New flavors are coming to Downtown Camas! To bring some extra culinary excitement to the community in September, participating downtown restaurants will be offering Fair Food Week from September 4th – 11th and The Secret Menu Event from September 15th – 30th

Fair Food Week:

Since Camas Days and the Clark County Fair couldn’t happen this year, Downtown Camas restaurants are offering nostalgic and much-missed fair foods and treats on their menus for a full week starting on First Friday, 9/4. Funnel cakes, mini corn dogs, ice cream, caramel apples, cannolis just to name a few. There will even be cotton candy margaritas and Smoked BBQ ice cream to add unique twists to traditional fair options.

“We’re wanting to bring some fun and unique dining options to downtown and add a little extra zest to late summer,” says Carrie Schulstad, Executive Director of the Downtown Camas Association. “We have amazing restaurants and coffee houses that are working so hard to serve the community during these challenging times. We want to take advantage of the good dining weather and we truly hope people enjoy all the food options and have fun with it. You can have something new to try every day in September!”

The Liberty Theatre will also be serving their famous popcorn on First Friday and Saturday (9/4 – 9/5from 5-8pm and Caps N’ Taps will kick off the Fair Food Week with free fair games out front of their taproom during the evening. Cedar Street Bagel Co will be selling “Clark County Fair” scent candle wax melts with notes of cotton candy, funnel cakes and deep fried twinkies.

Fair Food Week participating restaurants and offerings:

  • A Beer At A Time – Giant pizza by the slice and giant pretzels with beer cheese and stone ground mustard
  • Adams Street Bar & Grill – Ribs with beans and Pulled Pork Mac & Cheese
  • Caffe Piccolo – Nachos (with jalapenos or salsa)
  • Cake Happy – Cake in a Jar, ice cream sandwiches, caramel apples
  • Cedar Street Bagel Co. – Peach hand pies and organic lemonade made with lemonade-ice cubes (add mango or blackberry as desired!) 
  • Feast 316 – Smoked BBQ ice cream with corn flake crusted chicken tenderloins
  • Grains of Wrath – Cotton Candy Margaritas
  • Hidden River Roasters – Cold brew floats, root beer floats
  • Liberty Theatre – Popcorn served First Friday and Saturday (9/4 – 9/5from 5-8pm
  • Mesa – Churro fried ice cream with chile infused caramel and Mexican spiced chocolate topping options
  • Mill City Brew Werks – Mini corn dogs, funnel cakes, churro-doughnuts
  • Natalia’s Cafe – Candied bacon on a stick
  • Salud Wine Bar & Italian Restaurant – Mini cannolis, zeppole (filled Italian donuts)
  • Squeeze and Grind – Chocolate malt milk and Oreo cookie shakes
  • Tommy O’s at the Camas Hotel –  2 offerings: Kalua pork loaded fries all week and Malasadas (Hawaiian donuts similar to elephant ear flavors) on Saturday 9/5 from 10am-2pm

For all the details, visit or


The Secret Menu Event:

For two weeks starting 9/15, participating Downtown Camas restaurants will offer secret menu items. Just ask for the secret menu offering and it will be a surprise until it is brought to your table. Items will be available for takeout as well. The goal is to bring new flavors, fun engagement for customers and some culinary adventure to the community.

Secret Menu Event participating restaurants:

  • A Beer at a Time
  • Cake Happy
  • Feast 316
  • Grains of Wrath
  • Nuestra Mesa
  • Mill City Brew Werks
  • Natalia’s Cafe
  • Salud Wine Bar & Italian Restaurant
  • Tommy O’s at the Camas Hotel

For all the details, visit or

Wednesday afternoons in Camas are special during the warmer summer months because of our Camas Farmer’s Market. It’s a weekly event booked on my iPhone calendar as I look forward to greeting local farmers, florists, and vendors because everyone is so friendly, the fresh produce and products are treated with care, and its organizers work so hard to make it all happen.

The farmer’s market is a non-profit that has grown over the years to a successful seasonal enterprise that is typically filled with live music, food vendors, farmers, and other merchants who are dedicated to serving fresh food and a fun time. For years, typically, the market has fun events to entertain kids and tables to sit and relax. For years, it’s typically been a well-attended activity.

Then the virus hit.

At first, the City of Camas was reluctant to issue a permit for the market to event start in 2020 given the corona virus. But, after much lobbying and demonstrating they could do this safely, farmer’s market organizers made it work, and they opened in June, about a month later than planned.

Does the market resemble what it typically looks like? Kinda.

The booths are physically spaced, the traffic is re-routed to maintain personal space. Face masks are required, and there are just 15 vendors.


But its heart is still there.

The hard-working farmers, bee keepers, florists, picante sauce makers, and sweet treat specialists are there each week ready to serve you quality food. And, even though attendance is lower, the market organizers say the vendors are making more money this year than in years past.

The typical food vendors aren’t there out of respect to the existing downtown Camas restaurants who hav

It’s an event I enjoy. I love greeting farmers and buying up strawberries, blueberries, zucchini, cauliflower, beets, carrots, applies, and peaches. It’s a weekly bounty for which I am very grateful.

The Camas Farmer’s Market is open each Wednesday from 3-7 pm on 4th Avenue in front of the Camas Public Library. Pay them a visit, buy some fresh produce, flowers or treats, and tell them THANK YOU.

Sincerely, Ernie, the Editor and Publisher.

Lots of fresh produce.

Tommy O’s at the Camas Hotel is offering a new Happy Hour menu now, and it includes some fan favorites like the Kalua Pork Quesadilla.

Tommy O’s, which has stayed open throughout the pandemic with takeout and delivery services, has resumed dine-in service while meeting all COVID-19 state-mandated safety guidelines. They also offer outdoor seating.

Happy Hour is from 2-5 pm Monday through Saturday, and the HH menu comprises the following:

  • Kalua Pork Quesadilla: $5
  • Coconut Crunchy Shrimp: $6
  • Meatballs: $5
  • Kalua Pork Sliders: $5
  • Caesar Salad: $5
  • French Fries: $4

Happy Hour drinks:

  • HH White Wine: $5
  • HH Red Wine: $5
  • HH Tap Beer: $5
  • HH Cocktail: $5

Tommy O’s at the Camas Hotel is located at 401 NE 4th Avenue, Camas, WA 98607.

Visit to order takeout.

Phone: 360.833.0115

Coconut Crunch Shrimp.

Several miles into the scenic Washougal River Road drive you come to Hughes Road, make a left turn, and discover the stunning Jamie’s Dahlias gardens tucked away along rolling hills and rich evergreen trees. With its neatly planted rows, this nearly acre-sized flower farm provides a needed respite from a world beleaguered with a pandemic and the continued stress that ensues.

It’s the new, local destination to cut your favorite dahlia flowers and fill your home or office with brilliant colors.

Jamie Smith, the garden’s namesake, and Fort Vancouver High School health teacher, is there to greet you while her two young sons plow the earth with toy John Deere tractors and her husband, Kerry, tends to the grounds. 

This is the first year, even the first month of operation for this young farm, the successor to Bob and Linda’s dahlia farm that closed recently. 

“We officially opened August 1,” said Jamie. “It’s technically a U-cut business. People come and cut the flowers they want. We spend a lot of time in the seedling garden where we create new varieties. We have 220 named varieties to choose from here.”

Jamie and Kerry have spent months, even years planning for this project, learning and experiencing everything the world of dahlias brings. Jamie explains the tuber is what gives you the same dahlia each year, but if you take the flower and mix tiny sprouts from the various seed heads of the dahlia flower, you can get some great varieties. 

She said a tuber looks like a potato and it will grow. 

“They will grow all these new plants below, and you sit there with a pair of scissors and then separate them, then store them over the winter,” Jamie said. “I store them in vermiculite, which is a thick powder, and keeps the moisture away from the dahlia.”

A lot of the dahlia tubers are from other dahlia farms in the area, which have been delicately maintained through the winter months. 

“The Portland Dahlia Society has given me a lot of tips when it comes to dahlia dividing and storage,” said Jamie. “Some people dip their dahlias in sulfur or cinnamon. Others store them in wood chips or Saran Wrap. This is my first year growing them, and we put them in the ground in the Spring. The original one that’s planted is thrown away, but the tuber below under ground can yield up to 10 plants. We sell individual tubers, as well.” 


When do you start planting? 

“In March you wake them up and put them in a greenhouse,” Jamie said. “We got the back half planted in April. Maintenance includes lots and lots of weeding. If you use the regular garden hoe you can damage the roots and the plants. We have to weed daily.”

Why a dahlia farm?

“Six years ago I went on my first date with Kerry and we stopped at Linda’s dahlias and he gave me this huge massive bouquet,” she said. “That farm is three miles down the road. I didn’t know much about dahlias until then, but was impressed by the bouquet. It became our thing to walk the dahlia fields and explore. We have seven acres here, and we think we have about one acre of dahlias.” 

Jamie and Kerry planted 2,800 dahlias in the ground, and 2,600 plants came up. The planting lasted four straight days from sunrise to sunset because it’s best to plant them all at the same time.

Getting to the gardens is just a 16-minute drive from Camas, and it makes for a nice, local escape into another beautiful location.

Jamie’s Dahlias is open daily 9 am-6 pm at 704 Hughes Rd. Washougal, WA 98671. You can also find them on Facebook (Jamie’s Dahlias) and Instagram (@Jamiesdahlias)

A look at some of the gardens.
From the Tomo variety.

Salud Wine Bar continues their third anniversary celebration this week by holding over the Pasta special, due to high demand. Also what’s a better celebratory smoked meat than Prime Rib? Wait until you try Tony’s special twist.

Please make reservations: or call 360-787-2583.

Following are this week’s (August 10th) Dining Specials at Salud: (Full Menu always available as well Wednesday through Saturday)

Each Dish is Available for Take Out/To GO.

Italian Dining Special – Served Wednesday thru Saturday while supplies last:

Penne alla Vodka – A fantastic and authentic Italian cuisine that I (Tony) love!. Like its name suggests, this is a pasta dish made with Vodka and Penne pasta. It is prepared with Garlic, Prosciutto, Tomatoes, and finished with my own Vodka/Cream/Parmesan Sauce. .Accompanied with our Salud Side Salad and House made Bread $15.00

Saturday Smoked Meat (served Saturday while supplies last):

This Saturday, Salud will be serving their wonderful, juicy, Prime Rib. First, they take the Roast and deep season it with fresh roasted garlic and rosemary. They then coat and rub with celery salt and pepper, and then it’s smoked for hours with a sweet cherry mesquite wood mix, smoked to a nice medium rare to hold all the juices in. Meal is served with Roasted Baby Potatoes and Mini Carrots, House made Au Jus, and for a kick, horseradish. Meal also comes with the Salud Side Salad and House made Bread. All this for $25.00 – You may want to get reservations in ASAP, when it’s sold out, it’s sold out.

Don’t forget, they ALWAYS have Wine Specials each week!!

Reservations are recommended for any of these specials. Please let them know when making reservations if you’d like one of these specials and which one.

Lastly, Please help us by practicing proper CDC guidelines. Salud asks that you please wear a mask into our establishment, and wear it anytime you aren’t seated. Also please use hand sanitizer and practice proper social distancing.

Penne Alla Vodka

This is Part 2 of our Being Prepared series, which focuses on water storage. Provident Living provides some great insight on being prepared.

Do you have enough water stored for you and your family in the event of an emergency? If so, is it stored properly? Adults need to drink at least two quarts of water each day. There are four quarts in a gallon. And, if you add in other needs, such a water for cooking, cleaning, etc. you really need one gallon per day per person. Children, nursing mothers, and ill people may need more. Additional water is needed for food preparation and hygiene—for a total of one gallon per adult per day. Experts recommend storing a two-week supply as a minimum. For an adult, that’s 14 gallons (53 liters).

A gallon of water weighs about 8.3 pounds. Water is not easy to transport because it is so heavy. That means your emergency water plan should account for that.

Keep these items in mind when you are planning. For example, you may want to put a gallon of water per day in your 72-hour kit. But, that will weigh about 25 pounds. Are you and your children strong enough? Will it even fit?

How do we do this? An approach

Here is an approach to water storage. The Ready Store says you need to have three ways of getting to clean water:

1. Store water. Every shelter-in-place supply should have water storage. A small word of caution: Don’t try to go cheap on your water storage. Buy a food grade water storage container like a 55, 30 or 5 gallon container and use that. Don’t fill up your old juice bottles or your old milk jugs. They’ll crack more easily and they’re not designed for long term storage.

The barrels and water containers are not very expensive and when the time comes that you need the water, you will be glad you stored water you can actually use. Also, have a variety of sizes of storage containers. Don’t just have a 55 gallon barrel that you never move and never clean out or fill up. Use smaller, easier to transport containers like a 5 gallon stackable.

2. Have a portable water filter. If you do have the water stored but you are not sure if it is safe or you come across water in an emergency and you don’t know if it is safe, portable water filters are extremely handy and will allow you to clean suspect water that you come into contact with and make it drinkable.

These portable micro filters will remove bacteria and protozoa from the water, but won’t kill viruses. If you have a stream, lake, pond, river or well by your house; you will be able to clean the water from those sources using these filters. Each filter will clean up to 500 gallons of water. That is nearly ten 55 gallon drums worth of water. They are also great for camping or hiking.

3. Have water purification tablets. These are very handy to have around and a small bottle will chemically treat up to 25 quarts of water. They work fairly quickly (typically in less than a half an hour) and will kill bacteria, protozoa and viruses.

Remember that if you don’t have any of these three things, you can still clean water by boiling it. As a matter of fact, boiling is most effective way to clean water except it won’t take out the floaties like a filter will. The problem with boiling water to drink is it uses a lot of fuel that you may not want to use for that purpose. Also, don’t forget to have portable water pouches in your emergency supplies. They have a 5 year shelf life and are very handy to have around.


According to, water storage containers should be thoroughly washed and should be airtight and resistant to breakage. Plastic soda bottles are commonly used. If the water has been treated with chlorine by a water utility, you do not need to add anything before storing it. If the water is not chlorinated and is clear, add eight drops of household bleach (5 percent sodium hypochlorite) per gallon. If the water is not chlorinated and is cloudy, add 16 drops per gallon. Seal the containers tightly, date them, and store them in a cool, dark place. Since many containers are clear, and light can permeate them, you may want to cover them or store them in dark plastic bags. Replace water every six months.

Other water sources in your home include the water heater and water remaining in the pipes, but in the event of contamination, this water would need to be purified. Having ready, potable water available for immediate use is one of the most important ways to help your family be prepared for an emergency.

If more families and homes are prepared for an emergency that places less burden on local governments and first responders.

Water storage containers.

It’s a flower shop, a bar, and a place to have a delectable dinner. Meet Acorn and The Oak, which is fully operational after undergoing a major renovation, construction delays, and the challenges of the coronavirus pandemic.

It’s an entirely new building set in the exact footprint of the former Lakeside Chalet on Everett Road in Camas, and offers an escape from the challenges of life. 

Acorn and The Oak is a place to eat scratch-made supper club food served among the flowers featuring artisan cheese & charcuterie, fresh salads, tasty bites and sweets, and scratch-made entrees using local, seasonal goodness — and you can dine in the bar, the main dining area, or outside at the patio overlooking Lacamas Lake.

It’s an unusual combination of floral shop, bar, and restaurant, but it works, and is the concept of owners Janessa and Chuck Stoltz, who married in 2017, bought the Lakeside Chalet in 2019, and realized their dream earlier this year.

“It was Chuck’s idea a couple years ago,” said Janessa. “I was a social media manager for another company and I was just miserable and didn’t know what to do with my life, then Chuck said ‘You need to open a floral shop.’” I told him ‘I’ve already done that.’”

“Then he said well ‘let’s put a bar in it and I’ll quit my job and do it with you.’ So right then we started looking for places.”

After purchasing the property, it took about 18 months to complete the renovation given the obstacles of converting an old building to meet modern city codes.

“It was a major, major overhaul,” said Janessa. “We even found fuel tanks underneath the parking lot that we had to remediate. There were a lot of surprises. We had to gut the whole building.”

Osso Bucco entree at Acorn and The Oak.

The Food

Acorn and The Oak serves French American comfort food with some Mediterranean and Italian influences.

“We have a lot of shareable starters,” said Janessa. “Lots of smaller plates, like tapas and we encourage people to order a couple of things.”

Featured entrees include Chef David’s Hearty Bolognese, Grilled Wild Sockeye Salmon, and Osso Bucco. Each weekend, they have supper specials.

“It’s the type of place where you come to sit for an evening, for two-and-a-half hours,” said Chef David Haight. “It’s that supper club vibe where you’re not coming to simply eat and drink, you’re coming to socialize with your friends and family. You lose track of time here.” 

Acorn and the Oak is open Wednesday through Sunday from 5 pm to close. The flower shop is also open Wednesday through Sunday from noon to four.

Dinner reservations are preferred. Call 260.210.7439 or visit them online at

Camas, WA — After a self-imposed closure on July 19, the popular Mexican restaurant, Nuestra Mesa, is re-opening its doors today for full dine-in and takeout service.

Mesa voluntarily closed its doors upon learning a family member had tested positive for COVID-19. Customers were told the situation, and were politely asked to leave that Sunday afternoon.

Since that time, all Mesa employees were tested and the entire restaurant was professionally cleaned. It was a thorough three-hour process in which all surfaces were sanitized.

“All our employees tested negative for COVID-19 and our restaurant underwent a thorough, professional cleaning,” said Todd Moravitz, co-owner of the restaurant. “We thank you for your patience. We made your safety and the safety of our employees a priority.”

Mesa serves gourmet Mexican cuisine in historic downtown Camas. They are following all state-mandated COVID-19 safety guidelines, and have physically distanced outdoor seating, as well. Hours are 11:30-9 daily.

Learn more at or visit their social media sites on Facebook and Instagram.

For takeout or dine-in reservations, call 360.210.5311.


Washougal WA — Washougal Arts and Culture Alliance will host an online art festival as an alternative to its annual August event cancelled due to COVID-19 pandemic public gathering restrictions. 

“We are very excited that our virtual 2020 Washougal Art Festival will last not just one day, but the entire month of August,” said WACA president, Kelli Rule.  “Our website will be the hub, and from there people will be able to access the festival through our Facebook and Instagram pages.”

The goal of WACA’s art festivals is to create exposure and drive sales for local and regional artists. According to Rule, artists have pushed themselves to create exclusive videos, new and refreshed websites and more to help promote their art in a new way online.  “We hope our community will support these local artisans, hard hit by the cancellation of so many opportunities to sell their art,” Rule said.  “We’ll do our best through social media to give the artists the attention they deserve.  When you purchase original artwork, you are not only buying that object, but you’re investing in that person.”

The event will highlight the work of 25 artists, each selected to participate by a jury of art professionals. 2020 festival artists are Linda Andrews-Riggs, water color; Eric Berlin, porcelain jewelry; Shirley Bishop, fused glass; Jean Blatner, watercolor acrylic; India de Landa, plexiglass acrylic jewelry; Chrissie Forbes, found art & oils, Katy Fenley, silver jewelry; Kyla Rae Friedrichsmeyer, watercolor & ink; Anni Furniss, mixed media; John Furniss, woodworking; Suzanne Grover, pen & colored pencil; Charlene Hale, fused glass; Kellie Kuter, mixed media; Brenda Lindstrom, oil; Beck Lipp, woodworking; Toni McCarthy, jewelry; Diane Moeglein, fused glass; Liz Pike, oil on canvas; Spike Palmer, oil painting; Karen Reule, silver jewelry; Gary Suda & Pamela Hancock, ceramics; Tamra Sheline, watercolor on yupo; Hiroko Stumpf, watercolor & acrylic; Cyndee Starr, mixed media; Barbara Wright, water color, ink, pencil; Jeff Wirth, photography; and Tom West, acrylic, stationery.


Each year a local artist is selected to create an image for the event poster that reflects Washougal in some way. This year’s poster art of a deer among tall grass was drawn by Washougal artist, Suzanne Grover, a founding member of WACA, whose work will be a part of the virtual festival. Her beautiful spring meadow scene was created from the photography of John Rakestraw.  Signed posters are available for a $20 donation.  There is a limited number of signed posters from previous festivals available as well, which can be purchased directly from WACA by emailing [email protected].

“This year has been hard for artists who have seen so many fairs, festivals and events cancelled,” Rule explained.  “Artists have not been able to meet potential customers face-to-face and we know it is hard for them to make connections.   We hope this virtual event will help in some small way.”

Join the festival at the WACA website or

Art Festival
Washougal Art Festival

If you would have asked the general population in February, with a booming economy, and a community that had just celebrated its third State athletic championship, that a virus pandemic would force school and business closures, massive job losses, mandated quarantines and face covering use, as well as some supply shortages, the response would likely have been: ”you’re crazy!”

Months into the pandemic, we are still dealing with many of these issues, and it has led to lifestyle changes, new attitudes, and a general attitude of preparedness and prudent living. You just never know what’s around the corner.

Prudent living to many means living within your means, saving money for future challenges or goals, and having enough food on hand to weather the next storm.

This is the first of a three-part article that addresses having a three-month supply of food, water and financial reserves, whenever possible, to simply be prepared and have peace of mind. So what does that mean? How does one get started?

Three-Month Food Supply

This is about building a small supply of non-perishable food that is part of your family’s normal, daily diet. Take inventory of what you like to eat, what you should eat, and get started.

Have a meal plan. Know what you’d like to eat a couple weeks out, and plan ahead. Be realistic, and buy the foods that best suit you and your family.

Purchase a few extra items during each trip to the grocery store. Don’t hoard. If you like canned chicken, buy a few extra cans. If you like peanut butter, buy a couple extra jars. If you like pasta, buy a few more packages. And, of course, we all lived through the toilet paper shortage. Look for sales, and stock up. A little each trip can add up quickly. Make sure to rotate these items regularly to avoid spoilage.

Consider staple foods, such as wheat, rice, pasta, oats, beans, and potatoes that have a long shelf life — some as long as 30 years.

This is great link to start checking on what you have, food items you may not have considered, and what areas need to be filled:

Don’t go to extremes. Don’t go into debt to stock up.

Preparedness brings peace of mind. If you lose your job, or if a friend needs help, you will have the ability to provide the basics for your family or families around you. You just never know what’s around the corner.

The next article will focus on PART 2: Water Supply Storage.