Living in the Columbia River Gorge is incredible for many reasons, but one of the best things about it is being literally surrounded by a plethora of phenomenal, hard working farmers running magnificent orchards. It’s mind-boggling to imagine all the hours, all the patience, and all the love that goes into creating the bounty of fruit Hood River is known for. I think sometimes we take for granted how lucky we are to have access to such diversity of fruit coming from a relatively small geographic area, but one bite into a juicy peach and the gratitude I have for these orchardists hits me like a ton of bricks. Nothing compares to tree ripened stone fruit in all its seasonal glory.
Yesterday, after finishing up at the Hood River Farmers Market, I saw an Instagram post from Mountain View Orchards announcing that donut peaches were ready, and I knew it was time. Donut peaches are a particular favorite of mine, and if you’ve never tried them, I insist you find some immediately. Seriously.
Anyhow, we rushed home, unhooked the trailer and sprinted up the highway to make sure we got some before they ran out. We made it in time and I was able to grab my peaches and a few other items, but if you’ve never been I recommend planning on spending a few hours during your visit. Mountain View Orchards not only offers some of the best fruit in the valley, but loads of delicious ciders, wines from their Grateful Vineyards, and some of the most delicious pizza and gelato I’ve ever tasted. I could spend this entire post listing all the great things they have to offer, but this is supposed to just be about peaches!
Once we left Mountain View, we headed over to Packer Orchards to grab a peach pie. Another fantastic orchard here in the valley, Packer Orchards have a wide array of baked goodies and preserves on offer, and the staff are always incredibly friendly and helpful.
At this point it was clear to me what must be done, and so it was! A Peach Party! I had some deadheading of peachy toned flowers to do so I added those to the table to “zhuzh” up the presentation, added in some other stone fruits and some spicy, crunchy microgreens from Gorge Greens (YUM) and washed it all down with Golden Row hard cider (also from Mountain View). It was impulsive and delicious and I’m an adult who can have ice cream and peaches for dinner if I want to. Hahaha. It was a perfect dinner after a long day. You should throw your own peach party while they’re still in season, and I think you’ll be pleased with the resulting laughter and joy.
A huge thank you to everyone working in agriculture here in the Gorge; you do incredible work and we love you. Keep going!