Southern Oregon this Appraiser's perspective

APPLEGATE VALLEY, OR - Family Farm Jewels
April 30th, 2008 10:36 AM

The low fluffy clouds sprinkled across the valley remind me of the sugar topping the turnover I am craving. I pull into the long circular driveway of PENNINGTON FARMS in the Applegate Valley just west of Jacksonville, Oregon.

The Pennington barn, not unlike others along Highway 238, belies what is inside waiting to temp your palette. From Sam Pennington's own mouth, "All of the berries are grown herbicide-free, and the baked good are all made from scratch using only the freshest ingredients available."

I'm a Rhubarb fanatic and on my first visit I discovered Rhubarb preserves sitting on the shelf waiting for me - I bought every jar they had fearing that it was a fluke. Most folks don't seem to be able to make anything Rhubarb without adding Strawberries to it. I like plain Rhubarb, with just enough sweetening to enhance the characteristic tang. Their preserves are perfection with lots of fruit and only the requisite sweetener. A much anticipated compliment to sprouted grain bread with sweet cream butter.

The other reason I find myself taking the "local roads" southern route to Grants Pass on my early morning jaunts, is for their delectable pastries. I'm a "Fruit Pie" person, as opposed to a "Cake" person as my beloved spouse is fond of saying. The crust must be flaky, but not too short, and there has to be plenty of fruit in the filling. Whether you choose a TURNOVER, a CUTIE PIE, a SLAB PIE, or a TRADITIONAL PIE, you are in for a treat. My first visit I chose a Berry Turnover because I wanted it warmed up for breakfast the next morning - a true test of quality. The aroma was so enticing as I drove around taking photographs of my comps, it didn't last that long. On my next visit I was prepared, and stopped early enough that I could eat my selection immediately - warmmmm!

Of course the Penningtons also have coffee to pair with your baked goods, T-shirts, and other longer-lived mementos of your visit. Their wonderful fare is also available throughout the Rogue Valley at farmer's markets in Ashland, Medford, and Grants Pass, as well as in specialty shops throughout the area.

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Posted by MARGARET NELSON-QUIN on April 30th, 2008 10:36 AMPost a Comment

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I was unaware that you were such an excellent travel writer. Enjoyed the blogs very much.

Posted by Christie Anderson on April 30th, 2008 10:56 AM