Saturday morning Heather and I made sure we got to the Portland Nursery Apple Tasting Event right as it opened at 10am – we were determined to get to the tasting tent before the crowds!
The Portland Nursery Apple Tasting Event takes place every October at the 5050 SE Stark location. This year’s event, the 23rd annual, runs this and next weekend (Friday-Sunday, October 8-10, and 15-17). It features old fashioned cider pressing, apple desserts, cooking demonstrations, live music, a hard cider festival ($5 tasting fee, Saturday and Sunday after noon both weekends), and free popcorn! There are also activities for the kids and a huge variety of apples and pears available for sale by the pound. And of course the apple and pear tasting.
We make it to this event every year (read about our 2009 Apple Tasting Adventure here), but always later in the day. So each year the tasting line is daunting, and we have skipped it. There are plenty of other things to do – we’ve explored the nursery, listened to the bands, enjoyed apple crisp and soft serve ice cream, perused the locally produced farm-fresh products, and bought dozens of pounds of apples. And each year we tell ourselves, next year, we’ll arrive before the tasting lines get too long.
So this year we were on a mission. And arriving about five minutes before the official opening at 10am ended up being the perfect strategy. Only one row of tasting tables was open. Being some of the first tasters, we felt like royalty.
The apple and pear slicers had completed the first row, and begun work on the second. The third row awaited the crowds that would soon descend upon the southeast corner of the nursery.
After we had our fill of apples (Heather and I especially like the Spartan variety), we wandered the grounds, checking out the various offerings. At the music tent we listened to Sue Weaver & Lynn Conover play for a while.
Heather made friends with the balloon hat guy.
And she found a really cute pumpkin.
Before we left we perused the apples and pears.
Next year we’ll be back (heck, we might be back next weekend), and we’ll be getting there at 10am to be first in line!