Farm to Table

Heirloom tomatoes on the vine at Stoneboat Farm.

Heirloom Treasures

Local is always best, but when it comes to eating tomatoes, sourcing is imperative written by Julie Lee | photography by Dan Hawk Locally grown tomatoes are nature’s delicate gift that loyalists wait for each season with held breath. Tomatoes also can be confusing; are they vegetable or fruit? Botanically speaking, tomatoes are fruits, bearing seeds and grown from a flowering plant, however from a culinary point of view, tomatoes are considered vegetables and counted as such by nutritionists as well. The United States Supreme Court even had a say, naming the tomato a vegetable in 1893 for taxation purposes. There is also debate on whether the benefits of tomatoes, which include powerful cancer-fighting antioxidants, vitamin C and potassium, are best reaped when tomatoes are cooked or eaten raw. The lycopene found in tomatoes is at the center of this debate; a unique and powerful antioxidant plentiful in just a…

Brad and Seth Klann, of Mecca Grade Estate Malt, stand in their rye field with their malthouse in the background.

The Thresher in the Rye

Once derided as worthless, rye is making a comeback in bread, bourbon and beer written by Julie Leephotography by Toby Nolan Once considered a weed amongst fields and often hailed as an underdog, rye is viewed by some as the world’s most underrated grain, though countries like Russia have long adopted it as a staple, using it in breads and other recipes. The carb-laden grain is also used to make whiskey, bourbon, and beer, and can be incorporated in vodka and gin as well. Farmer and brewer Seth Klann of Brad Klann Farms near Madras, is considered an authority in the field of rye and other grains among his peers. “Seth is one of those special generational family farmers who has upheld traditional methods and expanded to his own unique malting techniques.” said Clark McCool, general manager of production at McMenamins, Inc. Klann’s family’s farm has specialized in grain and…

The Egg Drop’s Amy Engelhard.

Re-Nesting

The egg beats its way back into our homes written by Julie Lee Photography by The Egg Drop The egg is peeling back its bad reputation. Once frowned upon as a cholesterol calamity, to the contrary, eggs are one of the best sources of high-quality protein you can find. Rich in vitamins including B2, vitamins B12, D, and A, and a host of minerals, eggs are an essential part of a healthy diet. A bonus? They are low in calories. Shelling out pretty pennies for glowing skin? Try eating eggs instead. Eggs are great for skin; they soften, firm and hydrate all at once, with amino acids helping to generate new skin cells. Studies show that two major antioxidants in eggs, lutein and zeaxanthin, are known to increase protection against UV damage that leads to lines, age spots and cancer, as well as to reduce age-related macular degeneration. Eating one…

A variety of clams can be found on the Oregon Coast, including razor clams and bay clam varieties such as butter, littleneck, cockles and gaper clams.

Clams Are for Digging

Just below the surface, the Oregon Coast is teeming with various clam types written by Julie Lee Don’t mind getting a little sandy, muddy and wet? Clamming might be for you! Anyone can dig for clams, and little equipment is needed: a clam shovel, a clam gun, a bucket and some patience. A shellfish license is required as well. The best clamming on the Oregon Coast is done during low tides, and it’s recommended to check with Oregon Health Authority’s website to ensure clam harvesting is open; they follow strict guidelines and constantly survey for potential biotoxins. Razor clams are a foodie’s delight and prized by clam diggers for their size and sweet-tasting meat. Clatsop County is bountiful with this seafood delicacy, with 95 percent of all razor clams deriving from a tight eighteen-mile stretch of beach. Bay clams, a broad grouping that encompasses everything that isn’t a razor clam,…

Lyf Gildersleeve, president of Flying Fish Company in Portland, takes his son, Miles, and the family to Oregon lakes for old-fashioned angling.

Trout Fishing in Oregon

One man’s journey from child angler to fishmonger businessman and sustainable seafood advocate written by Julie Lee Trout is Oregon’s most popular fish to catch and eat, with several trout species, both indigenous and adopted decades ago, to pursue. The most common is rainbow trout, which is widely stocked and distributed throughout the state. Redband trout are native to Central Oregon and historically found throughout waters connected to the Deschutes River. Paulina Lake, also in Central Oregon, boasts the state record trophy brown trout, weighing in at more than 28 pounds. Trout is generally found in cool streams and lakes, making Oregon a hot spot for this culinary delicacy. Historically, trout was a favorite of Europeans who noted catching it on Russia’s Kamchatka Peninsula in 1792, but rainbow trout is native only to North America’s lakes and rivers and a favorite of anglers. Lyf Gildersleeve, president of Flying Fish Company…

Tacos with fresh rockfish, plentiful year-round, offer a winter getaway for the palate.

A Rockfish by Any Other Name

written by Thor Ericksonphotography by Tambi Lane Order rockfish at a restaurant in New York, and you’ll likely get a striped bass. Place the same order in California, and you could end up with a vermilion rockfish. Here in Oregon, rockfish can be anything from quillback, pygmy, shortbelly, longspine, yellow-eye, to widow, canary, chilipepper, thornyhead and the old standby—red snapper. Oregon sport and commercial fishermen regularly catch more than twenty-five species of rockfish. Many of these rockfish have similar characteristics and are difficult to tell apart. According to the Food and Drug Administration, a single fish species can go by multiple names from the time it’s caught until the time it ends up on your plate, and many kinds of fish can legally be sold under a single name. The good news is that all these species of Oregon rockfish taste relatively the same. The flesh is versatile and can…

After a stretch at sea fishing for rockfish, the trawler Ms. Julie arrives at port, where its catch is unloaded.

Rock On: The Oregon Rockfish

Rockfish rebound in Oregon’s waters, and one man’s catch is another one’s delight written by Sophia McDonaldphotography by Jon Christopher Meyers In 2000, the waters off the Oregon coast had been so severely overfished that it was declared a federal disaster zone. Scientists with the National Marine Fisheries Service predicted that even if drastic action was taken, commercial fishing would not rebound in the area until at least 2030. It turned out they were sorely mistaken. In 2011, trawl fisherman catching rockfish and other species landed 3.5 million pounds of their scaly, slippery prey. In 2018, they netted 25.3 million pounds. In 2019, the number was closer to 25 million, according to Yelena Nowak, director of the Oregon Trawl Commission. Rex Leach of Coos Bay, who has been a commercial fisherman since 1978, was on the Oregon Trawl Commission when regulations to restore the fishery were enacted. He and many…

Whit Peters walks between cranberry bogs at Peters’ Cranberries in Sixes.

The Tart-Sweet Oregon Cranberry—Bogged Down

Cranberries, as American as Thanksgiving, bring Oregon flavor to fall dishes written by Sophia McDonaldphotography by Amanda Loman Around the time Portland was welcoming its first train passengers, Morrow County was being incorporated and the Grants Pass Daily Courier was delivering its first newspapers, farmers began forming bogs and filling them with cranberry vines along the southern Oregon coast. These tart treats have been an important agricultural crop in a region which has been better known for animal-based foods such as seafood and dairy since 1885. They also deliver a fine option for locavores who can’t imagine a holiday season or a turkey sandwich without a spoonful of the ruby-red berry sauce. This thoroughly American berry (one of the few fruits native to North America) has been Whit Peters’ business for most of his life. He and his mother, Sara Osborne, own Peters’ Cranberries in Sixes, about twenty miles south…

Blackberries cover about 50 acres at Duyck Family Farm in Banks. The farm grows the Kotata variety.

Back in Blackberries

Delicious and fulfilling fruit of hard work on Duyck Family Farm Written by Sophia McDonaldPhotography by Daniel Stark “Growing up, I would always tag along with my dad, whether it was just riding in a truck or hoeing or working with a cousin. I always knew I’d come back. I just didn’t know when or how.”— Jacque Duyck Jones, of Duyck Family Farm, on taking over the family business Blackberries reach their peak in July, just in time for pie making, ice cream churning, jam jamborees, backyard cocktail mixing and gluttonous fresh eating. While they’re at their best straight from the vine, juices warm from the sun and staining your fingers, they also freeze well, something that makes this Oregon snack available year-round. In fact, the freezer is the first destination for the vast majority of Oregon blackberries. According to the Oregon Raspberry & Blackberry Commission, more than 90 percent…