As I drive up the gravel road, a woodland fairy ducks under a mushroom cap. I stop in front of the 1930s Oregon farmhouse and take a moment to roll down my windows. As I breath deeply, the faint fragrance of lilies floats into my car while the sound of a trickling stream fills my ears. A night in a farm-to-table bed and breakfast awaits and by the look of the gardens, I will sample vegetables of every color.
North Fork 53, an organic bed-and-breakfast in Nehalem, Oregon, is named after the North Fork River that runs next to the homestead and Oregon Route 53 that leads to the beach. Nestled in the forested hills 9 miles east of the beach town, Manzanita, it offers quiet seclusion on a four-acre property brimming with vegetable and edible flower gardens.
An Organic Bed and Breakfast Near the Oregon Coast
As I walk to the front door, a dog lifts his head to welcome us. My kids stop to scratch his neck as I poke my head through the front door and find Ginger Edwards, North Fork 53’s general manager, cutting vegetables in the kitchen.
After our hellos, Ginger grabs her willow basket and we head out for a farm tour. Walking over an iron trestle bridge and down a back road, we arrive at her three-acre farm brimming with organic vegetables.
As we move from row to row picking vegetables for dinner, Ginger talks about her vegetable varieties and farming techniques. Grabbing garlic, tomatoes and basil for the pizza sauce and zucchini and onions for the toppings, Ginger fills her basket as I stop and smell a tomato vine.
Farm-to-Table with the R-evolution Gardens
What started in 2008 as a half-an-acre of soggy soil and a dream, Ginger’s farm now encompasses three acres and supplies 65 members of a community supported agriculture (CSA) group with weekly farm boxes from May until October. Ginger cultivates her land in the kindest possible way with mindful intention. The soil health is critical to the harvest and it’s worked with hand tools.
Ginger opens a farm store on the weekends stocked with local meats, cheeses and of course her vegetables. For the gardeners in the community, she sells vegetable plants. R-evolution Gardens also supplies local restaurants with produce along with local farmers markets.
My Stay at North Fork 53
North Fork 53 Bed and Breakfast ($125 per bedroom, $500 for the entire house) sits on four acres with 40-year-old fruit trees and a whimsical pottage-style garden. Ginger sprinkled art and repurposed everyday objects throughout the vegetables and edible flowers to the delight of myself and my kids.
The nasturtiums climb though a turquoise antique bed frame adding pops of color like a firecracker. The calendula stands erect like a flower foot soldier as pink rose blossoms nod their heavy heads.
A wide front porch welcomes guests. Inside I find an open floor plan with a living and dining room. My kids find the stack of board games as I make my way to the beverage bar. Ginger has a selection of teas and hot water at the ready for an afternoon cup.
North Fork 53 originally operated as a small dairy farm, part of the Tillamook Dairy cooperative. Built in the 1930s, the house features original windows and floors along with a vintage claw foot tub. The four-bedroom house is ideal for a multi-generational family traveling together.
North Fork 53 offers a downstairs bedroom outfitted with a king bed and a twin. In the adjoining bathroom, I found an original claw foot bathtub along with a vanity sink. Upstairs, I found three additional woodland-themed bedrooms that share a restroom with a separate shower room.
I stayed at North Fork 53 in July.
Breakfast is Served at North Fork 53
I’m an early riser, using the quiet time before the kids wake up to write. When I walked into the dining room and found hot water ready for a quick cup of tea, I felt a burst of creativity energy. I see why writers flock to North Fork 53 during the winter.
After a cup of tea and an hour of work, Ginger came in and set the table with a collection of floral napkins that reminded me of my Grandmother. Fresh coffee and cream found its way to the beverage bar along with fresh-squeezed orange juice served in Mason jars.
I rounded up my kids and the other guests joined us for yogurt parfaits served with locally-made granola and fresh local yogurt; the Nehalem River valley is dairy country. Topped with fresh peaches from the orchard with a raspberry and mint leaf garnish, my parfait was a little cup of heaven served in a pint-sized Mason jar.
I would have been satisfied with the parfait but Ginger came into the dining room and set down another plate. Before me, I found a Greek yogurt waffle with blueberry sauce tumbling over it like lava. A couple of orange nasturtiums from the front garden garnished my plate and my pat of butter even had its own borage flower. My plate delighted my eyes as well as my palette.
Activities around North Fork 53
The Oregon Coast offers families miles of beaches to explore. Cannon Beach hits everyone’s to-do list beaches but all the beaches along U.S. 101 offer treasures, like tide pools.
For the National Park families, my kids loved the Lewis and Clark National Historical Park in Astoria. It features a replica of Fort Clatsop where the Corps of Discovery spent the winter of 1805.
My kids, 8, 12 and 13 played bare-footed on the lawn next to the North Fork River until their feet turned green. If your family needs some unplugged time to reconnect, North Fork 53 provides that opportunity.
Tips from a TravelingMom:
- Box lunches and dinner is available if arranged at the time of reservation.
- If you are short on time, a quick grab-and-go breakfast can be arranged.
- Ginger or the chef will arrange when breakfast is served ahead of time. The menu changes daily according to availability.
- Seasonal foraging tours are available, like fall mushroom foraging.
- Roosevelt Elk can be found on the property and lots of song birds nest nearby.
- Tour Tillamook Cheese factory or stop by one of the numerous farmers markets in the area.
- North Fork 53 offers complimentary Wi-Fi, though cell service can be spotty for some carriers.