renee Summerfield is getting high praise for her first novel, Every Other Weekend. But a few years ago, she wasn’t sure she was cut out to write one in the traditional sense. So she didn’t. “I was really struggling with how I was going to write a novel,” she said. “At the time I didn’t tell stories in big, overarching plots. I was writing a lot of flash fiction.” After reading Love and Shame and Love, a novel composed of vignettes written by her mentor and colleague Peter Orner, she knew she could write her book the way she wanted. “Novels come in all kinds of shapes,” Summerfield said. “It really freed me to write a book in vignettes, and that’s how the structure was…

NW Destination: Sonoma County, California

A Phoenix From the Ashes Sonoma County won’t let a fire stop its spirit written by Sheila G. Miller A year ago, Sonoma County and surrounding areas were crippled by a massive wild fire. Rolling hills were blackened, vineyards were damaged, and homes destroyed, but the fires did nothing to dampen the area’s spirit. Indeed, nearly every street-facing surface in the area still features stickers that say #SonomaStrong or handmade signs thanking firefighters for their help in saving residents’ homes. There’s no better way to support this community as it gets back on its feet than by spending some tourism dollars in the region. I was happy to oblige. Glen Ellen was particularly hard-hit by the fires. But the Jack London Lodge in Glen Ellen, where I stayed on a recent weekend, was spared. This renovated motel, tucked into a lush hillside, has charm, free breakfast, and one heck of…