Sol Food Mobile Farm Days 81-87: Oregon and California

| October 1, 2012

Driving Highway 101

Sol Food has just spent an amazing two weeks in western Oregon. We spent a wonderful week spent in Portland and Eugene, OR and a weekend of travel down Highway 101 seeing our first views of the Pacific Ocean.  We are now in Eureka, California after sharing three days together in the Redwoods.  What a breathtaking trip it has been through the Pacific Northwest!

Bus in the clouds

During our time in Portland we stayed in a lively house off of Hawthorn Street, in the southeastern corner of the city.  We spent the first two days exploring the coffee shops, bookstores and restraunts that make Portland such a hip city.  We met wonderful new friends and already miss the kindness and hospitality we were shown there.  To Chris and all of the great housemates we stayed with: we can not thank you all enough for showing us one of the best weeks of our trip!  Filled with time in the garden, great homecooked meals and adventures around the city.  We miss you all already…
After getting our bearings in the new city of Portlandia, we spent the remainder of our visit seeing organic farms in the area and picking up waste vegetable oil for the bus.  Our first day of farm visits introduced us to Zenger Farm in the north end of town. We spent an afternoon touring the farm and lending a hand at their weekly Farm Workday. We shared conversation with young new farmers in the area while getting our hands dirty weeding a variety of new fall crops.

Zenger Farm

Believe it or not, tomatoes are still ripe on the vine in the Pacific Northwest!  Fruit trees, such as apples, plums and pears, are also still bearing loads of fruit; along with an invasive, yet delicious, blackberry crop.  The farm also hosted a variety of turkeys and bee hives that provided visitors with grass-fed meat and local honey.

During our farm tour at Zenger, we were able to purchase fresh produce from their CSA stand, buy a carton of colorful eggs from their co-ops and see their permaculture gardens.

Zenger Farm

In keeping with a lot of farms that we have seen recently in Washington and Oregon, Zenger Farm hosts a large community of immigrants and refugees from countries around the world.  We got the opportunity to learn about the different heritage gardens on site and see fruits and veggies growing that we had never seen before.  It was a great afternoon!

Our next farm highlight was at the Tryon Community Life Farm on the outskirts of Portland.  The moment we stepped onto the property, we realized that we should have spent the entire week there!  The farmland borders a beautiful section of state park land and is draped in moss, ferns and towering Douglas Firs.

Tryon Farm

All across the farm are adobe style structures that have been built and maintained by the farm community.  Some of their unique farm buildings include a 100 year old barn, a sauna, a wood fired hot-tube/bath house, a sauna, a sweat lodge and a timber framed outdoor kitchen.  They also host a variety of camp and school groups out onto the farm so their are plenty of gathering spaces scattered throughout the fields.

During our visit, we got to meet many of the enthusiastic farm interns, pet the goats and walk through the maze of garden paths.  Tryon  Farm is a stunning example of permaculture design and intentional community living.  If we ever get the chance to return to Portland we hope to spend a large chunk of time with the great folks at Tryon.

Tryon Farm

Finally, after a wonderful and exhausting week in Portland we jumped on the bus and chugged south.  We made a pit stop that first night in Eugene, Oregon and stayed with Ellen’s cousin, Liz, and her husband Ryan.  We were blessed their with a home cooked vegetarian meal, showers and beds. The following day, we continued south into California and saw our first sunset over the Pacific Ocean!  Over the next three nights we stayed at Sunset Bay State Park, Redwoods State Park, and Prairie Creek Campground.  For some of us, this was our first view of the West Coast.  Needless to say, we were blown away by the massive Coast Redwoods, the rocky coasts and the huge Roosevelt Elk that roam through the state parks.

Redwoods

During one of our travel days, we stopped for lunch at a city park and quickly realized there was an adjoining community garden down the street.  Luckily, a volunteer named John was around to give us a quick tour and tell us a bit about farming along the remote coast of southern Oregon.

We have sadly waved Oregon goodbye but we are looking forward to exploring the rest of California over the next two weeks.  Our next stop is to Slide Ranch in Muir Beach, California.  There, we will touring their educational farm and providing an extra set of four hands in the garden.  Following that trip we will be driving to Yolo County to volunteer at the Hoes Down Farmers Festival.  It should be an awesome next two weeks!

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Category: For Kids, Sol Food Mobile Farm

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  1. Belinda says:

    Wow! Look at those redwood trees!! This is incredible – what a trip you guys are having – so wish I could be there. The farms look amazing.