Oregon is Fertile Ground for Valentine’s Products
Valentine’s Day is next week, and Oregonians won’t have to look far to find ideas for how to express their love. Few states offer as many locally produced products associated with Valentine’s.
Let’s start with the most traditional Valentine’s gift of all: flowers. Greenhouse and nursery crops are Oregon’s second-largest agricultural product, based on dollar value, with production of almost $900 million in 2015. Oregon is tied with New Jersey for the third largest flower-producing state, and roses - the signature Valentine’s flower - are our specialty.
Truth in advertising: Most flowers this time of year come from South America. But, the rose’s impact on the state’s image exceeds its financial contribution. The state’s largest city, Portland, is known as the Rose City. Visitors come from around the world to see the International Rose Test Garden in Portland. The annual Rose Festival, capped by the Grand Floral Parade, is Portland’s signature civic event. Oregon also is home to tulip, dahlia, lavender, and rhododendron festivals in the spring.
Perhaps the love of your life prefers chocolate. Oregon is not the nation’s leading chocolate producer. Pennsylvania, home to the ubiquitous Hershey brand, owns that honor. But locally produced chocolate is easy to find. In fact, Travel Oregon compiled a guide to Oregon specialty chocolate companies and the annual Oregon Chocolate Festival is just a few weeks away. It will be held March 3-5 in Ashland.
Oregon also is a top producer of cherries and hazelnuts, which pair well with chocolate in candies. And if you want to give a healthy fruit basket as a gift, few states produce as many fruits in large volume as Oregon does. In addition to cherries, the state has significant commercial production of apples, pears, plums, strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, and blueberries.
If you prefer a romantic evening out, Oregon offers a multitude of romantic locations and top-flight restaurants. And wherever you celebrate, you likely can find world-renowned Oregon wine on the menu. Several wineries host events on the weekends before and after Valentine’s.
In short, if you live in Oregon and can’t get Valentine’s right, you don’t have any excuse.