Pubdate: Thu, 09 Jun 2016
Source: Portland Mercury (OR)
Column: Cannabuzz
Copyright: 2016 The Portland Mercury
Author: Josh Jardine


A Look at the Cannabis-Friendly North Fork 53 Homestead

IN A FUTURE COLUMN, we'll take a closer look at the seemingly 
schizophrenic rules being issued by city and state agencies that are 
making it damn near impossible to find anyplace outside your home to 
consume cannabis. (Spoiler alert: It's not going to be a feel-good 
column.) But for now, let's talk about something that will be a 
feel-good experience, namely the multifaceted gem North Fork 53, just 
down the road a piece on Highway 53 by Manzanita.

I'm embarrassed to say that I've been aware of this spot for some 
time, and had received numerous invites to attend their 
groundbreaking dinner pairings of cannabis and food for months. 
(Thanks, Stephanie!) But as my endlessly patient girlfriend will tell 
you, shutting down my work long enough to get out of town happens 
with the frequency of solar eclipses. (Apparently "Workaholics for 
Weed" is a real thing.)

This mistake was corrected recently with a trip out to the property, 
located on the Nehalem River, where you will find a lovingly restored 
and updated 1930s farmhouse and barn that serves as a weekend 
farmers' market. It all sits on four riverfront acres, where organic 
produce and more herbs than I can list are grown and sold from the 
barn, and used in their dinner pairings.

The one plant missing from the garden is cannabis. A rotating 
collection of local organic growers provides two strains at a time to 
North Fork 53, which are presented to you as an option for your bed 
and breakfast with dinner package. Obviously, I selected this option, 
and was presented with a handcrafted wooden platter that held two 
small glass jars with the two featured strains, Tangie Banana and 
Black Betty, both from Gnome Grown. There was a PAX 2 vaporizer, a 
grinder, lighter, hemp wick string, and papers, in addition to a 
glass duff jar for spent vape.

This attention to detail carries over to every aspect of the 
experience. The scenery is so vibrant and stunning as to appear CG. 
The four bedrooms are all hip without selling out any of the charm 
and detail of the house's original bones.

We were given the option of partaking on the wraparound deck, 
portions of which overlook the Nehalem River. Although a mere 15 
minutes from Manzanita, I could have been a million miles away. The 
other option was to vape at the dining table while we ate. Yes, please.

The featured strains are given CSI-like treatment by the chef, who 
uses years of skills to match the terpene scents and tastes to the 
food menu, which is filled with organic produce produced onsite.

I'm not someone who Instagrams their lunch (you shouldn't either), 
but I was sorely tempted as our three courses arrived, flawlessly 
presented with a detailed explanation of why the chef made these 
pairings. We puffed the selected strain, and dove into the following:

Salad of mixed greens, arugula flowers, golden raisins, orange, sweet 
and sour radish, coriander vinaigrette, citrus herb goat cheese, and 
toasted walnut breadcrumbs. (Also toasted: me, vaping the Tangie Banana.)

Parsley ricotta gnocchi, parmesan mushroom reduction, chive oil, 
charred baby beets, turnips and baby carrots, shaved parmesan, thyme 
flowers, chive blossom. These all worked in perfect tandem with the 
Black Betty's pungent woodsy tastes.

Spiced rhubarb cobbler, cardamom rose whip cream. (Your new favorite 
thing: that whipped cream.)

The dinner is offered as an occasional special event, but anyone can 
have the same experience with a three-course breakfast. You request 
the "Coastal Cannabis Package," which adds a mere $100 to your tab, 
absurdly affordable for the setting and amenities included.

There are no televisions, but there is a pleasant sense of peace as 
you slow down and take in the rhythm of a working farm. The 
all-too-rare chance to enjoy cannabis in the same manner as I would a 
craft beer, wine, or cocktail-without being made to feel a 
second-class citizen-was refreshing and very much needed. All less 
than 75 miles from my home in Goose Hollow. Highly recommended. (Shut up.)

North Fork 53, 77282 Hwy 53, Nehalem,
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MAP posted-by: Jay Bergstrom