Fruit Loop introduces new signs

A new set of signs will inform people driving by local farms and orchards about the variety of agricultural products in Hood River County.

Through a grant to Hood River Fruit Loop, the Oregon Agri-Business Council distributed signs Monday depicting products grown in the Hood River Valley. Council director Mary Stewart delivered the 19 signs, joining another 32 in the county.

The signs are a project funded by the Oregon Department of Agriculture Specialty Crop Grant that the Fruit Loop received, according to Fruit Loop director Kaye White.

The council works with growers and farm organizations such as Hood River Grower Shipper Association and the Fruit Loop to “work on common opportunities and challenges, a need we have yet today — more than ever,” Stewart said.

The effort is part of the “Oregon Agriculture Everywhere” campaign by the council, which is intended to keep the variety of products throughout the state in the public eye.

“It is one of our most popular program with the consumers,” Stewart said of the four-foot-long, green vinyl painted signs.

“It’s a form of awareness of what people are growing, especially people from out of town,” said Mark Beam, who owns Nutquacker Farms on Neal Creek Road near Odell with his wife, Kim. They’ve grown and distributed chestnuts for eight years.

“It’s a good deal,” Beam said of the sign effort. “The Fruit Loop has done a great job overall on promotion.”

White said a total of 53 signs have been made, which include identification of the familiar D’Anjou and Bartlett pear, but also some of the new agricultural products grown and produced in the valley, such as Pinot Gris, White Riesling and Syrah Grapes, alpacas, organic Bartlett pears, nectarines, peaches, apple cider, kiwi, honey crisp apples, pear eau-de-vie, blueberries, colossal chestnuts, and perennials.

She said the council promotion emphasizes Oregon agriculture and value-added products.

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