An Essential Summer Outing in Portland, Oregon
Spend an Evening Outside Sipping and Picking and Listening to Live Music
(Originally posted Summer 2016, updated June 2018 with current prices, dates)
I’m back home now in Copenhagen after a whirlwind four weeks on the West Coast of the United States. Visiting, hugging, laughing, loving friends and family in my from. It was truly a family festival of fun chock full of veritable iconic Oregon summertime magic. I’ve already shared some of it with our Oregon Coast time crabbing. Miss it? Don’t be crabby – you can catch it here. Today, I want to share another of my mostest favoritest things to do in Oregon when you find yourself there at the peak of the season’s ripeness. Let’s go berry picking.
Did you know that Oregon State is one of the leading producers of all things berry. Believe it. Berries are serious business here and we cultivate them in rare forms. While the state fruit might be the pear, I prefer the berries. In all their iterations. Strawberries. And raspberries. And marionberries. And loganberries and blackberries and even – while not technically in the same family – those big sweet bulbous blueberries. And these aren’t just any grocery store berries contained in plastic carted there far off season. These are pluck from the vine and eat by the fistful, buy by the flat full, juicy red or purple bake in a pie, cobbler and crumble, compote it, jam it make freezer jelly even serve straight in your salad summer for one bite of locally grown goodness Oregon berries.
TASTE THE OREGON BERRY GOODNESS ON SAUVIE ISLAND
And my favorite place to pluck such sweetness is just north of Portland, Oregon on Sauvie Island – a little slice of agriculture and nature filled wonderful smack dab in the middle of the Willamette River. Here the river flows north shortly before its exit into the mighty Columbia, then further on into the deep cold blue of the Pacific Ocean.
To get to Sauvie Island – take Highway 30 north from the city, follow signs across the bridge and you’ve landed. Turn left once over the bridge and follow Northwest Sauvie Island Road. Look for osprey spying for watery prey, fishing from their perches along the slough lined with houseboats. Catch vistas of the volcanoes that mark this section of the Northwest landscape. You should find what’s left of Mount Saint Helens and the still unperturbed peak of magestic Mount Hood.
Watch where you’re going though. Sauvie Island is home to many self-pick purveyors. Of course I will share with you where I prefer to procure my berries. You knew I would. Thanks for playing. Only about 1.5 miles past the bridge, turn right into Kruger’s Farm. And make sure you arrive on a Thursday evening around 6:30pm. Load your car with kids and friends and family. Pack a picnic dinner. Or don’t. Bring a blanket and low chairs. We’re gonna rock the crop tonight. It’s Farm Tunes people.
SPEND A BEAUTIFUL SUMMER EVENING ON SAUVIE
Every Thursday night starting mid-June through early September, there is a special slice of heaven available for you and yours at Kruger’s Farm. Spread out your blanket, grab a craft-brewed cup of Oregon beer. Raise it up. Let the sun shine through – liquid gold. Pinch yourself. Cheers. You’re here. Wave friends over to your corner of the lawn carved out. Let the kids loose. Check out the chickens. Say hello to the pig. If the line isn’t too long, try the sweet grilled corn on the cob. Tiny caramelized kernels pop in your mouth, all the better with fresh butter. Full dinner options available for those who can wait. We bring our own, so we can prioritize the picking at some point with our party.
LIVE MUSIC ON THE FARM EVERY THURSDAY in Summer
Soon the music will start. Live and in person. A new act every week. A little stage is set out under the lights strung up over the lawn. Tonight its rock-a-billy and classic country with the “Oregon Trailers.” I did not make that up. That’s their name. I swear it’s true. We listen and we laugh and we dance if we want to with our littles. Cheeks lit with smiles and bellies soon sated, its time to make our way out to the front of the farm. Hayrides will pull us to the fields fresh and ripe. We scramble up and the tractor chugs along at a snail’s pace. But the light is late and streams on us warmly.
TAKE A HAYRIDE TO PICK FRESH BERRIES
Today, we have choices. And it’s raspberries we choose. The tractor makes a u-turn and slows to a halt. Off we jump with boxes and crates in our clutches. Pick a row any row, but preferably not mine. Just kidding, I’ll share. I really don’t care. The vines here are full and laden with berries. Big giant juicy sweet as candy red berried nuggets of yum. Oregon raspberries. We fill a few boxes, eat a few too. Little ones laugh and peek through the rows probably toppling their collections as they go. No worries, we can scoop them all up as we head down to the tractor making a leisurely swing back around. Off come the next round of eager berry pickers. We smile and trade places and get a pull back to the lawn.
The light turns late and the music winds down. Time to pack up our goods and pay for our pickings. Friends hug goodbye, cheers and see you soon. Another pretty as a picture, crystal blue memoried evening for the books. You too can enjoy this Oregon summer magic. This summer’s berry harvest may be winding down, but don’t worry – the tunes are still rocking for another whole month.
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT FARM TUNES
Bring a picnic or buy food from one of vendors. Beer and wine for sale — CASH ONLY. (ATM in the store). No outside alcohol allowed. We love dogs, but ask that you leave them at home on concert night.” – Kruger’s Farm
FARM TUNES DEETS:
Kruger’s Farm – 17100 NW Sauvie Island Rd, Portland, OR 97231
Every Thursday from June 21st – August 30th, 2018
$20 per car which includes a $5 farm produce voucher to spend in the store
U-pick priced by weight
People who ride their bikes or walk in to the concerts are admitted for free. This is to encourage folks to use alternate forms of transportation and invite our island neighbors, within walking distance, to come to the concerts. Parking on a nearby property and walking to the concert is cheating and unkind to the island community. Please respect us and our island neighbors by not doing this.”
NOTE: Post updated summer 2018 for current dates, times and price. Cheers from this Oregon Girl here in Copenhagen. Vi ses! Bye for now. Erin
*This post is especially for Jill and Joy and Cary and Chris and John and Michael and Melissa and Bo. Thank you for joining me for one of my favorite nights of our trip. Love you all!
Love it? Like it? Share it! Pin it! Mama loves you babies. Life is good. And tasty.
48 thoughts on “Berry My Heart in Oregon – Farm Tunes on Sauvie Island”
I love berry picking!! My kids love it too. It’s such a great family activity. #CityTripping
Mmmm there’s nothing like berry picking – although the fruit here looks amazing, and how fantastic to combine it with a bit of a picnic and a whole family evening out. I’ve never heard of a marionberry so off to google that now! Thanks for linking up with #citytripping
Marionberries are classic Oregon creation – cultivated as a blend between native blackberries here. So sweet, with a little tang – I LOVE them in pie. The bomb! Cheers and thanks for reading – Erin
That sounds like an incredible experience! I’ve never picked any kinds of fruits, ever! Lol. It sounds so new to me but something that I think I would really enjoy. Is it cheaper than if you buy from the supermarket? I’m pretty sure it would taste better.
An awesome take on standard fruit picking. What a fabulous, family event! I love fruit picking although we missed strawberry season this year. We do have a raspberry bush in our garden though and my daughter loves picking them and eating them straight away…bugs and all! #citytripping
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This looks like great family fun #farawayfiles
Summer perfection to me! Cheers!
This sounds like a lovely evening #FarawayFiles
One of my favorite things to do ever! Cheers from this Oregon Girl!
I love berry picking. The only problem is that you pick loads and have trouble eating it all! That’s when you need to start canning the extra fruit and making jam. #farawayfiles
Exactly!! We actually don’t take so much home on evenings like this – pick enough to enjoy eating there while listening to music!
I have never been to Oregon tho’ my husband has worked there from time to time. This was a wonderful post. I felt I was there with you x #FarawayFiles
Yay! Glad I could transport you somewhere I find very special! You should go with him one time to Oregon! So much to love.
I want a Kruger’s Farm close to where we live. this sounds absolutely wonderful.
Me too! I miss it – although there are many magical places in Scandinavia too!
The sunlight glows like magic in these photos Erin.
Awwn. Thank you. I appreciate that – this place is magic to me! Never had a bad night at Kruger Farm summer concerts! Cheers from Copenhagen, Erin
MMM berry picking. My favourite thing to do in summer. Though in The Netherlands we go for cherries and blackberries. I remember growing up in the UK and going strawberry picking with an aunt and having scones after, ah!
Oh cherry picking! My daughter would love that! She loves cherries – there are good ones in the Pacific Northwest, but harder to self-pick as they’re up in the trees of course! Fresh strawberries and scones and cream – the best! I’m partial to my mom’s raspberry pie though! Cheers!
I did not know that Oregon was the leading producer of berries! When I think of Oregon I think of lighthouses and waves crashing against the rocks from my childhood! I bet yours was a sweet one! #FarawayFiles
Berry pies for birthdays! Blackberry cobbler warm from the oven with melty vanilla ice cream making purply swirls in the bowl as it mixed with the warm berry goodness! Ummmmm… HUGE raspberries straight from the vine. Those kind of berries in Europe just aren’t as good. I will concede that Danish strawberries can be tasty, but give me an Oregon marionberry or raspberry anyday! Happy day, happy day!
Sounds soooo delicious!!
Love little escursions like this – where I used to live it was strawberry picking! #FarawayFiles
I love berry picking, well I grew up on fruit farm so it’s in the blood. Berry picking and beer sounds just perfect ?
looks great! I think I’d eat everything I’d pick:)
That looks so fun! #Farawayfiles
Raspberries are my favourite. You can get them here all year round but they taste rubbish out of season. I’m with you Erin, go to the farm and pick them and gobble them up!
Looks like such a fun and tasty time! Fruit picking is always so much fun and eating the harvest after (or during!) is always a treat!
I had no idea Oregon is berry paradise. I have never been to the state (kind of a shame) but seems like summer is an wonderful season to visit. We are trying to go somewhere before the end of the year. Portland is on the run. #FarawayFiles
Ohhh – let me know if you head to Oregon. I have tips!
Aaawww, love your photos for they truly bring out the simple joys of berry-plucking, hanging out with family and friends, all smiles and laughter, music – pure happiness – and may I add, perfect weather as well, huh? 🙂 #FarawayFiles
Yes it was Kat! Truly perfect!
I love berry picking. I’ve never picked berries in Oregon but we used to go all the time in Washington growing up. We didn’t have to go too far either since blackberries pretty much grew like weeds. We’d go over to the high school every summer and fill up our baskets there. My favorite thing to do with the berries has always been putting them on top of vanilla ice cream- especially if it was homemade. #FarawayFiles
Yes – we foraged blackberries growing up as well – made blackberry cobbler and ate it warm with vanilla ice cream as well – purply swirls of juicy berries as the vanilla melted! Ummmm!!!
What a great experience! We do pyo every year, this year we are going to add pick your own pumpkin to the list. Thanks for sharing 🙂 #farawayfiles
We ALWAYS used to go pick our own pumpkins from the field and there is no place to do this in Denmark because Halloween is a relatively new holiday here, but I miss it! Thanks for reading – cheers from Copenhagen, Erin
This sounds like an amazing Thursday night out! I love that they have live bands as well! I keep wanting to go berry picking but it always gets shunted to the bottom of the list. I should plan a trip north to Oregon and get amongst it! #FarawayFiles
What an excellent idea – to combine berry picking with an actual event. Love it (love raspberries too).
Oh my word, what a glorious evening! That’s the way to get your five a day! I’m picking my own raspberries from our garden at the moment – I love this time of year when I can have fresh ones every morning. Next time, I’ll put the radio on and sing while I pick.
This looks so lovely and nostalgic too. We used to take our boys berry picking when they were little, but haven’t in a long time… we need to remedy that. #farawayfiles
Looks like a cozy day out!
What are marionberries and loganberries? I need to look them up now 🙂 Glad to read about the fun you had with your family, picking raspberries. #FarawayFiles
Picking berries is so much fun! Those raspberries look delicious!
Your chat about berries has my stomach rumbling! I’ve never even heard of Marionberries or loganberries! I’m intrigued now 🙂 #farawayfiles