When summer hits in Portland, there are plenty of reasons to pull yourself out of bed early. The city’s bustling farmers market is one of our favorites. Keep the pack empty to fill with fresh goodness, throw a reusable mug full of coffee into your side pocket and you’re ready to go.
Part of the fun of the farmers market is getting there. With Portland’s famous precipitation on hold for the summer months, biking in the early morning over the bridges and through downtown’s buzzing streets only adds to the tradition of it all.
Later in the morning the crowd swells, and tracking down fresh produce is less of a tranquil Saturday stroll and more like navigating through a mosh pit, but at 8:30 when the bell goes off, the market goers are mellow and the farmers cheerful and ready to talk about the latest kale plot they put in for the season. Knowing where and whom your food comes from is something that’s become an integral part of Portland food culture, and farmers markets are held throughout the week in various parts of the city.
We make our rounds, keeping a sharp eye on who has the best strawberries, sampling dry-roasted Oregon hazelnuts and checking in with the cheese man on which goat cheese we just can’t leave the market without.
Looking around, people have artisan baskets choc full of fresh greens, others carry panniers with juicy peaches and cherries nestled in with a crusty baguette and many others like us have our packs brimming with the day’s catch. In the process we even spot another Osprey making its way through the crowd.
Having biked over, we have to make sure the pack isn’t overflowing — although there’s nothing better than biking home with a bit of rhubarb and leeks sticking out and over the top flap. Can’t wait to start cooking…
Cheers from Portland!
Emily + Anna
Packing in the Streets is a brand new column from Osprey Packs. Whether you’re packing in the streets of your neighborhood or along the rugged cliffs of Cinque Terre, if you have a good story, we want to hear about it!
Keep it to a short travel guide (approx. 400-600 words) of a city or neighborhood. We’ll post once a month on Tuesdays. Send your submission to blog[at]ospreypacks[dot]com.
Since we want to be sure we kick this column off right, anyone that submits a piece in July or August will be entered in a drawing to win one of several React and Float bags we’ve got up for grabs. And if we published your piece, you’ll score a Vector 25, perfect for your next adventure!