Summertime approaches (hooray!) and with it comes some decision-making. Camps, vacations, new gear and much-anticipated adventures are likely getting muddled over in su casa. Good luck with the planning and may we gently suggest one local farmadise to add to your must-do summer list? Sauvie Island is every Portlander’s very own local getaway, whether for an afternoon of u-pick berries, some legit riverside beach-going, or maybe a concert under the sun. And oh how we love to go there and feel transported, in true summer-style. One of our favorite highlights of this family-friendly destination is Bella Organic Farm. Between their fresh and delicious food offerings, their kid-approved carnival rides and games, and their fantastic summer concert series, Bella Organic is a definite must-visit this summer. Read on to find out the scoop on what to see, eat, and do while you’re there!

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Go Hog Wild
So while you may have heard of this farm gem, you may not know how much it offers, especially this summer. They are likely on your radar for pumpkins, corn mazes and haunted delights. They may even make your short-list rotation for strawberry and blueberry picking glee, but did you know they rock a free and open-every-day bouncy house? Or how about the goats and pigs outback that love to be visited by little farmers and berry pickers? Lastly, did you know they host Farm Dinners and a coupla weekend family-friendly concerts like Blueberries & Blues mid-summer or the annual Labor Day Weekend Blackberries & Bluegrass multi-day jamfest? Sweet!

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But, saving the BEST for last, this year you and the kidlets can head over on Saturdays for their very own summer concert lineup. What? Yes! An every Saturday night live tune bonanza with tasty food, beer and wine for sale, hay bales for sitting, tractor rides, and a big ol’ field for kiddo roaming. Makes for reminiscing already and summer has yet to begin!

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How Their Garden Grows
So where do we go? Point your family truckster towards Bella Organic Farm. Bella Organic has been around for seven years, is family run and is the first organic farmstand selling direct to the customer in the whole state! Bella grows all types of organic deliciousness like strawberries, blueberries, marionberries, and delish blackberries. They also have crops of tomatoes, beans, corn, onions, summer and winter squash, plums, and garlic…to name a few more healthy gems. Their CSA program is user friendly with a pay-as-you-go option or a pay for them all up front. All of their amazing fresh fruit and veggies are grown right onsite, planted with love, and shared with care. Awwwww. Heart them.

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Spectacularly Portland
Farm Dinners (beginning July 12th) are every Friday night in July and August and are prepared by chefs with produce picked that morning. It does NOT get better than that. Add in tours, farmer face time, and an amazing backdrop (oh and some Bella vino) and these spectacular evenings sell out fast. Appetizers and wine begin at 5:00 pm, the farm tour rolls at 5:20 pm and dinner is at 6:00 pm. Book a sitter and go!

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An Autumn Festivus For The Rest of Us
In October Bella Organic Farm rocks a month long pumpkin fest, selling both pre-picked and u-pick pumpkins, hay rides, a spooky corn maze and one friendlier for the wee ones, plus cow trains and face painting, Their corn maze theme changes each year and is always a shout-out to Oregon, like last year’s University of Oregon Duck. If you and yer kids (as in baby goats) haven’t been yet, put it in the activity hopper for Fall 2013.

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Champing at the Bit: Hot Summer Night Delights
Now about those Saturday night Harvest Concerts. Here’s the deats: it’s $10 a carload after 6:00 pm and free if you arrive beforehand. Go early and check out the animals, play in the hay maze, bounce away, score a tractor ride, or just admire the bounty in the farm store. You will not go home empty handed. They have food and sustenance a-plenty for sale, plus beer and wine, so leave your munitions at home (or in the car). Tickets are on sale now via their web site and the lineup of bands should be announced soon.

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Get Your Goat (On)
Bella Organic Farm is open for the season starting June 1st so get ready for a summer of wonderful. It’s a working farm so plan footwear accordingly, pack hats and slather on sunscreen as needed. Prepare to visit the farm that loves supporting your family’s healthy eating and while there, find your way to some moments of zen. Salut!

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Bella Organic Farm is open June 1st through November 15th: Sunday through Thursday 9:00 am to 6:00 pm; last call into U-Pick field 5:30 pm. Friday & Saturday: 9:00 am to 7:00 pm; last call into U-Pick field is 5:30 pm. For Harvest Concert Evenings they will stay open until 10:00 pm.

Bella Organic Farm
16205 NW Gillihan Rd.
Portland, Or 97231
503-621-9545
Online: bellaorganic.com

After you cross the Sauvie Island bridge take the first left onto Gillihan Rd and continue for 1.5 miles. They will be on your left. Follow the scarecrows!

When was the last time you visited Sauvie Island?

–Liz Overson

Photos courtesy of bellaorganic.com and Liz Overson