This is a blog post I have looked forward to writing! It’s all about simple pleasures these days. Sauvie Island, for most Portlanders, evokes a special feeling. It’s a short 10 miles from downtown, but crossing the Sauvie Island bridge and seeing sprawling farmland crowned by the four cascade mountain view (yes, on clear days you can see the top of Mt. Rainier too)–makes you exhale immediately. For some it’s biking, beach combing, fishing, kayaking or hiking, but the collective draw is the farms. Picking berries, stone fruit and flowers, hayrides, summer concerts, sipping wine and beer while dining on food cart delicacies and leaving with food grown by hardworking local farmers. Summer isn’t complete in Portland without a day on Sauvie Island.
This year I had the ultimate pleasure of helping very dear friends of mine realize their dream of owning a farm on Sauvie Island. It was a complicated and emotional transaction for all, but the end result was relieved and happy clients! Kruger’s Farm is now owned by an amazing local Sauvie Island family and has been renamed Topaz Farm. Kat and Jim are two of the smartest, hardworking people I know and their vision for the farm is going to blow your mind. Think farm-to-plate brunches and dinners, sipping wine, beer, local coffee or strawberry rhubarb lemonade while shopping in the farm store that features their own produce, as well as other Sauvie Island and local products. They have in-house chefs that create pasta, kale chips, pastries, pies, sandwiches, otter pops, etc., for the farm store using their produce. They use organic farming practices and plan to be an educational farm. They’ve partnered with the Sauvie Island Center to create camp and field trip opportunities for our schools. They are creating a bee wheel garden (the first of its kind on the west coast) and have all kinds of plans for future enrichment programs. They’ve accomplished all this just since they purchased the farm in January. Can you imagine what the future holds?!!
Of course COVID-19 has changed a few things, but visiting a farm and getting outside isn’t one of them. Don’t we all need a change of scenery! There are some things that are on hold right now and Topaz Farm is following a very strict COVID-19 policy to keep their customers and employees safe. Follow them on Instagram or Facebook to stay up-to-date on berry picking calendars, farm-to-plate dinners and possibly a creative summer concert series.
When you visit Topaz Farm you will likely meet the whole family. Their daughters Maggie and Odessa work right alongside of their parents. Kat’s brother, Peter is working tirelessly to build all sorts of new farm features (clever mobile farm store displays, new pens for the animals, etc). I know they will be pleased to make your acquaintance (tell ‘em we sent ya!)
My wife and I had the pleasure of visiting the farm on opening day, May 27th. Enjoy some of the photos from our visit.