Lostine Builds on Local Flavor

August 10, 2015 (Updated June 1, 2017)
Backyard Gardens in Joseph grows salad greens, seasonal produce, herbs and flowers for the tavern. (Photo credit: Backyard Gardens, LLC)

The little town of Lostine (that’s la steen, not low stein, thank you.) has a farm-to-table mission might seem typical for Oregon. But this gastronomic outpost, set in the gorgeous backdrop of Wallowa County, is in a class by itself. With restaurants sourcing menus from local farms and ranches, Lostine pleases the palates of visitors (and locals) while sustaining family farms of the far northeast corner of Oregon. So it’s no wonder that after you sample Lostine’s flavor, you might find yourself wanting more. Take home a taste of Eastern Oregon from one of local farms and ranches.

Beef and Bison
At 6 Ranch in Enterprise, the mother-daughter team Liza Jane McAlister and Adele Nash raise big horned Corriente cattle, a hardy breed that can be traced back to the Spanish conquistadores. Order a share of grass-fed beef directly from the ranch, or stop by their honor system farm stand for honey, eggs, U-pick herbs and produce. The fourth generation in her family to produce cattle at Carman Ranch in Wallowa, Cory Carman raises Hereford and Angus cattle, both well suited to the rugged landscape. Buy a cow or pig share from Carman, and if you’d like to pay a visit to the ranch, give them a call. You can’t buy savory buffalo meat direct from Stangel Bison in Enterprise, but you can find it at New Seasons markets in Portland.

Garden Fresh
Backyard Gardens in Joseph grows salad greens, seasonal produce, herbs and flowers for the tavern. Those products are available at Wallowa County farmers markets June through October as well as local grocery stores. (And if you’re planning a party in the area, check out their catering business.) Prairie Creek Farm cultivates Oregon Tilth certified organic root veggies that grace the Lostine menu, including fall crops like potatoes, carrots and beets. Find them at the Portland Farmers Market at Portland State University, which runs year-round on Saturdays.

Chicken and Egg
At the Hawkins Sisters Ranch, siblings Jenny, Mary and Nora are the fourth generation in their family to farm along Bear Creek. If you liked the taste of their pasture-raised chicken on the Lostine menu, you can order your own poultry — Cornish Cross and Colored Broilers — as well as tasty free-range eggs. Web orders can be picked up in Portland.

There’s more plenty more to discover out in this corner of Oregon. M. Crow & Company General Store sells local produce, raw milk, grass fed meats and fresh eggs just down the street from the Lostine Tavern. For beer and spirits, Terminal Gravity Brewing in Enterprise and Mutiny Brewing Co. and Stein Distillery in Joseph of their own handcrafted signature beverages. All this and more awaits at the gateway the Wallowas.

About The

Eileen Garvin
Eileen Garvin lives and writes in Hood River. When she’s not hunched over her keyboard or digging in the garden, you can find her mountain biking, kiteboarding, hiking, skiing or camping somewhere in Oregon.