Ideas for a Rainy Day in Oregon

Posted on Oct 22, 2014

Chanterelle Mushroom Foraging in Oregon

Rain brings Chanterelles to Oregon.

They call it the Pineapple Express — not the Judd Apatow comedy film, but rather the flood of rain that hits the Pacific Northwest this time of year. Known as an “atmospheric river,” the Pineapple Express has its origins in the typhoons of the Pacific islands, where a combination of warm temperatures, high humidity and low pressure creates a perfect storm of moisture that blows directly to Oregon.

These rainy days have finally arrived to Portland. Anyone who’s spent much time here knows that the grey, wet days can get a bit bleak and leave you a little stir crazy. But don’t despair! We’ve gathered our top ideas for a rainy day to help you make the most out of the moisture.

GO MUSHROOM HUNTING

Hand Forged Mushroom Foraging Knives by Oak's Bottom Forge

Oak’s Bottom Forge mushroom harvesting knives.


The Pacific Northwest is famous for its mushrooms. In fact, more of the iconic Golden Chanterelle Mushrooms are harvested in our coastal mountain range than from any other place on earth. It’s the rains that coax these delicious fungi fruits out of the earth, and now is precisely the right time to go looking! We can’t tell you exactly where to go (mushroom hunters are notoriously protective of their spots), but we can recommend David Aurora’s fabulous All The Rain Promises and More guide to mushrooms of the PNW, and the gorgeous hand-forged mushroom harvesting knives made by Oak’s Bottom Forge that we carry in the nursery.

TAKE A HOT BATH

Bath Salts, Kinfolk Journal and Tea for a rainy day

Bath salts, Kinfolk Journal and Tea for a rainy day.


The wet chill of the Pacific Northwest gets down to the bones. Nothing soothes the soul better on a rainy day than a long, hot bath. Light some candles, grab the latest Kinfolk Journal, and add some Portland Apothecary Mineral Salt Soak or Wolf’s Apothecary Beauty Bath for added aromatherapeutic and skin-healing benefits.

LEARN A NEW CRAFT

Weaving on a Lap Loom

Weaving on a lap loom makes a great project for a rainy day.


Rainy days provide the perfect reason to barricade yourself indoors and focus on something new. What new hobbies have you been meaning to pick up but haven’t found the time? We’re particularly excited about weaving on these Lap and Peg Looms, available in the nursery – it’s easy, fun and a great activity to do with kids. Need some guidance? Come take a terrarium building or kokedama string garden building workshop at Pistils!

SHOWER YOUR PLANTS

Shower your indoor plants on a rainy day

Rain helps shower and water indoor plants


It’s easy for tropical plants to accumulate an unsightly layer of dust on their leaves. Not only is the dust unattractive, it’s also harmful to the health of the plant: a layer of dust blocks sunlight, making it more difficult for plants to photosynthesize and get the energy they need to grow. Cleaning plants can be a chore, so why not let mother nature do it for you? On a rainy day, set plants outside for 30 minutes to an hour. They’ll get a thorough rinse, and as a bonus, the rain takes care of your weekly watering! Important: make sure the temperature is above 55 degrees, only set pots with drainage holes out in the rain to avoid overwatering.

GET TO THE GORGE

Punch Bowl Falls in the Columbia Gorge

The Columbia Gorge waterfalls shine in the rain.


The waterfalls don’t care that it’s raining. In fact, they’re thrilled! On the Oregon side alone, the Columbia River Gorge has 77 waterfalls, all within only 15 miles of one another! Fall and winter are among the best times to visit, since rain keeps most visitors away and the extra water has the falls looking their fullest. Plus, the old growth trees along the trails make for a good natural umbrella. Some of our favorites include Latourell falls, Triple Falls, and Punchbowl Falls (above).

PICK APPLES / MAKE CIDER

The NEw Cider Maker's Handbook

Learn to make Cider.


Apples are bountiful this time of year, and cider is all the rage. Nothing beats hot cider to warm your chilly body, or hard cider to ease the creak of your bones. The New Cider Maker’s Handbook, available in the nursery, has everything you need to know to take the process from start to finish.

FORTIFY YOUR IMMUNE SYSTEM

Sweet Honey Farmacy Tinctures and Bee Local Honey

Tinctures and Raw Honey are a recipe for health.


After a long day of exploration and play in the rain, it’s important to remember self care. Our immune systems become weakened with the changing of the seasons, wet air and lack of sun. Besides plenty of rest and water, we recommend homeopathic supplements, like Sweet Honey Farmacy’s Fire Cider, Mineral Tonic and Grounding Elixer, available in the nursery. Try adding a splash to a mug of hot tea with Bee Local honey, especially if you’re susceptible to seasonal allergies.

We hope these ideas help you beat the winter doldrums. What are some of your favorite things to do on rainy days? Share with us in the comments!

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