Summer in Beaverton means u-picks, u-cuts and u-eats all over the Tualatin Valley. From farms to fields, orchards and berry patches, it’s time to get some dirt under your fingernails while plucking and picking everything from lavender to raspberries, blueberries, marionberries and grapes. An easy way to experience all the bounty is to map out a stretch of the 60-mile designated Vineyard and Valley Scenic Tour Route, Here are a few highlights to get you started.
Lavender fields hold court across the valley in July and August, wearing the purple cloaks like the royalty they truly are. Take a stroll through one of many lavender farms near Beaverton to cut baskets full of lavender blossoms for everything from floral displays to sachets, oils, teas and food flavorings. If you’re not that industrious, just pick enough for to fill your vases for a few days and then buy all the lavender products you could want at farm stands and gift shops.
A great way to get a full immersion in lavender-mania is at the Helvetia Lavender Festival on July 6, 7 and 8, which takes place at Helvetia Lavender Farm in Hillsboro. The owners cultivate at least 1,000 lavender plants and put on quite a show during the festival. You’ll find musicians, food stalls, craft classes and an onsite art gallery showing local artists working in lavender-based mediums as well as mosaics and fiber arts.
Jackson School Lavender Farm in North Plains offers U-cut lavender scavenging where you can cut to your heart’s content. Fill your buckets with varieties like Grosso and Provence, and then pay on an old-fashioned honor system. You can also pick up pre-cut lavender bundles at the farm shed. Lavender-related products are available on weekends through July.
Tip: There’s no need to hang-dry your fresh-picked lavender blossoms for weeks – just pop them in the microwave!
A mid-summer dream for Beaverton city slickers comes true when candy-colored berries start popping up all over the valley. Laden vines burst with luscious strawberries, blueberries, marionberries and raspberries, while wineries begin eyeing grapevines for the autumn harvest. Many farms have buckets waiting in the fields for you to scoop up your own deliciousness straight from the branches.
Blueberry Hill Farm in Sherwood opens for picking from July through August, offering mostly blueberries, marionberries and a limited number of raspberries. They also operate the seasonal Roshak Berry Shak on River Road near Hillsboro and the five-acre Cora’s Crop blueberry patch just south of Champoeg Park in Aurora.
Dave Heikes Berry Farms in Hillsboro invites you to bring your own pail and fill it up with boysenberries, raspberries, strawberries and blueberries, but he also keeps some already-plucked ones ready for a drive-and-dive pickup at the farm on Heikes Drive. At Evans Farm Produce and Provisions, you can scoop up wild blueberries in August, or visit their harvest farm anytime for chicken and duck eggs, pickles, produce and lactofermented sauerkraut (yes, that’s a thing.) They also offer amenities for cyclists and a spot for picnicking.
Keep in mind that you can also buy seasonal cut lavender and picked berries at the Beaverton Farmer’s Market, open in the summer on Saturdays from 8:00 am to 1:30 pm.
Reap the bounty of the valley while living in the city when you make your home in one of our Beaverton apartment communities. Give us a call today for information and to set up a tour!