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r u Helvetia O

My heart leaps up when I behold a rainbow wordsworth

Issue 4 • Sept 2013 • Longitude: 122° 55’ 02” W Latitude: 45° 35’ 44” N

• 14 mi west of Portland, Oregon

Our Helvetia FALL 2013



From the editor................................................................3

Editor: Cherry Amabisca

Helvetia Winery................................................................4

Associate Editor: Faun Hosey


Design: Terri Wayne

Helvetia Culture Fest......................................................8 Helvetia's Gentle Giants............................................. 12 Helvetia's Hazelnut Harvest...................................... 14 West Union School Ham Dinner............................. 15 Upcoming Events......................................................... 16

I have brought many of my friends to appreciate the peace that this place gives off. I believe it is harder for high schoolers to appreciate the 'peace in the storm.' Our lives are so preoccupied by things that seem so overwhelming. For high schoolers to be able to ap-

Photos by: Pam Gates, front cover Carla Axtman Adrian Amabisca, back cover Cherry Amabisca Faun Hosey Terri Wayne

preciate the brilliantly gold fields, deep green trees, and vast blue sky, that is something worth keeping. Especially with technology taking over, and the outdoors being less appreciated, Helvetia must remain.

Audrey B

Comments? Ideas for future issues? Email the editor at or call 503.647.5334 Our Helvetia is a publication of Helvetia Community Association (HCA). HCA works to inspire others to appreciate, share and celebrate Helvetia’s treasured heritage, land and people. HCA is a 501(c)(3) cultural, educational non-profit organization which relies totally on tax-deductible donations and wonderful volunteers. To donate to HCA , to get involved or for more information about our activities, please go to: or call 503.647.5334.

2  Our Helvetia Fall 2013

© 2013


Helvetia state of


Our year-long tour of seasons in Helvetia is coming to a close. I find the autumn traditions in Helvetia comforting in their rhythm: the harvest of hazelnuts, pumpkins and wine grapes; the fleeting passage of our herd of Roosevelt elk as they forage on late-ripening apples and cover crops; Helvetia’s famous fall celebration of our diverse cultural heritage, the Helvetia Culture Fest; the last days of farmers markets; the helicopter leaves of the Swiss Linden trees twisting and spiraling downward; the lacy branches of the Oregon white oaks, standing like sentinels against the graying skies. The rhythm of tilling the earth, planting, enriching the soil and harvesting is a tribute to our farmers who have nurtured the soil to produce bountiful crops for the past 150 years. As Daniel Webster said, “Let us never forget that the cultivation of the earth is the most important labor of man. When tillage begins, other arts follow. The farmers, therefore, are the founders of civilization.” Indeed. Hats off to our Helvetia farmers! Cherry Amabisca, President, Helvetia Community Association

Our Helvetia Fall 2013  3

Helvetia's local gem

Helvetia Winery

Elizabeth Furse and John Platt contribute to many community events HELVETIA’S SOUTH-FACING SLOPES are blessed with a climate, soils and slopes similar to the grape-growing regions of Europe. Nestled in the Helvetia hills of the Tualatin Valley is Helvetia’s only winery, Helvetia VIneyards and Winery. Established in 1982 by John Platt and Elizabeth Furse, Helvetia Winery’s visitor’s center is located in the historic 100-year-old Jakob Yungen house. Jakob Yungen and his three brothers were Swiss immigrants who came to

the Helvetia area in the late 1800’s to continue the Swiss traditions of farming and wine-making. Autumn is a busy time for proprietor John Platt. He often hosts eager volunteers to help with the “crush”. Helvetia Winery wines are featured each year at the Helvetia Culture Fest (see article on page 8). To see all the year-round activities at Helvetia Winery, go to

Real freedom lies in wildness, “ not in civilization.� Charles Limbergh

6 Our Helvetia Summer 2013

Helvetia’s Roosevelt elk herd numbers over 100. They can roam as far as 50 miles a day, as far west as the Coast Mountains. They forage on late-ripening fruit and cover crops as they build up their fat reserves to withstand the coming winter months. Helvetia’s

woodlands contain one of their calving grounds, to which they return year after year. They mostly travel at night but if you're careful, you can hear the moms cooing to their babies and the muffled thudding of their hooves as they glide by in the night shadows. Our Helvetia Summer 2013  7

8  Our Helvetia Fall 2013

Helvetia Culture Fest Fall in a country community like Helvetia means a time of gathering, of celebrating the harvest, of sharing the bounty of the land. A very fun fall tradition that does all this is the Helvetia Culture Fest—the Helvetia community’s signature fundraising event. But the community takes it one step further by reaching out to the public throughout the entire Portland metropolitan region to come to the country and enjoy a Sunday afternoon to celebrate Helvetia’s rich Swiss and tribal heritages. ➤

Our Helvetia Fall 2013  9

Located in the magnificent alpaca barn overlooking the stunning Tualatin Valley, the Fest features Swiss alphorn music, Swiss singing and yodeling, tribal drumming, live bluegrass music, iconic Helvetia burgers, local wine and beer, delicious strudel, a rollicking pie walk and handmade quilt raffle. Kids and grandkids are always entertained with face painting and crafts. Fresh produce from local Helvetia farms and unique Helvetia items are available for sale. Join us for a fun family afternoon in beautiful Helvetia! What: The Helvetia Culture Fest Why: An annual event to raise money for   a variety of preservation and education   projects in historic Helvetia, Oregon When: Sunday, September 22, 2013 Time: 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm Where: Pacific Crest Alpacas,   12995 NW Bishop Road, HIllsboro, OR 97124 Admission: FREE for children 12 and under   $5 for teens age 13 to 18   $10 for adults 19 and older. All proceeds of the admission price goes directly to benefit the non-profit Helvetia Community Association and its preservation efforts in the Helvetia community. or call 503.647.5334

Swiss alphorn music de tribal drumming

10  Our Helvetia Fall 2013

elicious strudel Tavern burgers 11 g pie walk! Our Helvetia Fall 2013 

TREES ARE A SPECIAL PART of Helvetia’s landscape. We see them as we drive Helvetia’s country roads but do we really SEE them? Besides the ubiquitous Douglas Fir, Oregon Ash, Ponderosa Pine, Maple and Western Red Cedar trees that can be seen throughout Helvetia, there are two very iconic trees that contribute to Helvetia’s pastoral scenery: the Swiss Linden and the Oregon White Oak.

Swiss Linden Trees The majestic Swiss Linden trees are one of Helvetia’s best-kept secrets! Lore has it that 12 Linden saplings were brought from Switzerland in 1892 and planted at the homesteads of the 12 founding families of the Helvetia Community Church. You can see these 60-foot tall gentle giants if you look carefully.



The double-flowered Lindens are used to make perfumes. Wood (basswood) is used for carvings, musical instruments, and window blinds. Herbalists use active compounds in treating headaches and restlessness. Lime flowers from Linden trees are used in tea for a myriad of symptoms. Oregon White Oak The native Oregon White Oak tree (Quercus garryana) is a defining element of our Helvetia landscape. The Oregon white oak is a deciduous hard-

wood tree native to Oregon that can soar up to 90 feet. Virtually fire-proof, their roots go deeper than many other trees. Most of the white oaks in Helvetia are 250 to 300 years old; a few are are 500. The Atfalati (Tuality) people who once inhabited this area used these very oaks for shelter and ate the acorns. Today there are less than 1% of historic native oak habitats remaining. We remain highly committed to protecting our farmland and forests so Helvetia’s glorious Oregon white oaks can thrive for hundreds of years more.

The creation of a thousand forests is in one acorn.

tle Giants

Ralph Waldo Emerson

Helvetia’s Hazelnuts Harvest

OREGON IS ONE OF THE TOP PRODUCERS of hazelnuts in the world. Rich in protein and unsaturated fat, they are used to make praline and with chocolate for truffles and Nutella. Try delicious hazelnuts covered in chocolate, hazelnut bread and even hazelnut milkshakes! Hazelnut trees can produce hazelnuts for 150 years or more. Don Schoen, a 2nd generation hazelnut grower and owner of Rollin’ Acres Hazelnut Orchard says, “My dad planted our 30 acres in 1946 and they're still going strong.” Matt Furrow, owner of Furrow Farms, who also grows hazelnuts, says, “Because hazelnuts take over 15 years to produce profitably, it's important for hazelnut growers to have the certainty that this land will continue to be farmed without the pressure of development.”

Don Schoen’s Apple-Hazelnut Caramel Pie Don, retired owner and master baker of Perfection Bakery, offers his favorite hazelnut recipe. Filling Ingredients 1 unbaked 9 inch pie shell 7 to 8 fresh apples, peeled and    sliced (Granny Smith if possible) ¼ cup white sugar 1 teaspoon cinnamon 1 teaspoon vanilla 1 tablespoon unsalted butter

Topping ½ cup brown sugar ½ teaspoon cinnamon 1 cup all-purpose flour ½ cup unsalted butter, softened ½ cup chopped nuts, slightly toasted Smuckers Caramel Ice Cream Topping

Instructions over the apple pie filling mixture. Combine apples, white sugar, cinnaBake in the oven on middle shelf at mon (1 teaspoon) and vanilla. Place in 425° for 45 to 55 minutes. Drizzle pie shell. Dot with 1 tablespoon butter. Smuckers Caramel Topping over the Combine hazelnuts, brown sugar, flour, pie while hot from the oven. Serve cinnamon and butter and mix until warm with ice cream. crumbly. Then place the crumb mixture

West Union School Ham Dinner. A Fall Tradition for 64 years! Hosted by West Union Elementary School parents every year since 1949, the Ham Dinner is a great way to meet the Helvetia community! Children in every grade contribute in some way to the dinner, decorating tables, serving guests or entertaining. West Union School Ham Dinner Date: Monday, Nov 11, 2013 (Veterans Day) Time: 4:30– 8:00 p.m. Location: West Union Elementary School 23870 NW West Union Road, HIllsboro, OR 97124

Info: 503.844.1620

Upcoming Fun Events in Helvetiaď ŽJoin Us!


Helvetia Culture Fest

What: Food, fun, music and entertainment When: Sunday, September 22, 2013 Where: Alpaca Barn at Pacific Crest Alpacas, 12995 NW BIshop Road, Hillsboro, OR 97124 Time: 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm Info: or call 503.647.5334 SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER

Plumper Pumpkin Patch & Tree Farm

What: Pumpkin gathering and fall activities When: September 28 through October 31, 2013 Where: 11435 NW Old Cornelius Pass Road, Portland, OR 97231 Times: 9:00 am to 5:30 pm Info: or call 503.645.9561 Roloff Farm What: Pumpkin gathering and fall activities When: September 28 through October 27, 2013 (Friday/Saturday/Sunday only) Where: NW Grossen Road, Hillsboro, OR 97124 Times: 10:00 am to Dusk Info: NOVEMBER

West Union School Ham Dinner

What: Food, music and entertainment When: Monday, November 11, 2013 Where: 23870 NW West Union Road, Hillsboro, OR 97124 Time: 4:30 pm to 8:00 pm Info: 503.844.1620

In the Heart of Helvetia Fine Wines and Fine Wine Gifts 23269 NW Yungen Rd. 503-647-7596

Fine art landscapes of the Pacific Northwest and beyond.

Helvetia Community Association

Inspiring understanding and enjoyment of Helvetia’s people, land and history. You CAn Help: Make a tax-deductible donation at and click on “Donate”. ContACt us: Email for specific questions, upcoming activities, events and preservation projects in Helvetia.

BuY our stuff: all proceeds go to Hca’s preservation projects. Go to and click on “Market”.

Winter Scenes

NotE carD SEtS

Historic Barns

Potential Has a Gravitational Pull Lock onto opportunity by increasing visibility & enhancing credibility like any great navigator Terri Wayne Design 503.612.1863

You must not blame me if I do talk to the clouds. Henry David Thoreau 

Our Helvetia Fall 13  

Helvetia Culture Fest, Helvetia Winery, Elk herds, White Oak and Linden trees, hazelnut recipe, Ham Dinner, pumpkin patches and a beautiful...

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