These days my personal tagline on LinkedIn and the like is “planning my next adventure.” But, prior to launching GoCamp, I’d spent 20+ years in the field of food and agriculture and was always “planning my next meal.” Old habits die hard, so when I set off on a camping trip I am definitely thinking about the food.
Let’s talk about provisioning for your trip.
Groceries: Portland is blessed with several grocers that feature seasonal produce and a wide variety of staples like chocolate, cheese, and coffee made by local food manufacturers. For one stop shopping, we recommend any of the New Seasons Markets in town.
And as you are loading up your shopping cart, here are just a few of the Northwest items we’ve been loving lately (all available at New Seasons).
Umi Organic Noodles: Ready in 2-3 minutes, these delicious, chewy, organic ramen noodles, made with freshly-milled barley flour from the Willamette Valley, are great for a quick meal when you pull into the campsite. Umi umami.
Jacobsen Black Garlic Sea Salt: Salt that was hand harvested in Netarts, Oregon, a little of this over your eggs in the morning starts any day off on the right foot. We call it magic in a little glass jar.
Red Duck Ketchup: Chances are, one night you’ll be sitting around the camp fire grilling up some hot dogs. May we suggest some locally made ketchup for that dog? This stuff is crazy good.
Farmers Markets: During the summer the Portland Farmers Market operates seven different farmers markets for you to choose from, with the biggest one taking place on Saturday at the PSU campus downtown from 8:30 am – 2:00 pm. There are another 43 farmers markets in the Portland-metro area alone, and chances are you’ll be able to find a farmers market in one of the many small rural towns you pass through as well. There is just no better place to load up on Northwest deliciousness than a farmers market.
Specialty Items: We love Providore Fine Foods for specialty items like chutneys and preserves of all kinds, olive oil, beautiful vinegars, cured meats and cheeses. There are also lots of prepared foods available here, so this is a great place to go both for a meal and for provisioning before you head off on your adventure. Get the Arrosto chicken from the side window in the parking lot or saddle up to the Flying Fish Company oyster bar; you won’t regret it.
Pro Tip: If the timing works when you are traveling south down I-5 from Portland, plan to stop at Gathering Together Farm for lunch. The Farmstand Restaurant, located on the grounds of this picturesque organic farm, is a family favorite for us. Everything is made from scratch on site using only the best, straight-from-the-farm ingredients.
After your fantastic meal you can load up on fresh produce from the on-site produce stand, then continue on down the road, thinking about your next meal.