PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — On a below-freezing Saturday morning at the PSU Portland Farmer’s Market, Michelle O’Driscoll has blueberries for sale.
They’re frozen blueberries, which keeps O’Driscoll’s Springbank Farm going strong all year long.
“We try to create value out of opportunities at the farmers market so we can bring everything blueberry,” she told KOIN 6 News.
The PSU Portland Farmer’s Market, open year-round, is a place O’Driscoll displays her blueberries each week. “Our farm is here all year. Most of these farms are here every weekend, all year.”
The peak season for her blueberry harvest is July and August. In the summer during their harvest, they also hire several people, mostly teenagers, who all work together for that busy season. But the family-owned business makes the most out of the berries the other 10 months of the year.
“I don’t think you can half-heartedly farm,” she said. “It becomes a part of you and it’s what you do.”
Springbank Farm started when her in-laws needed someone to take over their property. So she and her husband moved from Forest Grove to Lebanon and took over the 12-acre farm between the Santiam River and Hamilton Creek. They first planted blueberries in 2007 and had their first harvest 2 years later.
Since 2014, Springbank Farm has made a blueberry wine.
“There’s a pound-and-a-half of blueberries in each bottle,” she said. “It’s got just blueberries and it’s sort of a dessert wine and it’s sort of, you could have it with savory things. I really like it with spicy Thai food.”
They also offer a variety of other blueberry treats.
“Make a jam that’s thickened with chia seeds and sweetened with raw honey, so it’s good for your pleasure and your health, that’s always my goal,” she said. They also have a strawberry vanilla balsamic drinking vinegar or shrub for cocktails, as well as a blackberry basil lime and blueberry ginger mint.
Michelle O’Driscoll enjoys being at the PSU farmer’s market where all the different vendors get a chance to shine.
“There’s so much to see. I think when you come to the market, it can be almost a little overwhelming but it’s such a joyful overwhelm of just abundance, music, community,” she said. “It’s great to be here.”