Every farm-loving family in Portland has its favorite place to pick plump strawberries, blackberries, marionberries and blueberries each summer. But as the days become shorter and the temperatures begin to drop, there’s no better time to visit a local farm or orchard for fall harvest U-Pick fun! From apples and pears to tomatoes and flowers, there’s an abundance of bounty to be enjoyed at these five farms. Remember, leave the dogs at home and always call ahead for the latest crop reports—you’re guaranteed to have a day on the farm that your kids will never forget.
photo: Neal Gillis via flickr
Distance from downtown Portland: 13 miles
The autumn months are a time for U-pick tomatoes, flowers, and pumpkins at Bella Organic, a 100-acre farm that sits on beautiful Sauvie Island. The coolest thing about this facility? Not only is Bella a certified organic farm, but it is also run entirely on the power of solar energy. A close runner up? The farm features the Bella’s Country Kitchen Food Pavilion, where guests can recharge after a day of picking produce with made-to-order burgers, gyros, falafel and a variety of sweet treats.
16205 NW Gillihan Rd.
U-pick hours: Daily through mid-Nov., 9 a.m.-6 p.m.
Distance from downtown Portland: 19 miles
With 26 U-pick acres, nearly 2,000 fruit trees and a history that dates back more than 150 years, it’s easy to spend an entire day walking the fertile groves of Sherwood Orchards. And come autumn, you’ll have your choice of quince, persimmons, more than 80 varieties of apples and a selection of Bartlett, Seckel and Bosc pears. Just remember to bring your own boxes and to visit the ATM before leaving Portland, as Sherwood Orchards is a cash-only farm.
23995 SW Pacific Hwy.
U-pick hours: Please call for daily hours
photo: Joe Thorn via flickr
Distance from downtown Portland: 75 miles
Little hands will have no problem picking fruit from the dwarf apple trees at Draper Girls Country Farm, a magnet each autumn for lovers of local apples and pears. You can picnic in the garden, feed the farm animals and pick your own fruit while soaking in the stunning view of Mt. Hood. The farm also offers a fruit stand with locally made jams and honeys—and it is the site of the only 100-percent pure, non-pasteurized and licensed cider mill in the Hood River Valley.
6200 Hwy. 35
Mt. Hood Parkdale, Or
U-pick hours: Daily, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
Distance from downtown Portland: 79 miles
The vistas are equally spectacular at the aptly named Mt. View Orchards, where you’ll find U-pick pears, Dahlias and varieties of apples that include Galas, Fujis, Honeycrisps and (our personal favorite) Jonagolds. But what makes this scenic spot so appealing to kids? They will delight in visiting with Carlos the Steer and his fellow farm animals, while the entire family can pile in the tractor wagon for a fun-filled ride through the orchard.
6670 Trout Creek Ridge Rd.
Mt. Hood, Or
U-pick hours: Daily through Oct.; Mon.-Sat., 10 a.m.-5 p.m.; Sun., 12-5 p.m.
photo: Jessica Lucia via flickr
Distance from downtown Portland: 80 miles
With the largest U-pick orchard in the Hood River Valley, Kiyokawa Family Orchards has been in the fresh fruit business since 1911. This 187-acre farm is planted with more than 80 varieties of apples and pears, providing guests with an ever-changing selection of what’s available to pick. The staff is kind and accommodating, there’s a play area for children and the fruit stand is stocked with pies, turnovers, jams and ciders.
5625 Hutson Dr.
U-pick hours: Daily Aug. 26-Nov. 7; Mon.-Fri., 10 a.m.-6 p.m.; Sat. & Sun., 9 a.m.-6 p.m.
Where is your favorite place to pick farm-fresh produce in or around Portland? Let us know in the comments below!
— Maura O’Brien