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The Rogue Valley food trail, explore southern oregon, things to do in medford, sustainability, national farmers day
By Emily Hunter | 10/15/2021 | Artisan Foods, Attractions, Brewery & Distilleries, Coffee & Tea Houses, Dining, Family, Family Eateries, Farmers Markets, Fruit & Vegetable Stands, Grocery, Grocery, Guides & Tours, Jacksonville, Things to Do, Wine

DISCOVER AWARD-WINNING FOOD ALONG THE ROGUE VALLEY FOOD TRAIL

You want holistic, delicious food, and you want to support local businesses, but you don’t know where to start? Look no further than the Rogue Valley Food Trail

Farmers are imperative to the agricultural legacy of Southern Oregon. National Farmer’s Day was on Oct 12, providing much-deserved praise to the hard-working farmers across the nation. What better way to celebrate and support local farmers than to discover and indulge in the wonders of their work?

Established in 2019, the Rogue Valley Food Trail was created for you to discover the diverse farms, artisans, and restaurants in Southern Oregon. This self-guided tour features growers and crafters committed to sustainable practices and supporting the agricultural legacy of the region. With several options and themed routes, you are bound to discover your new favorite place or places around the valley.

Begin your journey on the first food trail: Jacksonville to Applegate Valley. Start the day off right with a crafted cup of locally roasted coffee from Goodbean Coffee. Then, a fresh, nutritious, farm-to-table prepared meal awaits at Jefferson Farm Kitchen. Simply place your order and pick up a ready-to-eat meal featuring the best of Southern Oregon’s bounty to take with you.

After your delicious breakfast, pick up some organic goods at Rogue Artisan Foods self-serve farm stand, and learn from farmers how small farms operate. From there, Whistling Duck Farm offers fresh produce and fermented veggies for you to enjoy.

Then, head to Oshala Farm for a tour of more than 75 varieties of certified organic medicinal and culinary herbs. The owners, Jeff and Elise, love to personally take small groups on free guided tours through the farm to talk about the ins and outs of herb farming. Depending on what time of year you visit, you’ll see the nursery, fields in flower, and / or harvesting.

Pair the goodies you’ve picked up along the trail with house-made charcuterie and cheese at Wooldridge Creek Vineyard and Creamery. Plan for a beautiful lunch with a picnic on the grass, sipping the newest vintage, and taking in stunning views of the verdant valley.

After lunch, take a breather by exploring the many shops, or nearby hiking trails along the Jacksonville Woodlands. Parched? Head across the street to the beautiful Troon Vineyard to enjoy a sampling of biodynamic wines, crafted just for you. Dedicated to regenerative agriculture, this winery hosts some of the oldest vines in the Rogue Valley and is sure to please your palate.

What a day! As you make your way toward Grants Pass, pop into Pennington Farms to sample hand-crafted jams and pick up some of their fresh, artisan baked goods. End your day with an award-winning selection of deserts at Super Natural Chocolate Co. Choose from a variety of raw confections or hot (and cold) chocolate drinks, and feel your taste buds thanking you for a wonderful day supporting local farmers, and trying delectable foods.

Is there a better way to start the day than with a fresh biscuit the size of your face? Buttercloud Bakery & Café is a local Medford favorite where the scratch baked goods are seemingly endless. Then it’s off to Fry Family Farm. At the farm store, you can find a wide variety of organic produce, potted plants, fresh cut flowers and gifts for the folks back home. 

Next, get on the highway and enjoy the scenic drive to Grants Pass. First stop, Wild River & Brewing Company. Complete with a collection of famous pizzas and handcrafted brews, you are sure to enjoy a delectable lunch. On Saturdays, the Grants Pass Growers Market is a hub for the region’s fruit, vegetables, pastries and farm products. Take your time strolling through the aisles, chatting with the local producers, and pick up a goody or two.

Next, you’re in for a real treat at Fort Vannoy Farms, a 500-acre, third generation working farm. Though this family favorite is known for its fall harvest festival, corn maze and pumpkin patch, it truly is a year-round hit.

End your day at Daily Blessings Farm. Specializing in produce, poultry and fresh flowers, you are sure to find something you fancy at this lovely farm. Not only will you leave with your grocery baskets full, but you will also find that their educational programming is what makes a trip to this farm special for the whole family. From composting with worms to learning about essential oils for kids, this will be an evening well spent.

Harry & David, vendor for heart of the rogue, HOTR, vendors, participating vendors

This trip starts at Oregon’s best little rest stop – the Central Point Artisan Corridor. First stop: Rogue Creamery where Rogue River Blue holds the title of “World’s Best Cheese”. Next door, Lillie Belle’s array of chocolatey treats are guaranteed to satisfy any taste buds. Taste for yourself why they’ve been chosen as one of "America’s Top 10 Chocolatiers" by Dessert Professional magazine for 2009. Also, next door lies Ledger David Cellars, where you can pair your chocolate and cheese with some fine wine.

 The seasonal Rogue Valley Growers & Crafters Market in Medford offers local organic produce, unique crafts and artisan foods. From there, stop in for lunch and a tasting at Immortal Spirits and Distilling Company. This local distillery has been making handcrafted spirits from scratch for more than 10 years. Down the street is Harry & David, one of Southern Oregon’s most popular purveyors of gourmet foods. Grab a treat, a local favorite is Moose Munch, and then check out Dunbar Farms, a 110-year-old family owned farm specializing in organic produce and stone-milled flours. There you'll also find the farm and farm stand, vineyard and tasting room.

Make your way south toward Ashland with a stop at EdenVale Winery, situated on one of the oldest orchards in the Rogue Valley. The Oregon Cheese Cave is just down the road, carrying a selection from all over the world, with an Oregon focus.

Lithia Springs Resort & Wine Garden offers lodging, complete with in-room soaking tubs that run water from natural hot springs. If you’re just passing through, the Wine Garden offers an intimate and fun wine tasting experience. For dinner, Larks Home Kitchen Cuisine, located in the landmark Ashland Springs Hotel, serves up seasonal fare with a focus on locally sourced ingredients.

A quick jaunt east takes you to Willow-Witt Ranch. This 445-acre working ranch makes for the perfect end to a day of exploration with accommodations nestled in a valley within the Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument. For a true farm stay, overnight guests have the option to participate in daily farm activities from egg-gathering, milking and goat herding to working in the vegetable garden.

Agriculture is a true staple of importance on the Rogue Valley. Farmers and crafters have shaped and supported the valley for more than 100 years. Visit and celebrate the growers and crafters during the harvest season – your taste buds will thank you!

Find a physical copy of the Rogue Valley Food Trail at Travel Medford’s Visitor Information Center, or download a brochure here.

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