Monday, April 20, 2015

1894, a Honking Horn & a Fabulous Family Farm

You know how it is…you go to the same place on a regular basis so that place becomes kind of commonplace to you, right? Today, I decided to look at things a bit differently and bring you along for the adventure. Destination – Bauman Farms.

It all started in 1894 by an enterprising woman, Elizabeth Bauman; back then customers who honked their horns were most likely in the market for a bushel of peaches or a friendly chat. While there is less horn-honking these days, the peaches and the friendly chat idea still runs deep! In fact, last week, a chat with one of the family ended with me leaving with a handful of fresh cut asparagus and very specific cooking directions that were sure to change my “no asparagus rule.” She was right, the caramelized goodness was perfection and next week there will be a full bunch in my basket.  

Well known for their locally grown produce, every square inch of the store is also full of locally made treats and fabulous decorative accessories. Jams made from local berries and fruits, nuts, fanciful mustards, vinegars and wines from award-winning Willamette Valley vineyards and locally made cheeses line every shelf and basket. Colorful dishes and table linens always make me dream of small parties with great food and fabulous friends. 

While I always head over to Bauman’s for fresh veggies and fruit – the bakery and candy counters get first notice. I just can’t help myself! Freshly made apple cider and seasonal strawberry donuts, a slew of fresh scones, muffins, breads and, of course, pies in boxes with lids still ajar as they cool from the oven. How can you not…buy everything? Venture into the adjoining room and yes – coffee along with fresh handmade fudge and caramels. Stop…it’s too much...said no one ever! Just a side note -- if you can't get there you can visit Bauman’s Farm online – they do mail order and put together the greatest gift baskets!!!

In our sugar haze, let’s not forget that Bauman’s is also one of the most glorious nurseries in the area. Well known for their hanging baskets and wide variety of plants, including veggies, berries and herbs; and you can ask Brian anything about any plant and he’ll know just what you need! It was a bit early in the season for me to capture the gazebo, family backyard and pond with all the lilies; but I promise I will do a post a little later as things warm up weather-wise here. 

Meanwhile, back at the teepee – Bauman’s is a great destination for families with kids of all ages. Every year they seem to expand the kid adventures – with lots of friendly farm animals, a teepee, a fort and a full on mining adventure; of course, you know I love that idea. Kids can actually mine for rocks and fossils and take their treasure home! I also noticed that it looks as if they are set up to do birthday parties, too and during the fall season families can come in and watch the giant cider mill in action and even take home the freshly made cider to enjoy on brisk evenings. There are lots of family events tied to the holidays – so be sure to visit their website for dates and times. I always go on a weekday, just because I can and it is fun to see young families taking a break from home and playing with kids in the playground, the fort and the teepee that are open during normal business hours – and all of the kids’ stuff, with the exception of the mining and special events and parties are free.

The ride out to Bauman’s is an easy one from my home – I don’t need to go far to be swooped up by the rich history of this area. I’m very grateful that so much of it has been preserved; farm house and barns grace wide open fields, grazing pastures, and orchards. And, if you’re lucky like I was last week, you’ll get a glimpse of Mount Hood standing majestically off to the east. While it is only a few miles for me my journey always takes much longer than expected – photo adventures are abundant. I just can’t drive by thinking I’ll get it next time. The moment is now and it warms my heart to share these moments with you.