Tucked way in the Sellwood-Moreland district, just a little north of Tacoma on 13th Ave., all ye home cooks and gardeners (not to mention candle makers, home brewers. etc. etc.) will find a treasure in Portland Homestead Supply Co.
As soon as I stepped through the door, I was struck by the quality of the goods on display. They steer away from electronic gadgets in favor of the tried and true (note the bright red hand-crank meat grinder on the nearest table). These are items that can pass for artifacts. Indeed, they raise the homely arts of home making to an art form. All of the standard jars for canning and pickling are here, but for just a little bit extra, you can buy jars that will turn your kitchen’s yummy output into gourmet gift items to make you proud. I was drawn to some stainless steel pie pans…anticipating the delight they would bring to turning out pies and quiches.
Need a little help getting started? Many subjects are covered in their book section.
On a mezzanine overlooking the main room is a large table where classes are held. Be sure to check out the class schedule on their website if you would like to try something new with a little hands-on help. See that “fresh eggs” sign on the mantle? It is not just for show. I was there on a Friday, when fresh farm eggs had just been delivered. There were duck eggs as well as huge chickens eggs and teeny tiny ones. Once you have tried eggs straight from the farm you will never go back.
Several small rooms off the classroom hold different categories of merchandise. This one had aprons and various linens, all with that homey feel executed with a modern twist. While I was there, a woman came in with oven mitts she had made using flour sacks handed down in her family. I’m not sure any of that batch will make it to the showroom floor, the way employees were snatching them up. Don’t worry: she will be back with more.
This drying rack folds flush to the wall when it is not in service.
All the makings for candles, including an interesting array of molds (bottom shelves), and an instructional book. I think taking the class would be a fun way to get into this.
Just as I was about to pay up and take my leave, someone mentioned that there were garden related items out the side door.
Have you ever seen a sweeter looking goat? It was unclear to me if this was Wendell or Belle, but the pair of Nigerian dwarf goats provide endless entertainment, keep the grounds clear of blackberry vine and, if all goes according to plan, will provide some frolicking kids come spring.
They share the yard with chickens and ducks, all roaming freely…
the only restraints being good looking fencing treatments that block off the alleys on both sides of the shop.
As with everything else, the room holding soil amendments and tools is spick and span, and the displays are as attractive as they are utilitarian. Those galvanized bins hold all sorts of soil amendments, even hard-to-find things like Jersey Greensand…all available in bulk or in 5# bags. Now it really was time to shove off, and I found myself chomping at the bit to get back to my kitchen and garden.