Tucked in the farmlands east of Eugene, Mike Satterstrom cultivates table grapes in a region better known for its wine grapes. And peaches. And blueberries. Really, anything except table grapes. Last autumn, I headed south to meet Mike and photograph the grapes and vineyard during an editorial photo shoot for the July/August 2018 issue of 1859 Magazine.
It was nearing the end of harvest and the leaves on the vines were transitioning from green to yellow, orange, and brown. Workers still had plenty to do, with grapes hanging in abundance from the trellises. The early morning fog was slowly giving way to the sunshine as we began to explore the farm.
Originally from California, Mike moved to Oregon with the intent to retire, but couldn’t resist planting table grapes when he saw that few others were growing them for the local market. Despite health issues and age, he was fueled by skeptics who thought it wouldn’t be possible.
He proudly showed me around his farm and invited me to try each type of grape he had available, varieties such as Jupiter, Lakemont, Interlaken, and Mars. Even though this editorial photo shoot took place nearly a year ago, I still remember the way those grapes tasted. Read more about Mike over on the 1859 website or in the latest issue.