Berry Season

5 07 2017
Portland Farmers Market Strawberries

Portland Farmers Market (Photo credit: Allison Jones)

If you’ve been eagerly awaiting Oregon berry season, you aren’t alone. Portland’s Ken Forkish (owner of Ken’s Artisan Bakery and three-time semi-finalist for the James Beard Award for Outstanding Pastry Chef) fully embraces the bounty of Oregon berries each summer. “The joy is in the variety that we have. Once summer kicks in, it is a different berry every week,” he says. With local berries ripening throughout the season, you can enjoy a summer of fruit.

Look for strawberries from early May through June and then again in August through September. “Late season strawberries have more flavor because they get more sunshine,” Forkish says. Totem, Hood Tillamook, Firecracker, Puget Reliance, Puget Summer and Redcrest are popular varieties. Starting in June, the bakery turns out a lovely strawberry tart along with a macaron made with strawberries and buttercream.

Raspberries ripen mid-June through July with others coming in mid-August through September. Red, Black and Evergreen raspberries are common favorites.

From July into September you’ll find local blueberries — Berkeley, Bluetta, Bluejay, Bluecrop, Duke, Earliblue, Elliott, Jersey, Liberty, Powder Blue and Rubel.

The boysenberry — thought to be the result of a blackberry crossed with a Loganberry or red raspberry — reigns mid-July through mid-August.

Marionberry season also starts in mid-July and goes into August. This Chehalem blackberry and Olallieberry cross is named for Marion County where it was first cultivated in the 1950s and is known as the cabernet of blackberries.

Lucky Forkish has local farmers who deliver directly to his bakery. The rest of us can find fresh berries at many of the 100-plus farmers’ markets statewide. Do-it-yourselfers will enjoy U-pick farms on the Hood River County Fruit LoopThe Vineyard and Valley Scenic Tour Route, Canby Farm Loop and farms throughout the Willamette Valley and Southern Oregon.

Celebrate with other berry lovers July 20-21 at the EcoTrust Building in Portland at the Oregon Berry Festival. Admission is free, and you’ll find Oregon berries transformed into ice creams, pies, cobblers, jams, shortcakes, sauces, liqueurs, chocolates, sodas and much more. Or check out these Oregon berry recipes and cook up your own delicious dessert.

Enjoy a season of berry goodness!

Author: Eileen Garvin

Source: http://traveloregon.com/trip-ideas/oregon-stories/berry-season/

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Camp Confluence and Partners for Youth Empowerment.

5 07 2017

sara3By: Sarah Worl     Photos: Marty Oppenheimer and PYE Global

With support from our Instructor Development Funds, I was able to attend Camp Confluence, organized by Partners for Youth Empowerment (PYE) in Whidbey Island, Washington. Camp Confluence was a 6-day gathering of camp directors, lead facilitators, and staff that are involved with camps based on the Creative Community Model. The Creative Community Model was developed by PYE over decades of youth summer camps across the globe. In their own words from the PYE website:

“With arts-based practices and leading-edge group facilitation strategies, Creative Community Facilitators cultivate environments in which people can realize their potential. By embracing positive risk-taking and free creative expression, youth and adults alike open up to new possibilities. Research shows that creative expression—in a supportive setting—nurtures qualities like empathy, teamwork, and problem solving, while also fostering joy, hope, and the desire for a meaningful life”

At Camp Confluence we talked a lot about the “Emotional Arc” that a camper experiences from the day they enter camp to when they leave, and how to support that transformative experience with community agreements, plenary activities, supported creative risk-taking, free time, nature time, and more. I appreciated the emphasis on the camper’s experience and curating the week’s activities to support their journey.

We also spent a whole day talking about how to further Equity and Anti-Oppression in all levels of our summer camps; from camp staff demographics, to camper recruitment, to food and sleeping arrangements, to incorporating explicit community agreements around equity in the beginning of the camp. It is rare that I am in a space of people so committed, honest, and eager to talk about Anti-Oppression in their institutions and programs and I am very grateful to have participated in those conversations and to emerge with a greater awareness of actions I can bring back to my work. I am looking forward to my upcoming outdoor recreation and summer camp season to see how I can incorporate bits of the creative community model into my work.

I’ve learned a lot of very practical facilitation skills from the PYE trainings and camps I’ve been involved in over the years. I’ve also witnessed many young people and adults (including myself) overcome old stories of fear and self doubt as we explore our creativity, connection to ourselves, connection to others, and connections to nature together in a supportive environment. I believe many of you that work with youth know what I’m talking about when I say that those moments of witnessing youth light up with hope, joy, and connection are what keep me coming back to this work, and giving me hope for the present and future. I am so grateful to be a part of the community at the River House Outdoor Program; a community that is so committed to fostering these types of magical and transformative experiences for youth and adults.

P.S and Fun Fact: A local summer camp hosted by the Oregon Country Fair called Culture Jam is based on the Creative Community Model and brings in facilitators that have led PYE camps across the U.S and internationally. The River House supports Culture Jam each year with a couple days of outdoor play at Fern Ridge! PYE also offers facilitation trainings in the Pacific Northwest each year- check them out at www.pyeglobal.org.  Their website also contains many great summer camp and youth program resources!

-The River House Instructor Development Fund (IDF) is an investment in our staff to seek extra training and experiences that can be brought back to their work and personal lives to help enrich experiences for both participants and instructors.

sara2

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How to Bike in the City

29 06 2017

Here’s an entertaining tutorial on building confidence when riding in Urban Areas.  Keep it simple and stay aware and arrive with more energy and a smile.

-Plan Route   -Suite Up  -Check your bike  -Mind the Door Zone  -Claim the Lane                 -Careful in Turns  -Don’t Run over Pedestrians

For a free Eugene/Springfield biking map: https://www.eugene-or.gov/1849/Locate-a-FREE-Bike-Map

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How Small Things may help Overcome Fear

15 03 2017

snowshoeBird2

Sometimes what seems a simple activity to some, can be a challenge to others.  You may know, if you put sunflower seeds in your hand and hold very, very still, the birds will come when near alpine environments.  Habituating wildlife to humans is frowned upon, but in this instance, it was a challenge for overcoming fear.

Cary is a gentleman working to overcome fear and nervous about life after spending significant time in prison.  After a conversation about overcoming fears in daily life, he decided to try having a bird land on his hand even though he was really scared to do so.

Cary succeeded in his goal and has not stopped talking about it since.  This is a simple, but good reminder how healing nature can be, especially when you transfer the learning that happens outside into your daily regime.

Sponsor Inc. Mentor program helps match community volunteers with men and women just released from prison. The role of mentors is to guide and support these individuals into a successful reentry into our community, and they only ask for about 4-6 hours of your time each month.

For More info, contact:

Jen Jackson at Sponsors 541-505-5663

For an additional article about Sponsors from Outside Magazine see:

https://eugeneoutdoorprogram.wordpress.com/2016/12/05/is-nature-the-key-to-rehabilitating-prisoners/

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A History of City of Eugene Recreation

1 02 2017

From the book, A History of City of Eugene Recreation by Bruce Steinmetz.

A short history of the River House.

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Ice Armageddon of 2016

19 12 2016

Day 5 of the latest ice event and possibly the hardest hitting one in 50 years.  6,000 are estimated to still be without power- down from the original 20,000 from Wednesday evening.  Temps are starting to rise and actual liquid rain is falling, but the cleanup could take months.  In times like this it’s great to live in a community where people come together and help where needed.  Special thanks go out to all the Utility, City, County, and Emergency workers putting in extra effort to help.  Also thanks to the private tree companies and individual citizens that have helped so many along the way.

The Red Cross Shelter at Spencer Butte Middle School is currently still open and is available for a warm place to stay, showers, and food.  Also, other needs can be obtained (firewood, food, water, info) through the City of Eugene Shelter Information line at 541-682-5900.  The shelter will remain open until Tuesday at noon, or as long as there is a need.

The River House is ,so far lucky, escaping with little damage to the garden fence.

ice-damage2

ice-damage

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Dutch Oven Turkey

22 11 2016

turkey

I love doing a turkey in the Dutch oven. So many people end up with dry, tasteless bird when they cook a turkey. That does not happen with this recipe. When I do a turkey, it is all about taste, not looks. In fact, I carve the bird and serve it on platters, so no one even sees the finished product in the oven.

One tip is to cook your bird upside down so the breast is cooked in juices the entire time. That’s what I’ve done here. If you don’t have a Dutch oven big enough (I use a 17” extra deep Maca oven that will hold a 30 lb. bird), you can do this in a roaster oven and use a cooking back to keep the moisture in. If you do use the Dutch oven, the moisture is kept in without using a cooking bag.

Here is a list of the things you will need:

  • Turkey – I like a 22 lb fresh Tom
  • 1 cube of butter
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 cups of chicken broth
  • 3 sprigs of fresh sage
  • 3 sprigs of fresh rosemary
  • 3 sprigs of fresh thyme
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 2 onions, quartered
  • 4 heads of garlic (around 20-25 peeled cloves)
  • 2 cups of water
  • Large food syringe injector

Directions:

turkey11

Clean out the turkey and remove the neck, gizzard, etc. that come with the bird. Stuff the main cavity of the turkey with the onions and garlic cloves.

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Using ½ the stick of butter, cover the outside of the turkey. Salt and pepper the outside as well.

turkey3

Take the remaining half stick of butter and add it to the chicken stock in a pan and melt the butter into the stock. Fill the large syringe (I use an epidural syringe I got from a nurse that works in labor and delivery, when that gave up the ghost, I bought a food injector syringe) with the chicken broth/butter fluid and inject the broth into all meaty parts of the bird. The skin will plump up everywhere you inject the turkey.

turkey4

Add the water to the bottom of the pan, place the turkey in upside down (breast down) and cover with the fresh herbs. Don’t worry is some of the herbs fall into the water at the bottom of the pan, we use the flavored juices at the end.

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Cover the oven with the lid and cook at around 350° for 3 hours using even heat (slightly more coals on top than bottom). I tend to make the oven a little hotter in the first hour of cooking and go with a lower heat for the remainder of the time. Because my oven is so deep, it takes around 25% more coals than the usual formula to get the heat I want.

turkey6

The key is to use a meat thermometer to check your meat temperature. When the breast meat is at 170°, your turkey is done! Make sure you do not overcook it. When the bird is done pull it out of the oven (probably in pieces as the meat falls off the bone!) carve the meat and place it on serving platters that have a bit of an edge to them. Now, using a ladle, pour some of the juices from the pan over all the meat before serving. This will be one juicy turkey!

Checkout more dutch oven recipes and creations at DutchOvenTopia

Author: dotadmin

Source: http://dutchoventopia.com/dutch-oven-turkey-recipe/

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