Holiday Gift Bundle Giveaway!

To celebrate the Christmas Season, we are having a gift bundle giveaway!

We love to encourage people to shop small and support local businesses. It is important to celebrate other individuals and families who make quality products, who care about their ingredients, who want to be involved in their communities and who treat customers with integrity. So, we have put together a small food business gift bundle with items from a couple of fellow food makers that we know!

Here is what the gift bundle will include:

Shortbread Mix from Granny Fi’s that you can make at home! We know Fiona and LOVE her shortbread (and her).  She is originally from Scotland and makes her product from a 6th generation family recipe.  Yummmm!

Oregon Harvest Berry Blend Tea from St. Fiacre’s Farm that is made with our own, organically grown, Aronia berries! We might be biased, but this is one of our favorite teas EVER. This farm family grows as many of the ingredients as they can and source locally for what they can’t- and always organically if possible.

Our Good Food Award Winner Gift Box, which contains our Raspberry Marionberry and Spiced Marionberry Fruit Spreads. These spreads are made with low amounts of certified Organic sugar and lemon juice and organically grown (not certified) Oregon berries. Simple ingredients and truly farm to jar!

How to enter:

Enter here! Please share with your friends and encourage them to like our Facebook page to learn more about our farm and family. Merry Christmas- we can’t wait to see who wins!

Your Farmers- Mike and Laura

 

 

 

 

 

What Small Business Means To Us

With Small Business Saturday coming up tomorrow, we decided to share about what being a small farm and business means to us. This may not be what it means to everyone, but, to our family, these are the most important parts of being entrepreneurs.

It Means Focusing on Our Family

One of the biggest reasons we run our own farm and business is so that we can make our family first priority. Sometimes, this is hard. In fact, it’s always hard. We are in a season right now of staying up all night caring for a newborn…and then we spend our days trying to work the farm and care for both of our kids. We are never off the clock and are constantly thinking about how to get things done, how to move forward, while keeping our focus on raising our kids and passing on our values. The wonderful thing is, nothing is better for them than growing up on the farm, seeing what it’s like for family to work together to keep the farming tradition alive. They see how food is grown, how hard it is to earn every dollar and how we always try to do the right thing when it comes to farming and our customers. Farming isn’t just a job to our family, it’s a lifestyle that we love. 

It Means Doing the Right Thing

We have made a commitment to never cut corners on our products or in our farming methods. Our preserved foods are made with the best ingredients and we will never change that, even though our costs will be higher and it often takes more time and effort to source and grow them. Most of our customers understand that we make and grow premium products and that this is not cheap or easy to do. Their support is irreplaceable and we are truly grateful for each and every one of them!

Our farming methods are meant to keep improving the land that we are on and to leave it even better for the next generation. We are constantly and passionately studying to learn how to best manage our soil, our soil life, and our crops. It is amazing to be able to share how we farm, as well as our love of farming, with our customers. It is our sincere hope that, by being transparent about how we farm, that some of our love of farming will be passed along to our customers.

It Means Supporting Other Small Businesses and Farms

Whenever possible, we always source ingredients and hire help from other small establishments. Other businesses have purchased and encouraged us along the way and it made a world of difference, especially when we were first starting out. We want to make the same impact on others and we love working directly with other owners and farmers. 

It Means Treating People Right

Treating people right, especially the small businesses and other farmers that we source some of our ingredients from, is also one of our main goals. We pay what things are worth and understand that others need to make a living as much as we do. It is important to show kindness and appreciation to those who work hard to supply us- this encourages all of us owners to keep pressing on and maintain the quality of our products and services.

It Means Supporting the Community

We love where we live and the people who make up the community. So, we try to give back whenever we can through being part of fundraisers, participating in community events and supporting groups and causes that promote the future of farming. Investing in our community has been one of our favorite, and most important, parts of being small business owners.

Thank you for reading and taking the time to learn more about our story! Please make sure to shop small on Saturday- you are directly supporting families and the community by doing so!

Your Farmers- Mike and Laura

Easy Brownies with Triple Caneberry Fruit Spread

DSC_0008This was a good day for brownies! We had about half a jar of our Triple Caneberry Fruit Spread that was a perfect match for warm, fudgy chocolate.  The Triple Caneberry spread is made with three types of Oregon blackberries, a splash of local rum and Organic brown sugar (it gives it a rich, molasses flavor). Try this spread with brownies, cupcakes, with brie or on fresh bread.  If you want to purchase a jar, we’re hoping to have it in our online shop soon and will be offering it at markets and events this summer!

Easy Brownies with Triple Caneberry Fruit Spread

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 + 1/8 cups vegetable oil
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 duck eggs (or 3 chicken eggs)
  • 3/4 cup flour
  • 1/3 cup + 1/8 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/4 tsp + 1/8 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/3 cup Mt. Hope Farms Tripe Caneberry Fruit Spread (this recipe would also be delicious with our Raspberry-Marionberry and Premium Spiced Marionberry Fruit Spreads)

Directions: 

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and lightly grease an 8 x 8 square pan.
  2. Mix together the oil, sugar and vanilla extract.
    Slowly add eggs to sugar mixture, one at a time, until fully combined.
  3. Combine flour, cocoa, baking powder and salt in a separate mixing bowl. Slowly add to the sugar and egg mixture until fully combined, being careful not to over mix.
  4. Pour the batter into the prepared pan, making sure to spread it evenly.
  5. Dollop fruit spread on top of the batter and gently swirl into the chocolate (creating a marbled effect).
  6. Bake for 25-30 minutes, checking with a toothpick for doneness at 25 minutes. Ours were still gooey at about 27 minutes.
  7. Allow brownies to cool for at least 5 minutes before serving

2017 Good Food Award Finalists Press Release!

We are honored and thrilled to have been named a Good Food Award Finalist for TWO of our products- Raspberry-Marionberry Fruit Spread and Columbia-Star Aronia Fruit Spread!  Below is the official press release from the Good Food Awards: 

San Francisco, CA (November 14, 2016) – The Good Food Awards could not be more proud to announce the 291 Finalists of 2017, representing not just the best of America’s growing food movement, but the best of America. At a time when the values our country stands for are in question, they exemplify all that is right from coast to coast: our proud immigrant history, stewardship of a rich and fertile agricultural landscape, a spirit of innovation and the daily choice to balance personal gain with the wellbeing of the commons.

Representing 14 categories and 38 states, all Finalists rose to the top in a blind tasting of the 2,059 entries from nearly every state and passed a rigorous vetting to confirm they met specific Good Food Awards standards around environmentally sound agriculture practices, good animal husbandry, sourcing transparency and responsible relationships throughout the supply chain. Amongst their ranks are Nadia Hubbi in California, a Muhammara crafter keeping her Syrian family’s tradition alive; Nacxitl Gaxiola in Brooklyn, whose company was created to honor the traditional salsas, moles, escabechese and adobes of Mexico; Paul Lieggi in Oregon working with the fishermen and women of the Nez Perce, Umatilla, Yakima and Warm Springs tribes to source hoop caught Chinook Salmon for his aromatic hardwood smoked salmon; and Ann and Dan Trudel, a husband and wife farmer and preserver growing and pickling organic brussels sprouts in the heart of rural Ohio. These 291 Finalists – and the hundreds of farmers, ranchers, fishermen and colleagues they collaborate with – are actively building the sort of world we want to live in.

The 200 Good Food Award Winners will be announced Friday, January 20, 2017, at a gala Awards Ceremony at the historic Herbst Theater in the San Francisco War Memorial, on the same stage where the United Nations charter was signed, and will be followed by two more days of celebration. Medals will be bestowed by renowned chef and activist Alice Waters and organics pioneer Nell Newman, tipping their hats to these exceptional food producers. A reception with the winning food and drink will follow the ceremony, offering both regional ‘tasting plates’ and small bites created by local chefs. A limited number of tickets are available to join the Winners and their families at the ceremony and reception ($120 here).

On Saturday, January 21, the beautiful Festival Pavilion at Fort Mason Center will transform into the Good Food Mercantile, a one-of-a-kind, intimate ‘un-trade show’ where both Winners and members of the Good Food Merchants Guild – 400 exemplary food crafters meeting the same sustainability criteria – exhibit their wares to 600 industry buyers and media ($35 tickets, open only to the trade). The Good Food Awards Marketplace rounds out the weekend on Sunday, January 22 from 9 AM – 2 PM. Everyone from far and wide is invited to come meet the Winners, taste and buy their prize- worthy food and drink (including bottles of beer, cider and spirits not licensed for sale in California, but permitted for sale within the federally-owned historic landmark of Fort Mason Center). Proudly welcoming the Winners, and also selling to the public, will be the local farmers of the Fort Mason Center Farmers Market. Tickets to the Good Food Awards Marketplace are $5 and will be available in December online at goodfoodawards.org as well as at the door, with a limited number of $20 Early Access passes (with a welcome gift) for those keen to connect with the freshly minted Good Food Award Winners before the crowds arrive.

The Good Food Awards, organized by the Good Food Foundation 501 (c) 3, are proudly supported by the Good Food Retailers Collaborative, the Presenting Sponsor for three years running. Composed of 21 of the country’s top independently owned retailers from Austin to Oakland to Salt Lake City, they are committed to supporting America’s great food producers in their own communities and across the country and include: Antonelli’s Cheese Shop, Bi-Rite Market, The Brooklyn Kitchen, Canyon Market, Cooks of Crocus Hill, Cowgirl Creamery, Di Bruno Bros., Each Peach Market, Foragers Market, Glen’s Garden Market, The Greene Grape, Healdsburg SHED, JM Stock Provisions, Liberty Heights Fresh, Look’s Market, Market Hall Foods, Pastoral Artisan Cheese, Bread & Wine, TASTE, Washington’s Green Grocer, Woodstock Farmers’ Market, and Zingerman’s Family of Businesses. Joining them is a vibrant group of key supporters, including Premier Sponsors Williams-Sonoma, Bi-Rite Market and Fort Mason Center for Arts & Culture; and Lead Sponsors Dominic Phillips Event Marketing, Impact HUB Bay Area, Veritable Vegetable, Vermont Cheese Council, New Resource Bank and BCV Architects.good-food-awards-finalist-seal-2017

Details of all events and tickets can be found here, and the full list of finalists here.

Creating a Cheese Platter!

One of the most fun ways to use our fruit spreads is to include them on your cheese platters and charcuterie boards for entertaining!  We thought it would be helpful to provide a few tips and links to help you build the perfect cheese platter. Plus, we have given some recommendations on what types of cheeses our spreads pair well with (notice that we really love Triple Cream Brie).  Most of our advice is pretty basic, but it might help motivate you to try something new 🙂

Some of our quick tips:

  • We like to include at least three to four different types of cheeses on our platter to give guests choices in taste and texture. An easy way to ensure a good balance is to put out one cheese from the firm, soft, aged and blue cheese groups. Label each cheese so your guests know what they are trying and can pair them with whatever spreads, fruits and nuts that you are serving.  If you have a pungent variety of cheese, consider serving it on a separate plate so it doesn’t overpower the entire board or scare people away 😉
  • Take cheeses, and our fruit spreads, out of the fridge at least 30 minutes before serving.  This will help all of the flavors come through!
  • Plan on buying about 3 ounces of cheese per guest.  Ask someone at your grocer’s cheese counter for help with estimating how much you will need.  Select Market of Choice stores (Cedar Mill, West Linn and Terwilliger locations) and New Seasons Markets (Woodstock and University Park location) carry our products and have wonderful cheese stewards.
  • If possible, put out a separate serving knife with each cheese.
  • Include fun, festive accompaniments on your platter.  We love including Mt. Hope Farms’ Fruit Spreads, Oregon hazelnuts, walnuts, fresh fruit, olives, crackers, breads and cured meats.  All of these things can help provide flavor balance and pops of color.  It has been really fun to source these products from other local food artisans and farmers!

Mt. Hope Fruit Spreads and Cheese Pairing Suggestions: 

Have you paired our products with other great cheeses that we didn’t think to list here? Please share in the comments- there are so many combinations that we could have skipped over!

If you would like some more information about creating a cheese platter for your upcoming celebrations and parties, check out these links:

Looking for advice on buying wine to go with your tray of beautiful fruit spreads and cheeses?  This is a good start:

  • http://drinks.seriouseats.com/2013/12/guide-to-best-wine-for-cheese-pairing-cheat-sheet-party-cheese-plate-wine-advice.html

Brie Bites with Fruit Spread

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This is our first, official recipe post on the blog! I’m hoping that we will find time to do many more to give you a better idea about how to use our products. One of our goals is to use as many Oregon ingredients as possible in our recipes to help support other local producers, artisans and businesses.

A jam and brie pairing is almost always a winning combination! I used the recipe from the ‘Just a Taste’ blog and it turned out AMAZING with a few, tiny modifications to fit our products.  So, here it is:  Brie Bites with Fruit Spread!

Ingredients:DSC_0006

  • 1/2 cup Mt. Hope Farms’ Raspberry-Marionberry Fruit Spread
  • 1 (8 oz) cold wheel of Blue Heron Smoked Brie (substitute for what brand is available to you)
  • 1 package (2 sheets) of cold puff pastry
  • 1/8 cup toasted, and finely chopped, Oregon Hazelnuts
  • 1 large farm fresh egg

 

 

Instructions:

  1. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Unfold the puff pastry sheets onto a lightly floured cutting board. Using a pizza cutter, cut each sheet into 9 squares, making them as similar in size as possible.
  3. Cut the wheel of brie into 18-20 small wedges. Place a wedge of the brie into one corner of each pastry square, leaving room around the sides for crimping.  Put a Tablespoon of Raspberry-Marionberry Fruit Spread on each wedge of brie and sprinkle, lightly, with hazelnuts.
  4. Fold each pastry square into a triangle being careful not to press out any of the filling (we definitely weren’t good at this part 😉 ).  Crimp the edges with a fork to seal and cut a small slit at the top of the triangle to allow steam to escape.
  5. Whisk the egg in a small bowl and then, using a pastry brush, lightly coat the top of the pastry triangles. Bake for 18 minutes, or until golden brown.  Cool for at least five minutes before enjoying!

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A Quick Introduction :)

Hello Everyone! My name is Courteney Ellis, I am Mike and Laura’s niece. I grew up on the family farm and have always been passionate about agriculture. I am currently attending Corban University as a business student and just completed my Business Associates degree. As part of my studies, I have the opportunity to partake in a marketing internship and receive college credit. I could not think of a better way to spend my summer earning college credit than helping out on the family farm.

During my summer internship with Mt. Hope Farms I have a variety of tasks so that I am really able to get my feet wet in every situation. Not only am I attending farmers’ markets and interacting with the public but I am also working out on the farm in the fields and with the animals (my favorite part). Currently, I am in the process of ordering a brochure/rack card which I designed about the farm to be handed out at the markets. After the holiday weekend I plan to start the designing process of another brochure which will be aimed towards explaining the amazing health benefits of our unique products such as the Haskap berry and the Aronia berry.

Another large aspect of my internship is social media marketing. This means I am posting to the farm’s Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest as well as trying to generate online traffic to all of these outlets. One of the ways I am attempting to do this is by starting a once a month contest on our Facebook page. By sharing the contest post on their newsfeed people are able to enter the contest. The winner will be randomly selected and will receive a free fruit spread. This process will not only have our current followers interacting with us more but will also get our name out on the newsfeeds of those who enter which will hopefully generate more interest in the farm.

I have been loving my time working on the farm through this internship. It has been a wonderful learning process and has helped me to gain confidence in my abilities. This internship has been great job experience for a future career as an advocate for agriculture. I am looking forward to seeing what the rest of the summer holds and hope to meet you at one of our markets!

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Welcome to our New Website!

We are thrilled to have our new website up and running!  DETAILS2ENJOY did a fantastic job and worked with us to create something that looks vintage, runs modern and is beautiful.  Very thankful to see the fruits from everyone’s hard work! The ‘Shop’ portion will come a little later on, once we have product photos, shipping information and all kinds of other fun stuff finished up. Stay tuned for its grand opening in the next couple of months!
One of the best things about the site is this new blog.  We hope to update you about farm happenings, sustainability and conservation projects, share farm recipes and anything else that you would like to see. This is a new adventure for us and we hope it helps you connect with our farm.
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