New Grange hosts first Hoedown

Wow! Take a look at the good time the had at this ‘down on the (Zenger) farm’ festivity …

It’s a sell-out crowd, at the Zenger Farm Urban Grange Hoedown.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton

For years, the idea of having more room for events and program administration at Zenger Farm was just a dream. But, after a couple years of fundraising, the Urban Grange building was constructed this year.

> Read about the official opening of the
Zenger Farm Urban Grange,
back on July 11: CLICK HERE.

On the evening of September 26, the Zenger Farm Urban Grange held its first major public event.

Urban Grange Hoedown guests Brent Miller and Tom Burns say hello to Zenger Farm Executive Director Mike Wenrick.

“Welcome to our inaugural Hoedown,” greeted Zenger Farm Executive Director Mike Wenrick. “This is a major event, open to the community that is both a fundraiser and a ‘friend-raiser’.”

Wenrick said they’d “sold out” with 400 reservations for the hoedown. “Of these people at the farm today, many have been here before – but many are here for the first time. We’re inviting those who are new to the farm to take a tour, as well as to enjoy the fun and tasty activities here.”

A group heads off for a tour of Zenger Farm.

Taking another tray of his golden-baked gems out of the oven in the Urban Grange commissary is Pine State Biscuits Proprietor Kevin Atchley.

While The Jack Aces provided a country soundtrack for the event by playing Americana tunes, guests sampled Vanilla Bean Salt & Straw ice cream topped with Zenger Farm apple compote, enjoyed a cup of fresh-on-the-spot pressed cider by Portland Nursery, and browsed the raffle & silent auction featuring local food and farm packages.

Patrick Smith Photography takes sepia farm-themed photos of folks attending the festival, such as this photo of the reporter. Image courtesy of Patrick Smith

Serving BBQ chicken thighs and vegan dishes from New Seasons Market are volunteers Susan Johnson, Sheri Prom, and Kristy Gonyer. Included were harvest slaw, potato salad, and baked beans.

Families dine at long tables, often making new friends.
“The idea is to promote having a good time here this evening,” Wenrick grinned. “At the same time, we hope our guests learn a little bit of our story during the evening.”

As people learn more about their programs, Wenrick said, “they often sign up their kids for camps or classes, become donors, buy vegetables, and become CSA partners. We hope to engage people in many different ways.”

Find out more by visiting the official Zenger Farm website: CLICK HERE.

Terry Halley and his square dancers step lively at the Zenger Farm Urban Grange Hoedown.

© 2015 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News

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