The spirit of Christmas is not lost; in fact, it thrives at Mitchell Christmas Tree Farm. Chad and Lisa—with their three boys in tow—run a fully functioning tree farm that grows impressive firs for the holiday season. They also make handmade wreaths and delight guests with weekend hayrides. In the true spirit of giving, visitors can enjoy complimentary hot chocolate and coffee while they are cutting their own tree or picking up a yuletide shrubbery.
For more than 20 years, Smart Wireless, an AT&T authorized dealer, has outfitted mobile talkers with helpful cell phone holsters, graphic cases, and other accessories that add personality and functionality to cellular devices. On-the-go chatters can converse without need of their busy hands thanks to a Bluetooth headset ($79.95–$99.95), or simultaneously protect touch screens and wink at people behind them with cell phone screen protectors ($24.95). iPhone cases ($29.95+) enable phone owners to garb their monochrome devices in protective covers emblazoned with realistic designs such as options mimicking forest scenery. Additionally, Groupon customers who sign a new cell phone contract on the day of their purchase will receive Portland Trail Blazers tickets for a February 8 game or their very own retired basketball player.
Growing up on a farm granted Ryan and Shane Stonemetz a firsthand look at the injustices of the industrial-food market. The brothers watched their father and grandfather toil daily to make ends meet and subsequently swore off entering the family business. However, as the pair established their adult lives in Portland and Seattle, they realized that injustices live forever unless someone puts up a fight.
And so began ProFarm Produce, a small farm-to-customer enterprise that lowers prices for shoppers and increases wages for farmers by eliminating the middleman. The company started with nothing more than a 12-foot truck and a bed full of organic cherries, but it has since grown to a fleet of trucks thanks to an extra-potent fertilizer that's safe for automobiles' digestion. The expanding staff transports ProFarm's bounty to 20 area farmers' markets and various wholesale clients. ProFarm also participates in a CSA program that provides weekly boxes of fresh, local produce to participants in surrounding communities.
Since the 1890s, the Dinihanian farmer family has nourished Portland-area families with produce bereft of genetically modified seed, pesticide, or chemical fertilizer. This Groupon provides a preview of the farm’s Community Supported Agriculture program, in which customers receive a share of the harvest by supplying two aliment-stuffed boxes. Full of crops harvested in the same week, the half-share box contains enough produce to sustain two people and the full share best suits a family of four or a peckish elephant. While the inventory shifts depending on season, availability, and tree mood, past boxes have included walla walla onions, squash, strawberries, bok choy, and peaches. The farmers tuck handy recipe sheets into each box to guide share-holders through cooking with unfamiliar edibles.
Oregon Green Pros helps customers grow hearty plants with wood ash—burnt wood that improves soil quality and contains calcium carbonate, which raises the pH of the soil. Slightly alkaline soil ensures that plants receive proper nutrients. In addition to using it on growing veggies such as tomatoes, Oregon Green Pros recommends sprinkling the ash on lawns to increase clover production and provide more nectar to bees, as well as spreading the wood ash around the base of hardwood trees.