This past Sunday afternoon, inspired by the harvest festival we visited on Saturday, my mom and I took a family field trip to Sauvie Island to visit the pumpkin patch and purchase some local produce. While the island is lovely year round, autumn is my favorite time there. The fields are sprinkled with pumpkins. Though the sunflowers are still blooming, the trees are beginning to look crisp and crackly, painted golden shades of amber, rust and orange. This time of year the farms are always crowded with people who have descended onto the island to buy pumpkins, visit the corn maze (a maze of maize), and embark on tractor pulled hay rides.
But that is mostly just near Sauvie Island Farms and the bigger pumpkin patches. If you venture deeper onto the island, the crowds thin and there is plenty of opportunity to visit nurseries, the beach, and smaller farms without the cramped, claustrophobic feeling. Our route did take us past Sauvie Island Farms, but upon seeing the crowded parking lot, we took one look at each other and agreed to go back later.
So, instead, we headed off to my favorite spot on the island, Blue Heron Herbary. The thing that I love about Blue Heron is everything! Seriously, there is much to love there. They have doves, a rabbit, frogs, two gorgeous pesticide free gardens (an Elizabethan knot garden and a witch's garden with little stakes with signs imparting herbal lore), the owner is delightful, and they sell just about every kind of herb one could want. So, I ask, what is there not to love? Before you respond, know that I am fully prepared to drive to wherever you are and beat you with a bundle of fragrant spanish lavender, if you say "nothing".
After the herbary, we drove around to the big farm on the other side of the island. The name escapes me (Kroeger? I may just be making that up), but it's the one not far west of the bridge back to the real world. At the farm that may or may not be Kroeger we bought eggplant and pumpkins - two orange, one white. I realize now that we need more and that Cinderella pumpkins may be need to be part of my not too distant future. On the way out, we noticed that they had a roaster set up and were selling roasted corn brushed with melted butter for $2 a cob. It was the best sweet corn I've had in a long while, so we went back into the barn. We bought eight ears to take home, so I am officially in sweet corn heaven.
Corn heaven makes me lament that I was never crowned corn queen during my years on the prairie, but I suppose that may have been hampered by my having never having actually attended either of the big area corn festivals (broom and sweet). So, I guess I'll have to settle for declaring myself HRH Sweet Corn Queen Martina of Powellhurst and Greater Lents. Don't worry. My rule will be a benevolent one until it is overthrown by a hostile rival monarchy from Montavilla or maybe even Sullivan's Gulch. They will likely eschew corn in favor of something more regional like smoked salmon or perhaps hazelnuts. You will know that you cannot trust them due to their infernal but unwavering insistence on referring to them as filberts instead of hazelnuts as God intended. Unfortunately, by the time you figure it out, it will be too late.
But I don't want to dwell on bleak foreshadowing of the future. I really just want to say that Sauvie Island is lovely. If you live in the area and haven't made a trip out there recently, perhaps you should. That's all I'm saying.