Hood River County Fruit Loop History

Hood River County OrchardThe Hood River County Fruit Loop was organized in 1992 and printed its first map in 1993. Our mission is to promote sustainable agricultural diversity in Hood River County through the promotion of the products of Fruit Loop member via on-farm sales, organized retail opportunities, marketing and public relations campaigns, and educational forums that create public awareness to ensure the preservation of Hood River County’s rich agricultural heritage for generations to come. The Fruit Loop concept was developed and promoted by Kaye White, owner of River Bend Farm & Country Store. Apple Hill, which is located approximately an hour from Sacramento, was the model from which the Fruit Loop was developed. Apple Hill's season is packed with tour buses and cars searching for apples and pies. The organization began in 1964 with 16 ranchers and today the map boasts 45 members.

White and with Thom Nelson of the Hood River Grower & Shipper Association wrote an Ag Development grant that was used to fund both the first local Hood River Farmers Market and the first Fruit Loop map. Subsequent grant funding of the Fruit Loop was provided by the Hood River Chamber of Commerce Visitor Council.

In 1995, White organized the Fruit Loop’s first ag-oriented event called Gravenstein Apple Days. The event began as a fundraiser for the Hood River Senior Center, but after three years they withdrew due to lack of volunteers. At the time the first Gravenstein Apple Days event began, many Hood River farms were pulling up their Gravenstein apple trees due to a lack of market. Since then, many farms have replanted their trees and are once again benefiting from the demand created by the event.

Due to the immediate success of the first Gravenstein Apple Days, the Fruit Loop added a second event in July called Cherry Days. This event was also immediately successful, so over time, two additional events were added—one in September for pears and another in October for apples.

 
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