Friday, July 16, 2010

Livin' in the Blurbs: Summer Doin's

Just when I thought Chrissie Zaerpoor at Kookoolan Farms couldn't possibly get any busier, I got her latest e-mail containing a ton of new cheesemaking classes (see Calendar, left), including a second session of "How to Butcher Your Own Chicken," a must for those of you who may be finding your older chickens aren't producing quite like they used to. Chrissie and her husband Koorosh will teach you how to kill, dress and prepare your chickens using the humane methods pioneered by the amazing Temple Grandin. Students at the first session last month came back with raves such as "this class was a transformative life event," "thanks for providing such a supportive environment" and "I can honestly say I will feel much more comfortable butchering my own chickens in the future."

Details: How to Butcher Your Own Chicken. Sat., Sept. 11, 1-4 pm; $50 includes $10 coupon for farm store; reservations required. Check calendar at left or farm website for list of other classes. Kookoolan Farms, 15713 Hwy. 47, Yamhill. Phone 503-730-7535.

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Hothouse tomatoes are starting to make an appearance in farmers' markets around town, and it won't be long (please oh please) until we're flooded with tons of the sweet orbed fruits. If you love them as much as I do and spend most of the rest of the year dreaming about them, then you won't want to miss the 8th Annual Farmington Gardens Tomato Festival on Sept. 11th in Beaverton. They'll have more than 80 varieties of tomatoes to taste, as well as presentations on how to grow bigger and better tomatoes at home, along with chef demos (with samples!). It's a great opportunity to taste new and unusual types, and to start dreaming about what you'll be wanting to grow in next year's garden.

Details: 8th Annual Farmington Gardens Tomato Festival. Sat., Sept. 11. Farmington Gardens, 21815 SW Farmington Rd., Beaverton. Phone 503-649-4568.

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When I think of summer concerts, strains of contemporary bluegrass, folk, rock or jazz wafting across open grass dotted with picnickers float through my mind. But other forms and venues are available, too, as exemplified by the 13th Annual William Byrd Festival coming up in August. Started right here in Portland by enthusiasts of this well-loved English composer's music, it features concerts and lectures by local and internationally acclaimed vocalists, musicians and conductors. Many of the lectures and concerts are free or donation-based, and take place in some of the city's most beautiful churches. Check out the full schedule here.

Details: 13th Annual William Byrd Festival. Aug. 13-29. E-mail or phone 503-295-2811 for information.

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