Come late July, plumes of lavender-scented steam arise from Mountainside Lavender’s still and drift through the cool mountain air. As the season winds down, the farm’s experts set to work extracting the essential oils from their crop via the millennia-old practice of steam distillation. With more than 20 varieties of french and english lavender dotting the side of Chehalem Mountain, farmers have more than enough buds to choose from for their small batches of oil, which many prize for its calming effects. What doesn’t end up bottled may debut in the farm’s selection of handmade soaps, massage oils, and eye pillows.
In addition to incorporating the potent herb into therapeutic goods, farmers open their fields to visitors, who can gather bunches of english and french lavender varietals that burst into purple, pink, and white blooms. They also welcome guests to pause from plucking, smelling, or explaining the concept of private property to bumblebees so they can savor a picnic lunch while soaking up views of Mount Hood and Saint Helens.
When it was founded in 1987, Frame Central was a social hub for artists, and was even curiously named for facial hair. However, Beard Outlet has since morphed into a seven-location franchise, dedicated to simplifying the framing process. The shops’ onsite stock of matboard, frame moulding, and other key supplies ensures speedy DIY framing projects—which visitors can complete in an hour—and single-day professional framing. An array of pre-framed mirrors and artwork allows shoppers to enhance their blank walls without taping a napping friend to them. Shoppers can also stock up on framing supplies such as case glass and hanging hardware.
The family-owned and operated Gold Hill Nursery grows its greens on three farms in Willamette Valley–a region renowned for its ideal climate and long-growing season. Open since 1965, the nursery produces a seemingly endless collection of seasonal items on its fertile land. Topiaries are a specialty, but evergreens, shrubs, fruit trees, and woody ornamentals fill out the nursery's robust product list.
For more than two decades, Nelsen's Yuletime Christmas Trees has spread holiday cheer with its fresh-cut douglas firs, grand firs, noble firs, and scotch pines. Its trees are hand-sheared and fertilized to maintain piney freshness and rich forest-green color well through the holiday season. In addition their majestic tannenbaums, Nelsen's woodsmen also fashion handmade wreaths, and offer accoutrements including tree stands and baling to assist with display and transport.
Forest Landscape Nursery stretches across 11 acres of scenic countryside, protected by an elite squad of grizzled squirrels. The family-owned nursery cares for and sells a wide range of local and exotic trees, plants, shrubs, and ornamental grasses.