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Willamette Living Life is good, in the Valley

Oregon’s Small Farms

Heavenly French Pastry Portland Women in Film A Corvallis Green Home

Premier Issue!April / May 2010

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A family farm dedicated to sustainable farming practices and animal husbandry. For people who care about the source of their food. Proudly offering naturally raised meat and poultry, including grassfed beef, lamb, and goat and pasture-raised poultry and eggs. 541-367-0687

Contributors Shari Clough,

Shari Clough lives in Corvallis and works as a philosophy professor at OSU. She also volunteers in her community, helping old people and old dogs through Senior Dog Rescue of Oregon.

Barry Reed,

Renaissance man, photographer, visionary, based in Portland.

Brandon Roberts

Brandon Roberts is a freelance writer living in Portland. Brandon’s screenplay, MY SUMMER AS A GOTH, optioned by Sour Apple Productions, is set to film in Summer 2010.

Leah Harb

Photographer Leah Harb is a native Northwestie. She splits her time between photographing people and food - and enjoys both equally. On her days off you will find her reading a good book, fantasizing about redecorating her townhouse or remodeling some old cottage or more frequently as a chauffeur for her two children.

Willamette Living Managing Partners, Scott & Gayanne Alexander Willamette Living is published bi-monthly by Willamette Life Media LLC. On Oregon Registered Limited Liability Company Contact: 541-740-9776 Advertising Inquiries: Comments:


John Gottberg Anderson

Writer-photographer John Gottberg makes his home in Bend. A graduate of South Eugene High School and the University of Oregon, he is a former editor for the Los Angeles Times travel section and the Paris-based Michelin Guides, and he has written or co-authored 19 books. Just like Mark Twain, Gottberg insists, “I never let my schooling interfere with my education.”

Kaire Downin

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Kaire Downin is a Willamette Valley resident, passionate about local sustainability and agritourism. She is active in community development, a licensed Real Estate Broker, and Mom of 3.

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All editorial material, including editorial comments, opinion and statements of fact appearing in this publication, represents the views of the respective authors and does not necessarily carry the endorsement of Willamette Living or its officers. Information in Willamette Living is gathered from sources considered to be reliable, but the accuracy of all information cannot be guaranteed. The publication of any advertisements is not to be construed as an endorsement of the product of service offered unless it is specifically stated in the ad that there is such approval or endorsement. Products advertised may or may not be available at the time of publication. Offices: 1900 NW 14th St. Corvallis, OR 97330

In This Issue...

May / June 2010

Tell us what you think or our new mag!

Pg. 10 Oregon’s Small Farms Our Generous Local Bounty Scott Alexander

Pg. 14

Striking Out On Their Own

Pg. 18

The Zwickers of Silver Creek Lanes

Brandon Roberts

In Keeping With Tradition

An international couple lands in Corvallis and the results are delicious!

Pg. 7

Scott Alexander

This Woman’s Work

Tara Johnson-Medinger puts the “pow” in POW Fest.

Pg. 22

Brandon Roberts

Home Focus

Rod Terry, Corvallis Home Designer Shares his green home. Scott Alexander

Pg. 28

A View of the Valley

Pg. 30

A Tropical Transplant Takes Root Kaire Downin

Food For Thought

Vegetarian Dining With Captain Kirk Shari Clough

Welcome to the premier issue of Willamette Living! The magazine you’re holding is one of several of the Willamette Life Media new ventures. Be sure to visit our web site at, check out our Facebook page, tweet with us on Twitter, and if you wish, subscribe to our Podcast on Apple’s iTunes Music Store - just search for “Willamette Living.” We’re a light-hearted, yet informative look at life in the Willamette Valley from Eugene to Vancouver. We hope you like what you see, and please remember to tell our advertisers you saw them in Willamette Living. With happy advertisers, we can add more pages to bring you more great Willamette Valley content. Thanks for picking up issue #1 and be sure to look for our upcoming July / August “Swimsuit Issue!”

From The Home Office...


e are thrilled to see Willamette Living in print! I am thankful to everyone who helped with the launch. From our talented writers and photographers, to our brave advertisers who took my word for it that there would actually be a magazine, thank you all for having faith in Willamette Living. I am very much looking forward to the continued growth of this project. Be sure to take a look at our web site at, become a fan on Facebook, or follow our tweets via Twitter, or... subscribe to our Podcast on Apple’s iTunes Music Store. All of our on line offerings, including the on line version of the magazine, are easily found via the links down the left side of our home page. In my travels assembling our lead story on Oregon’s small farms, I met some remarkable people who are doing some great things on their farms, from delicious farm fresh eggs, to picture perfect produce, to peaceful vaca-

tions, or “farm stays.” I encourage all of you to patronize these hard working farmers; sustain yourself, the farm, and keep the money in the local economy -- everybody wins. As we go to print, I’m thinking about our next issue. Spring and Summer are on the horizon - finally, and there are so many great story possibilities... I can’t wait! Since we are a free publication, and a small operation, I highly encourage you to patronize our advertisers, and be sure to tell them you saw them in Willamette Living -- they keep our lights on, and the computers humming! We’re anxious to hear what you think of our new magazine, please send your feedback to and become a fan on Facebook if you like. Thanks for picking up Willamette Living, and we look forward to a long, fullfilling relationship with you, our readers.

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land Women’s Film Festival (known as POW Fest). This 39 year-old mother of two and former marketing executive is also one of the principals of Sour Apple Productions, an independent film production company she co-founded in 2004. It is an ambitious load she manages, but Johnson-Medinger is used to carrying a full plate. In 2002, she moved back to Portland from Los Angeles, married her husband Chris, and bought a house in Northeast Portland. She had the first of their two children, daughter Avery, in 2003 (son Quinlan was born in 2005). “2002 was a very overwhelming year. We like to call it extreme living,” she laughed.

This woman’s work: Tara Johnson-Medinger puts the “pow” in POW Fest By Brandon Roberts • Photos, Leah Harb The Portland film scene, say many insiders, is perpetually “on the brink,” or “going to be the next big thing.” But they have been saying that for 10 years or more.

On how she founded Sour Apple Productions, Johnson-Medinger remembers sitting down with business partner Stephani Skalak in 2004, both with newborns and interested in furthering their film careers, and saying, “We are going to do this. We are going to do this on our own schedules and be moms. We are going to pave our own way, be available to our kids and have our careers.” And done it she has. With almost 20 years of experience in the film and television industry, starting her journey with a film degree from University of Oregon, Johnson-Medinger has produced programs for a diverse range of clients. Her films have been featured on the Independent Film Channel, and even selected for film festivals

Even though it is considered a burgeoning scene, the big fish in this small pond are few and far between. There are big names, like Gus Van Sant and Todd Haynes, and there are certainly other independent filmmakers based here making a name for themselves—but those two have pretty much had the “big fish” title on lockdown for several years now with little competition in sight. One film-obsessed local whose name has been generating some buzz in 2010 is Tara JohnsonMedinger, the Executive Director of the

(a 30-minute, 16 mm short film she produced, “Fade,” was chosen for a short film festival in 1997). Her documentary, 2006’s “Military Families Speak Out - Oregon Chapter,” was applauded for telling the story of people who have relatives or loved ones in the military but are opposed to the continued occupation of Iraq. It’s a subject dear to Johnson-Medinger’s hear: her brother, Sergeant Shawn Madden, served one tour in Iraq and will be deployed to Afghanistan later this year. She also produced another documentary on the subject of military families, “On the Eve of War.” Currently in post-production is a documentary Johnson-Medinger produced with local director, Jackie Weissman, “Rock n Roll Mamas,” about a touring mom’s life on the road featuring Zia McCabe of the Dandy Warhols, among other maternal rock musicians. Johnson-Medinger waxes enthusiastic about her company’s optioning two feature scripts, and believes she will produce her first full-length feature film in 2011. “I’m really excited about these two projects,” the fledgling producer beamed. The feather in Johnson-Medinger’s cap right now, however, is POW Fest, originally established in 2003 but which she took over in 2008 and “rejuvenated and redeveloped with Sour Apple at the helm.” Sour Apple purchased the festival outright in 2009.

“It’s a completely different animal,” she says of the revamped festival, now in its third “official” season. The POW Fest mission, according to its Executive Director, is clear: “POW Fest places a spotlight on women filmmakers by showcasing their work and strengthening the community of women in film. We empower women to find their voice and to share their stories though innovative and quality filmmaking. We feature the work of today’s top women directors, honoring the true pioneers while providing support and recognition for the next generation of leading women filmmakers.” Having survived three years in the new format, Johnson-Medinger is excited about the future of the festival. “In the year to come, I expect even bigger things from POW Fest,” she enthused. “With so many wonderful entries this year, we realized there is an abundance of quality womenmade films that deserve to be seen—it’s impossible to show them all in merely one annual fourday festival.”

“It is our aim to add more programming and workshops for filmmakers, assist women filmmakers in all areas of the filmmaking process… We want POW Fest to be the festival that women filmmakers choose to premiere their films.” The festival, which ran this year from March 18-21, showcases women-directed short and fulllength feature films, as well as animation. It is a truly international film festival, with over 450 entrants from around the world vying for a place. Johnson-Medinger and her festival organizers place an emphasis on promoting unknown women directors, and especially local talent. Even though the curtain on the 2010 POW Fest has just barely closed it is clear Executive Director Tara Johnson-Medinger is just getting started. Going forward, the festival will hold a bi-monthly screening series in partnership with the Portland chapter of Women In Film (WIF-PDX).

2010 Academy Awards. “Women filmmakers everywhere should be encouraged by [Bigelow’s] success and be emboldened to go out, tell great stories, and make great movies!” Still, she admits, the film industry is behind the ball. “No woman director has won the Oscar in the past 81 years. It’s even more astonishing considering [Bigelow] is only the fourth woman director ever to be nominated.” POW Fest, at the capable hands of its Executive Director, squarely aims to even the playing field for women directors. “Portland is the future of filmmaking, and POW Fest is the future for women in film. I’m very, very excited for what the future has in store.”

“We are hoping to expose the city to some amazingly talented women,” said Johnson-Medinger. POW Fest is also continuing the tradition of a July fundraising gala. Finding a big name for the 2010 gala is at the top of Johnson-Medinger’s always-full To Do list. She certainly has some big shoes to fill, considering last year’s honored guest. Stock Photo

“In 2009, we were delighted to have Kathryn Bigelow present her extraordinary film The Hurt Locker at our gala, raising awareness and funds on our behalf.” Johnson-Medinger called the event “a glorious success,” and felt personally touched by Bigelow’s recent, historic win for Best Director at the

Oregon’s Small Farms

All over Oregon there is a revolution going on… Small farmers are leading the charge back to a more healthy, natural, and nutritious way of eating we haven’t seen in this country since our Grandmothers drug out the canning equipment and “put up” their delicious summer produce. There is s groundswell going on with urbanites discovering the quality and delicious flavors of foods fresh from the farm, and Oregon’s small


farmers are delivering. What is a small farm? The average size of a farm in Oregon, according to the Oregon Department of Agriculture, is 425 acres. Among these, 80% are less than 180 acres. So almost all farms in Oregon are small farms. But, Oregon leads the nation in production of blackberries, boysenberries, hazelnuts, plums & prunes, onions, Christmas trees, and more. The top revenue producing commodities for Oregon (as of 2008) were: Greenhouse and Nursery Products $880,061,000, Hay $613,311,000, Grass Seed $510,298,000, Cattle $426,794,000, Milk $412,482,000, Wheat $340,178,000, Potatoes $211,039,000, Christmas trees $122,765,000, Onions $97,524,000, and number 10… pears at $92,582,000. And how many eggs do Oregon’s chickens produce annually you ask… seven hundred and sixty nine million. You go girls! While the aggregate figures are mind boggling, the real focus is on the quality of Oregon’s farm production. We attended the Oregon Small Farms Conference at OSU recently and there are myriad issues surrounding small farms. Some are the same issues farmers have faced forever, weather, water, soil quality, and some are new. Well, not new, but different from the farming methods of late. Oregon’s farmers are working on sustainable farming methods such as those used by our ances-

bandry and the sustainable production of healthy meat, poultry and eggs. Carla and Mike took the time to show us around the farm, and we liked what we saw. They obviously are very person-

tors for thousands of years. Natural, organic and in harmony with nature have, thankfully, taken the place of chemicals, pesticides and forcing Mother Nature’s compliance. What goes on at a small farm? Many of Oregon’s small farmers are farming as a labor of love. That is to say they have off-farm jobs to make ends meet. But they are passionate about farming, and most we spoke with are optimistic about the future of farming in Oregon. In addition to meeting lots of farmers at the OSU conference, we visited 2 farms for an in-depth look at just what goes on. Sweet Home Farms in Sweet Home is owned by Carla Green and Michael Polen. They are a small family farm dedicated to humane animal hus-

ally connected to what they do, and you can see that they really care about their mission to raise healthy, happy animals. Carla admitted she was a vegetarian for twenty years prior to starting her own farm. Now that she is able to see where her meat and chicken come from, she has added red meat and chicken back to her diet. The farm is spotless and the animals are very well cared for. Sweet home practices a “leader-follower” system – meaning the animals follow each other grazing on select pastures. This system creates a more natural process on the land and decreases the need for worming, pesticide application and other undesirable practices. Like many of Oregon’s small farms, Sweet Home offers a CSA (community supported agriculture) program. What that means is people wishing to purchase meat, and eggs pay a set amount for a season, and receive a share every month including eggs, chicken, beef, and anything special. CSA’s are very popular, and are offered by many farms who raise meat, or produce. We sampled the rib eye, and the chicken from Sweet Home and could definitely


taste the care that went into the production. The fresh products from Sweet Home are just plain better than “factory” meats. It’s hard to tell exactly what is better, but the texture, the firmness, and the fresh presentation are just … better.

they have a resident peacock. But the main focus at Leaping Lamb is the “farm stay.” That is, you can go and stay at the farm and enjoy the coun-

Leaping Lamb Farm in Alsea is owned by Scottie and Greg Jones. We met with Scottie for a tour of their beautiful farm on the river. At Leaping lamb, as the name suggests, Scottie and Greg raise sheep and sell wool and spring lamb locally. They also raise chickens and turkeys, and

try setting, fresh air, fresh eggs, fresh fruit, and a very relaxing nights sleep. Leaping Lamb was 12

barn, and he likes to be brushed by visitors. Scottie is very personable, and enjoys educating kids (and their parents) about where eggs come from – hint, it’s not from the grocery store. As Scottie says, “it’s always like Easter here -- every day we hunt for eggs.” Scottie is in the process of launching a farm stay web site to allow other farmers to list their unique lodgings on line. We like the idea of the farm stay web site, and expect Scottie to enjoy great success with it.

built by the Spencer family in 1896 as part of their original homestead. Only the third owners, Scottie and Greg are taking great care of the farm and obviously love what they are doing. A grant allowed them to install a photovoltaic solar array on the old barn to power the agricultural irrigation system and the lights in the barn. The barn is something to see in itself – it is post and beam construction from the days of yesteryear, when craftsmen built barns. Paco the donkey loves his

The Oregon small farm story is huge. Look for more small farm coverage in upcoming editions of Willamette Living. Next time: The Oregon Country Trails, Cheese, and spring Veggies! Look for the Willamette Living Podcast on the iTunes music store and listen to clips from our visits with Sweet Home Farms and Leaping Lamb Farm. On iTunes, search for “Willamette Living.” Leaping Lamb Farm Scottie & Greg 877.820.6132 Sweet Home Farms Carla & Michael 541.3670687


Striking Out on Their Own The Zwickers of Silver Creek Lanes By Brandon Roberts • Photos, Leah Harb Ask Ryan and Tawnya Zwicker how exactly they became proprietors of the Silver Creek Lanes, a once run-down, 1962-built bowling alley in small town Silverton, Oregon, and their answer is simple: “We sat down one night and asked each other:

if there was anything you wanted to do, regardless of money, what would you do?” Maybe “owning a bowling alley” isn’t at the top of everyone’s list of their dream life accomplishments, but the fact of the matter is that everyone at some point in their adult lives asks themselves this same question. Especially during the past few years of hard economic times when so many have lost their jobs and have been confronted with the prospect of career reinvention, more people are asking it. The difference is, only very few people actually see the answer through to fruition, pursuing their lifelong dream into reality. In some ways, after meeting the Zwickers, it seems they were meant to become the proprietors of the Silver Creek Lanes. However, their tale of “destiny” is really an ode to a lot of old-fashioned hard work, and their dogged entrepreneurial spirit.


Ryan, 42, and Tawnya, 38, met in Salem, Oregon, on a blind date. He graduated from Sprague, she graduated from South Salem High. Ryan was a 4th generation carpet cleaner, working in the family business his great-grandfather started in 1911. Perhaps coincidentally, Tawnya’s dad and brother were also carpet cleaners. “My dad is a carpet cleaner, my brother is a carpet cleaner, we met and I thought, ‘Oh no’,” Tawnya said after her first date with Ryan. The Zwickers were married in 1990, a year after Tawnya graduated high school. They have three children: Andrew, 17; Katie, 13; and Riley, 7. The carpet cleaning business is a tough trade, and took a toll on Ryan physically. He endured five knee surgeries in his 20 years with the carpet trade. “I couldn’t see myself retiring doing that, I wanted to do something more stimulating,” said Ryan. After working 16 years managing dental offices, Tawnya finally burnt out on her career and wanted a change as well. How did the subject of owning a bowling alley come up? “We took out a blank piece of paper,” said Tawnya, and asked themselves “the question.” So how’d they come up with the answer? “It just seemed like it would be fun to own and run a bowling center,” explained Ryan.

So much fun, apparently, that the Zwickers looked into building a bowling center on their own. They did a full business plan, with property plans, blueprints, everything. But after about a year of planning, the Zwickers faced a serious hurdle. “We couldn’t get the financing. We hadn’t managed a center, we hadn’t owned a center before,” lamented Tawnya. “Where do we get the money to do this?” asked Ryan. Much of it came from personal credit, with the Zwickers financing their dream “down to the last credit card.” The huge expenses of owning a bowling alley are surprising: for example, each pinsetter has a thousand parts to it, and an alley itself costs over $50,000 each lane to build. “We obviously couldn’t go out and buy a 32-lane center, that would have cost millions of dollars,” said Ryan. They set out to find an existing alley, something more turn-key. Eventually, in 2006, the couple found the Silver Creek Lanes in Silverton. It was a small center that was already established. The previous owner was in his seventies and was ready to get out of the business. Tawnya wasn’t sure at first, but Ryan saw the potential. “That’s all it had at the time,” said Ryan. “… potential.”


“I said, ‘You wanna buy this?’” exclaimed Tawnya upon first seeing the run-down alley. Eventually they both agreed Silver Creek Lanes was a place they could see fixing up and bringing their kids to work for 10 hour days, so they pursued the venture. Gone were the smoke-stained ceilings; they cleaned up the place and began treating it as the future of the sport. “No more cigarettes, this is a legitimate sport. We’ve gone to great lengths to study lane patterns. You have to be a true athlete; [bowling] is not the same game it used to be. It’s much more modern, high-tech. The way they make bowling balls now, there’s so much physics involved,” said Ryan. After talking to the Zwickers, there is the sense that this alley wasn’t just meant as a career change—this has become a true passion project for the entire family. “A lot drew us into this,” emphasized Ryan. “Our kids bowled, we bowled. We were talked into getting certified as coaches.” In fact, up until the Zwickers owned Silver Creek Lanes, they estimated they were spending $700-800 a month on bowling. Ryan bowled in two leagues, he and Tawnya coached a junior league, and even their children were on leagues. After finally acquiring the alley, the Zwickers threw themselves headlong into learning about the sport. “We realized we were in over our heads,” noted Ryan.


“We needed an education… No manuals came with running this business. We figured we’d better get as educated as possible.” Tawnya attended Bowling Center Management school in Chicago, run by the Bowling Proprietors Association of America. They both received their Bronze Coaching Certification, they had to pass OLCC classes, learn about leagues, how to run a bar and restaurant and pro-shop. Their dream took over their lives and consumed their days, nights and weekends. It became, in their own words, “more work than we could have ever imagined.” “We gave up a lot of our perks,” sighed Tawnya. “No more nights and weekends off.” Business was hard to predict. Things started going well and then their first summer came—and everything stopped. In a state where the weather’s not nice all the time, past-times like bowling aren’t as popular during the sunny summer months. This was one of many hiccups the Zwickers faced, but they assert business is better now.

possible; they use the best tools to custom-fit bowling balls. They are one of 25 shops in the nation, the only in Oregon, to have an advanced certification from IBPSIA (International Bowling Pro-Shop and Instructors Association). They have even been sought out by serious bowlers from as far as Brazil to customize their bowling balls. The couple believes their dedication to the sport is crucial to their future success. Ryan warned young entrepreneurs starting their first venture: “Research as much as possible, get as educated as possible.”

“People are catching on,” affirmed Ryan. “Every year it’s picked up.” Their Friday and Saturday night Cosmic Bowl is a hit with locals, and they have earned serious cred in the bowling community. It helps that the Zwickers have done their homework, immersing themselves in bowling culture and learning everything they can. Their pro-shop has the highest certification

The Zwickers offer other sage words of wisdom for young entrepreneurs, including keeping their personal credit clean, and finding mentors in the same business. They were lucky to hire a mentor, long-time bowling alley manager Doug Salberg of nearby Salem’s Firebird Lanes. “Take them out to lunch, pick their brains,” said Tawnya of finding mentors. She feels success boils down to one key ingredient, beyond passion and tirelessness: “You have to find what sets you apart from the next guy.” Ultimately, in the game of bowling, as in life, flexibility is paramount: “We just fly by the seat of our pants—we never know what next month is going to bring.” Brandon Roberts is a freelance writer living in Portland, Oregon. His screenplay MY SUMMER AS A GOTH was optioned by Portland’s Sour Apple Productions and is set to shoot in Ashland, Oregon, in June 2011. He has never bowled over 100 in his entire life.


Foodie In Keeping With Tradition When you hear the term “a tradition of excellence” it is usually associated with sports teams, educational institutions, volunteer fire departments, or some such thing. But at Le Patissier in Corvallis, it means something much more. Trinidad and Didier Tholognat, owners of Le Patissier, arrive early each morning to pay homage to a grand old tradition, the French tradition of perfect pastry. We are fortunate here in Corvallis to have such an establishment, and it is purely by chance. Through a mutual love of fine food, Trinidad, a Peruvian native met Didier, from Lyon France, in the Los Angeles area. Trinidad, who by her own admission is “always looking for great food,” used to frequent a little French shop in Glendale, CA. “They all had thick French accents, so I knew it was the real thing,” she said of her favorite,“hole in the wall.” Croissant sandwiches were a specialty of the house, and on her way to work one day Trinidad asked to buy a quantity of croissants for her co-workers. She then discovered that the croissants weren’t made in-house. They were purchased wholesale from another 18

French bakery. Trinidad sought out the source and came away with the croissants she had been looking for, and something else, Didier. Didier began his career as a pastry chef at the age of 14 in France. According to Didier, in France it’s not like America where anyone can call them self a chef, one begins as an apprentice, and it’s only after years of study and completing a test administered by the French government, can one be called a chef. Usually, according to Didier, the

time it takes to become a chef in France is approximately fifteen years. Upon successful completion of the test, which includes written work as well as hands-on cooking, people don’t have to look for a job, being a French chef means as Didier says, “the jobs look for you.” I made mention of the recent animated film Ratatouille, but Didier

didn’t care for the idea – in France, there are no rats in the kitchen.


The fact that Didier is a trained French chef is very evident in his work, which is more like art than baking, as we Americans know it. The Patisserie participates in a program here in the valley called “local 5”. The goal is to source at least 5 ingredients locally, blueberries are from Blueberry Meadows here in Corvallis, dairy is from local farms, eggs are also local and organic. The local foods are a matter not only of sustainability, but of quality, which is paramount in real French cooking. The pastries are beyond good, the brioche is light and the flavor of the fresh, organic eggs is evident in every bite. The cream filled pastries, with the local dairy products and Oregon berries are out of this world. And the croissants… the croissants are more of a religious experience than a food. The layers of fresh sweet butter trapped in the dough have to be refrigerated every time the 20

dough is turned, that’s fifteen times the day before, then they are baked fresh every morning. A few years ago, upon finding themselves with an “empty nest”, Trinidad and Didier found themselves at a turning point in life. Trinidad who is also a tax account, among other things, is always very busy during the holidays. Didier asked if it was all right with her if he went to France for Christmas to be with family whom he hadn’t seen in years. Since she knew she’d be busy with taxes, she gave him her blessing and bid him adieu. The trip home did Didier well, and helped to clarify his desires for the future. Trinidad was tired of battling the L.A. traffic, and was beginning to feel like life wasn’t just about making money. They decided to find a little space of their own where Didier could practice his craft. They decided against the L.A. area

because it had become too competitive, but “not in a good way” according to Trinidad. French food is not about the lowest common denominator. It’s not about who has the cheapest and the biggest. French food is about art and tradition. So they set their sights on New Mexico. The Bohemian culture was appealing to both Trinidad and Didier. Still not sure about anything, except that they were both done with the craziness of L.A. , Trinidad got a call from her sister -- from Corvallis. A house had come on the market that was just the ticket, they came and had a look, and now we’re blessed with Le Patissier on Circle Blvd.

Upon entering Le Patissier, one is greeted with the familiar “Bonjour”. The mode of the day, every day, is classic French; formality, order, and quality is evident from the employees’ white coats, to the charming décor, to the pronunciation of the French pastries. Trinidad says she wants Didier to teach the employees proper pronunciation, because her French is spoken with a Spanish accent. Truly an accomplished couple, Didier’s pastries speak of the years of study he’s put into the craft, and Trinidad is happy to greet you in French, Spanish, Italian, or even Japanese. And if you appreciate French décor, you’ll love the intimate dining room. The original paintings hanging on the walls are very good, very European, and give the dining room a unique and inviting feel. Of course you’ll love the artworks in the pastry cases, created by Didier. And if you like the art on the walls, tell Trinidad, the paintings are all hers.



Wed. to Fri. 6:30 am to 3:00 pm Saturday 7:00 am to 3:00 pm Sunday 8:00 am to 2:00 pm Closed on Monday and Tuesday.

Other Delicacies Quiche and Salad Sandwiches on a Croissant Salade du Chef


(Weekends Only)

Sweet: Suzette, Mixed Berry or Noisette Savory: Chicken Beschamel, Bacon & Tomato Espresso • Cappuccino • Latte • Chai Le Patissier 956 NW Circle Blvd in Corvallis



Home Focus

Rod Terry, Walking the Walk

Corvallis designer Rod Terry has spent a lot of time contemplating sustainability. Before it was fashionable, Rod was selling the concept of solar energy to Oregonians. In the early 80’s Rod worked as a consultant to the Oregon Department of Energy traveling the state promoting solar energy.

door is removed and replaced by a panel with a fan. The fan runs to pressurize the house and then a “smoke stick” (like incense) is used to check for leaks in the shell. A tight shell is key to energy efficiency. Next came the removal of the archaic hot water heater, which was replaced by a more efficient tankless, on-demand system. Then the old furnace had to go, and was replaced by quiet, efficient radiant floor heat. Having done basic energy upgrades, Rod was just getting warmed up – so to speak. In the mid 90’s things really got rolling. Rod added a second and third floor to the house and connected the floors with a unique spiral staircase housed in a fun, lighthouse-like tower. The second floor is now the master bedroom, with a beautiful tile bath and steam room. The third

In 1983, Rod and his wife Linda purchased their home in Corvallis. At the time, an unassuming little postwar house with no outstanding attributes – things have changed since then. As a veteran, Rod took advantage of a program that allowed him to trade work in the form of efficiency upgrades in lieu of a down payment. First came insulation in the walls and attic, and doors were replaced. To ensure a tight envelope (the shell of the house) Rod had a blower door test done – in 1983. A blower door test is where an exterior 22

floor is Rod’s favorite, and no-doubt everyone else’s who visits. Level three is a glass enclosed sunroom / greenhouse. Rod pointed out, “ As you sit down, everything disappears except for the canopy of trees.” It is the perfect place for Rod and Linda to enjoy an evening martini together under the stars. Off the living room, is a passive solar courtyard that has glass, south facing ceiling panels. In the summer, there are reflective, canvas curtains that roll out horizontally to reflect the sun’s heat. At the same time, the ceiling joists house the elements of a solar hot water system. Ingeniously, the solar hot water system

Hot Water: Gas Tankless with solar supplement. (During summer, the tankless is shut off.) Heat: Radiant floor heating - via hot water, and the sun! Year Built: 1952 Square Feet: 1st Floor: 1050, 2nd Floor: 600, 3rd Floor: 400 Average power useage: Monthly Gas and electric combined -- $140 Sustainably harvested board & bat redwood siding, Metal roofing, PEX plumbing, and rich Above Rod demonstrates the ingenious organic garden soils from 25 years of composting canvas shade used to regulate solar and neighborhood leaf infiltration. gathering. Below, the sumptuous second story master bedroom suite.

Outside a view of the dormer above the solar hot water system -- lets out the hot in the summer, keeps in the warm in winter.


augments the household hot water to provide heat to the radiant floor coils. Very well thought out, and very sustainable. In the winter, the canvas curtains are drawn back to allow sunlight to provide warmth to the house by warming the tile floor below.

A great, and sustainable feature of Rod’s home is his studio right outside his door. The commute to work is maybe 10 steps, and uses no fuel of any kind – well, maybe a little coffee. Rod’s home design business 24

is done in his beautiful studio surrounded by a lush garden with sitting areas, vegetables and flowers, birds and a relaxing fish pond. The property the home sits on was developed in the late 50’s and is in a fantastic spot -- centrally located, and in a neighborhood of comfortable, mature trees. The house is in a quiet community of like minded neighbors, in fact next door is Rod’s daughter, in a

A “mini split” system heats and cools Rod’s Office.

beautiful house designed by, guess who… Rod Terry. We applaud the creative, artistic approach Rod has taken to his own residence. Rod has taken the sustainable path, and now enjoys a unique and beautiful home that fits him to a tee – bravo.

With art purchased on their travels, or from friends, and beautiful architectural touches, textures and colors, Rod and Linda have created a home that just feels good. Rod’s view of sustainability dictates that a home must be comfortable, fashionable, and functional, or else there is no point. He lives his philosophy every day in the beautiful home he has created in Corvallis.

Glass blocks in the third story floor stream light into the second story bedroom suite. Kumquats ripen in the third story garden room. Not a plant you see in Corvallis a lot!

Little birdhouses surround the garden. As do little birds!

From, “Over the past 30 years I’ve watched ‘trendy’ styles come and go. Great architecture is more than just cutting and pasting the ‘in’ features that every ‘modern’ home should have. If you’re looking for a McMansion, look somewhere else. If on the other hand, you’re looking for timeless beauty, light and brilliant interiors, kitchens that are fun to work in, and an integration of your esthetic values and needs within budget, you sound like someone who would be fun to work with. My design work is a collaborative and creative process. If you’re considering an addition, remodel or new house, or just know that your existing house could be better, contact me. 541.754.0059



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Here Comes the Bride Favorite Wedding Venues in the Valley As a florist who does a lot of weddings, I get to see some fabulous (and not so fabulous) venues for weddings. Here’s my top 5 picks for wedding sites I love: Your House or the House of a (good) Friend - I think this makes for an inimate, personal experience. It won’t necessarily save you any dollars, as money saved on venue rental will probably go to rent all the things you don’t have at home (chairs, tables , etc…). On the other hand, you’ll probably spend a lot of time primping your house and will get to enjoy the benefits for a while. Gerlinger Hall at the University of Oregon – This classic, old world room is full of oriental rugs, stuffed couches and an oversize fireplace. It’s a great spot for a smallish winter wedding. Universities can often have hidden little gems of rooms that can be had for a fair price. Main Stage Country Fair – Okay, getting married at a big hippie festival is not for everyone, but you could have thousands of guests and well wishers plus lots of good stories for the grandchildren. The top of Mt Pisquah – Yet again, not for everyone,

EFTJHO but besides having a spectacular view, taking the 45 minute hike to the top together could be a great metaphor for marriage. Worried your grandparents couldn’t make it all the way up? There’s a charming open air pavilion at the base, that can house a fun reception.

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Just about any Winery – The Willamette Valley abounds in many wineries which double as wedding venues. If you’re planning on having lots of out of town guests wineries can give them a good feel for rural Oregon, they make for great destination weddings. Jewel Murphy is a retailer, blogger & naturalist – who owns Passionflower Design a lifestyle store in Eugene Oregon.

A View of the Valley A Tropical Transplant Takes Root One of the things that makes the Willamette Valley unique is its diversity. Whether you live here or you’re a visitor, you are bound to find something exciting and different.

ing fruit. Imagine my excitement, I had never picked a berry and eaten it off the vine and here, they were everywhere! I never wanted to go back to the flat, humid, concrete covered place I used to call home. I knew I would spend the rest of my life in the Willamette Valley.

In 2004, when I arrived in Oregon for the first time, my husband, daughter and I went for a drive down I-5 and I was instantly in love with the Valley, from the vineyards and orchards, to the Christmas Tree farms, grass seed expanses, meadows, old barns and historical downtown buildings. I loved the rural feel! The mossy roofs, the misty hills, the views on a clear day of the beacons of light in the Cascades all transformed my idea of what heaven would be. Coming from metropolitan Florida, Oregon provided me the peace of mind that there were still areas that were green and living and incredibly capable of bear-

My feelings for the Valley have not changed since moving to the area in 2008 and becoming fully immersed in the lifestyle of an Oregonian. I have engaged myself in the community to get to know the people who make the food, understand how to care for the land, learn about how to best protect it so that our childrens’ children will one day be able to look in awe at the beauty and life that is the Valley. It has been incredibly transformative and has given me motivation to teach and learn and create and share every possible moment.


One of my most treasured experiences has been

the many visits I have made and friendships created by traveling to different farms. I am happy to say that there is a way for many people to come and have a taste of the rural life and gain an understanding of the work and love that goes into our food production. If you attend any of the several farmers’ markets in the area, here is your opportunity to shake hands with the keepers and care takers of the land that gives us so much! Agritourism is on the rise in the Valley and the opportunity to meet and greet with the heart of the Valley is only a request away. From Farm Tours, Hay Rides, Farm Stays and You-Picks, you are bound to find something tasty, entertaining and educational all in a day and a “Sleep in the Hay”. The Oregon Country Trail system provides you with maps to trail systems with at least 10 stops where you can explore different types of agriculture from food to fiber. Lodging available at one of the few farm stays will give you the full experience, feed the cows, pick some sweet, juicy berries, take an adventurous hike through the forest, jump in the cool rushing river, or simply lay in the green grass and enjoy the sounds of birds with the sun on your face while the kids feed the chickens or get lost in a corn maze. The best part is, you get to go back to your own life without worrying if the cows come home! Not only does Agritourism provide you a unique expereince every time, but it also engages the farmers in another venue to create business opportunities, giving them a new tool for economic security. A study conducted by Cornell University states that particpating in

Coffee, Tea or... Both!

Vast Selection of Loose Teas

Tea Pots, Coffee Carafés

Roast-Your-Own Coffees!

Continues on P. 31

When you walk into the door of Oregon Coffee and Tea, you know right away that this isn’t your ordinary coffee shop. This is a unique, coffee and tea store, run by three generations of the Collett family, who love what they do.

Mugs & Tea Cups

Sparkling glass jars, filled with freshly roasted coffees and with 200 teas from around the world, have led some customers to say the store is like “a candy store for adults”. In fact, the extensive selection of teas and coffees is a result of the Collett family’s commitment to listening intently to their customers and providing what they want. Depending on where you stand in the store, you can take in the lingering aromas of teas that have been weighed out or fresh coffees that have been ground to order or brewed for you to taste. On Saturday mornings, people line up to buy fresh Dennis Collett’s Danish pastries. Dennis estimates that that he has baked over 60,000 of these handmade delicacies over the years, and now he is proud to offer them alongside the coffees he roasts.

Fresh Roasted Coffees

If you’d like to try your hand at roasting your own coffee, Oregon Coffee and Tea offers 25 types of green coffee beans and a one-page tip sheet to get you started. Other things you’ll find in the store are coffee presses, espresso pots, teapots, tea cups, insulated travel mugs and all sorts of equipment for brewing and sipping your favorite beverage.

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Food For Thought...

Vegetarian Dining With Captain Kirk

Shari Clough

I will always remember an exchange with a very British Professor Jennings talking about an impending visit home to the UK to visit his daughter. She was vegetarian, he was not. “I suppose,” he intoned, “We’re going to have to sneak out of the house if we want to dine on our fellow creatures.” What made this encounter memorable was the way his mischievous phrasing indicated both that food animals counted as his fellow creatures, and that he was still, for all that, quite happy to eat them. Then, as now, I was making a concerted effort NOT to eat my fellow creatures. I think most people are more like me than my professor. But it’s hard! Mostly because, Professor Jenning’s cheeky usage aside, it’s hard to know what or who counts as a “fellow creature.” Most of us are ok with eating cows and chickens, but probably not chimpanzees or dolphins, and the reasoning for this usually relates to the closeness we feel to chimpanzees and dolphins, relative to cows and chickens. Are we right to feel this way? I’m not sure. I worry a lot about the cows and chickens.

I place the blame for this worry on Star Trek. I mean the old “Beam me down, Scotty,” kind of Star Trek. Often the Enterprise crew would beam down to a planet filled with hostile inhabitants with whom they could not communicate. The inhabitants often looked at the visitors like we might look at cows – as something to eat for breakfast. Captain Kirk’s job was to convince the hostile inhabitants that his crew members were not breakfast. And he had to do this without resorting to a shared language. Usually he communicated his lack of interest in being eaten by fighting back and trying to escape. He tried to communicate through his behavior that he had preferences for how his life went, and being killed and eaten were not among those preferences. So what about chickens and cows? I come from good Ukrainian farm stock, and was sent every summer to my aunt’s farm to help with, among other things, the care, feeding and eventual slaughtering of chickens. The

Our feathered friend was camera shy. No chickens were harmed during the shoot, Shari was however, slightly winded.


chickens were free range and had a pretty good life. Still, I became convinced that they’d rather not be slaughtered. As we corralled them into the slaughter shed, they seemed to know something was up. Even though we were the people who usually fed them, they ran away from us shrieking, not quite as stylishly as Bill Shatner, but still, they were clearly not happy. It might not have helped that their brothers and sisters (but mostly brothers) were flopping around them, headless and bloody. My aunt taught us to grab them by their feet and hang them upside down, tweaking their testicles. This would make them freeze stiffly into compliance. I have not participated in the slaughter of cows, but from the film clips I’ve seen, things don’t get any better, and in fact get substantially worse. So what if chickens and cows are our fellow creatures trying to communicate to us their preferences for living? And if we’re not sure if or what they are communicating, should we cut them some slack and not eat them, just in case? That’s what I’ve come to think. My husband disagrees. He is concerned, like many of us, about how most of our food animals are raised, but fortunately there are a number of great farms in the Willamette Valley where food animals are raised humanely, just like the chickens on my aunt’s farm. If the chickens or cows have had a good life, says my hubby, then he is ok with eating them. For him, chickens and cows deserve not to be tortured, as many factory farming methods seem to do, but they are not fellow creatures whose preferences for living we have to respect. So, if we can do it nicely, then it’s ok to kill and eat them. On weekends, if I am out of town, he pops down to the Corvallis Farmer’s market and buys a fresh chicken, then has some of the guys over for a feast. Of course he worries about whether chickens and cows can be killed without causing them undue pain and suffering. Ideally, I think he hopes the farmers sneak up on them individually under the cover of darkness… we can all hope.

A View of the Valley From P. 29

Agritourism can raise the profits of a farm up to 40% and that means sustainability for many of these families that want to keep their farms small and managable. Some of the farms started with a few things, like veggies and fruits and a few art pieces and found that the traffic they were getting enabled them to really showcase their skills. One farm on the trail created a studio to display art, than built a garden area which lead to selling veggie and seed starts which lead to building a green house and then to expanding to include a store for art and garden products. Often times, this type of opportunity is the difference between living the American Dream and loosing their investment in these down economic times. Inviting the public to visit the sites provides the business owners the chance to educate conusmers like me and you to the process of what goes into bringing you the delicious varieties of foods and products at the markets and in the local stores. Education is the key to creating a customer base that is loyal and appreciates the value of each item the receive. These folks, in turn, will spread the word to their friends and family creating a chain of marketing that you can’t pay for and is more effective than any other form of advertising. An educated consumer base leads to people who will advocate to protect the farm lands and encourage people to get invovled in land use legislation, enabling the community to come to gether for a common cause. This is vital in protecting our environment. The Oregon Trail system prides itself on a small footprint as well, using small signs, and encouraging people to buy local means cutting down carbon emmissions and packaging waste. We are happy to bring you a taste of the Valley in a way that will hopefully lead you to these places for more, like picking berries, you can’t stop at one and you must keep exploring for that perfect combination of soft, firm, juicy and tart that melts your soul.



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Willamette Living Premier Issue  

All about life in Oregon's most fertile region, the Willamette Valley.

Willamette Living Premier Issue  

All about life in Oregon's most fertile region, the Willamette Valley.