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Farm loop offers items of interest through fall


by: SUBMITTED - When the temperatures cool and the sprinkles occasionally stop by for a visit, it doesn’t mean that the farm life comes to a stop.

In fact, the Canby Farm Loop is playing a key role in keeping the farm feeling going as summer moves into fall in the northern part of the Willamette Valley.

“There are lots of things to do on local farms and the Canby Farm Loop makes it easy for residents and families to enjoy the nearby farm bounty of the area,” said Mary Stewart, Farm Loop coordinator. “In Canby or the surrounding countryside, you can gather the natural goodness from a farm, pet farm animals, purchase western attire, taste hazelnuts and chocolates and sip wines from the Willamette Valley wine region.”

Special loopwide events including Field & Vine Dinners and a Blueberry Farm Loop Classic farm to farm bike ride — are scheduled for mid- to late-September.

The Canby Area Farm Loop is in its second year and the feeling is it is having a positive affect, said Stewart.

“We are just taking more formal attendance measurements for the first time this year so there is not much in the way of quantitative numbers yet,” she said. “However, according to many of the farms reporting, attendance and income is similar to or above last year. Some of the smaller events have doubled in size.”

The 21 member farms, events and country businesses who belong to the loop span the valley from Aurora to Oregon City, Monitor and Canby.

“The farm loop is a group of farm stops who are set up to welcome visitors,” Stewart said. “It wouldn’t be possible to offer these loops for everyone to enjoy and the fun loop-wide events without our sponsors. Our farm loop sponsors in 2013 include Clackamas County Tourism and Cultural Affairs, Bob’s Red Mill and MARStewart Group.”

Interested in the wares and whatnots of Oregon farms in the fall? Check out the farm loop website at www.canbyfarmloop.com or pick up a map brochure at the Canby Area Chamber of Commerce, The Place to Be Café, Canby Public Library, Swan Island Dahlias, Wilco Farm Store and all the other farm stops on the loop.

“Most of the farm stops are open and offering product and experiences, with the exception of stop #16, South Barlow Berries, who have closed their farmstand for the season but may still have berries available,” Stewart said. “I recommended that you call first to check availability before coming out to a farm.”

Phone numbers are available online or on the map. Farm Stops have a yellow and blue Canby Farm Loop sign at their entrance. Groups and tours may get support through the farm loop office: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

“Of note is the success in the new loopwide events that the farms are joining together to cooperatively host, including new events this year, such as the Farm Loop Dinners in the Field and the Blueberry Farm Loop Cycling Classic,” Stewart said. “In addition, the farm loop membership is providing leadership for improving the climate for agritourism development, including cooperation in developing vacation lodging on farms (farm stays) and policies that make it easier to establish and operate an agritourism farm.”