Some growers say yields are down a bit, but the weather was conducive to a good wheat crop
Potatoes came on late and yields are down
slightly in some places due to a combination of a prolonged winter, wet
spring and an early frost this fall, but abundant irrigation this
summer also helped produce superior quality spuds, according to Baker
Ken Austin grabs a chunk of dirt off the conveyor moving spuds to a truck during the potato harvest at Jason and Rosie Williams’ farm near North Powder. (Baker City Herald/Kathy Orr)
Also on the plus side, the cool, damp weather that affected potato
yields produced an above average wheat crop at the Blatchford farm near
“It was a good water year, and that’s good for potato quality,” said
Dave Blatchford, who founded the family farm along with his brother Jim
in the early 1970s.
The Blatchfords grow Russet potatoes on about 700 acres. Workers were busy Monday harvesting potatoes under warm, sunny skies.
Andrew Bryan, a Baker City businessman and city councilor, has been named the county’s marketing director.
Bryan replaces Kari Whitacre, who resigned to take a new position with a community development organization in Corvallis.
Bryan began his duties Monday. He will be paid $42,000 per year.
To take the job, Bryan resigned from the board of directors for the
Baker County Development Corp., a non-profit group that supervises the
marketing director and channels transient room tax money to attract
visitors to Baker County.
The remaining board members then hired Bryan, who’s also an education consultant.
Oregon has 18 electrical cooperatives, and a handful of public utility
districts and city-owned utilities are scattered throughout Oregon and
Washington. Many are eager to be partners with Baker City-based Oregon
Trail Electric Consumers Cooperative, or OTEC.
Because the era of plentiful and cheap energy provided by the
Bonneville Power Administration is coming to a close, and smaller
utilities across the Northwest have decided it’s better to pool their
risk if they must develop other sources of electricity — including
renewables — themselves.
OTEC is a popular potential partner for other utilities, said the
utility’s general manager, Werner Buehler, because it’s large and
Harvest Festival Saturday at Geiser-Pollman Park
Autumn is here, but Baker County gardens and farms are still bursting with vegetables and fruit.
“It was such an incredible bumper crop season,” said May Heriza, who
has been busy preserving food and has sold produce all season at the
Baker City Farmers Market.
This Saturday celebrates the season at the market’s Harvest Festival,
with live music by Johnny Starr and a gourmet meal featuring local
The market will be extended by one hour, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. The
location, as always, is in the northeast corner of Geiser-Pollman Park.
The menu will include roasted squash soup with garlic baguette and
apple cider for $4; a side of Sexton Ranches lamb sausage for $1;
caramel apples made with certified organic apples from Eagle Creek
Orchards for $2.50; and pumpkin bread for $1.50.
A shiny clean deli featuring everything from fried chicken and
sandwiches to chicken salad, pizza sticks and custom-made jerky is
attracting customers to Little Susie’s Meat Market and Deli.
Deli manager Oma Jane Davidson prepares a box of fried chicken.(Baker City Herald/Kathy Orr)
Little Susie refers to Susie Stout, whose family, including husband
Doug Stout, and his parents Del and Ann Stout, recently purchased
Reynolds Custom Meat Cutting in Baker City from Tim Reynolds.
“We purchased the meat business in May and have been doing a lot of
cleaning up, fixing up and repairing equipment,” said Susie Stout.
The business is at 2970 H St.
While the core business remains focused on custom cutting and wrapping
of USDA-inspected beef, pork and lamb, as well as custom processing of
local ranch animals and wild game, Susie said hiring Oma Jane Davidson
to manage the new deli proved to be a good move.
Davidson previously worked for the Stout family as deli manager at
Wilson’s Market in the 1990s, and as manager of the bowling alley.
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