Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Bauman farm create memories for families

GERVAIS, Ore. — An overcast day on July 21 didn’t discourage visitors and customers from Bauman’s Farm and Garden, located near Gervais, Ore.

The Bauman family promotes that it has been “growing for your family since 1896” and has expanded its business to appeal to entire families. The greenhouse on the farm displays a lot of the plants and particularly hanging baskets for sale, and the staff take time to explain which types of flowers will grow best for customers’ yards.

The family has more than 100 varieties of annuals and perennials, according to its brochure, and also offers to custom plant baskets for buyers.

Connected to the greenhouse is a gift store and bakery, offering baked goods using a lot of the fruit grown on the farm. Fresh fruit and vegetables can also be purchased in the store, along with other products that use Oregon ingredients.

One of the things that stands out is the wide range of berries grown by the Baumans: besides commonly known berries such as blueberries and strawberries, people can also find for sale the gooseberry, Kotata and Logan berries, Sylvan and Tayberries, and Waldo berry. Most of these were developed by crossing other berries, providing unique tastes for berry lovers in this part of the country.

For people who want quieter moments away from the busy store, the Bauman farm also has a well-maintained garden area with many types of flowers and shrubs to attract birds, butterflies — and camera enthusiasts.

One of the reasons Bauman farms is so popular is the learning opportunity for children. Fowl and animals are available to observe and pet, but there is also material — such as a large wooden board in the shape of an apple — with questions about apples on it and flip up answers.

Along the driveway to leave the farm, there are 23 different apple trees planted. A sign explains this and invites people to observe the differences in the apples as they grow through the season.

Parents bring their kids to the farm and many could be heard explaining what the animals and birds are, what are some of their characteristics, what they eat, why they’re important, and most importantly, how the children should treat them on a farm.

In the fall, the family has a pumpkin patch for school and group tours to visit and learn more about the farm.

On the family’s website, the owners explain why they like to involve children on the farm. In the July newsletter, an anecdote is shared.

“My son Austin is 4 this summer and as he grows each summer it becomes more exciting. I can’t wait to share with him all of the fun things that I got to do on the farm growing up that made my summers so memorable. Whether it’s swimming in the river down at Grandma and Grandpa’s house or picking a fresh juicy peach right off the tree on hot summer day.

“But the strangest and most wonderful thing about sharing these experiences with him is that he takes them and makes them his own. While I may have loved eating the peaches, his favorite thing is to head to the cornfield and eat a fresh cob of sweet corn out in the field.

“At Bauman Farms we would love to help you recreate some of those memories you had as a kid or help create new ones with your children,” said the newsletter’s author.

For more information, directions and hours, check out www.baumanfarms.com. The farm is located at 12989 Howell Prairie Road N.E., Gervais, Ore. 97026

(To see a Quicktime movie of photos taken at Bauman's farm, see www.capitalpress.com and click on multimedia on the left hand side.)

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