Even the frugal urban homesteader needs to buy a few things now and then. Here are two places we’ve recently found that will be beneficial to Portlanders who are livin’ la vida local.
Concentrates Inc is like a feed store but better — it’s a wholesale feed store supply, and we’re very fortunate that they also sell direct to the public. You can get all manner of organic chicken feed; other animal feeds; garden amendments such as compost, peat moss, and pre-fab organic fertilizer; and, if you’re blending your own fertilizer, you can get all the parts needed: your bone meal, your cottonseed meal, your rock dust, and so on. We picked up a bag of organic developer feed for our growing pullets, a bag of complete organic fertilizer for the herb and salad garden, and a bale each of peat moss and compost so we can make our own potting soil and do some container gardening. The whole thing came to a little more than fifty bucks. The guy noticed that we were using a bike trailer, and kindly advised me as to the weight of the total purchase so I could decide how much peat moss to get. Which, of course, brings me to the best thing of all about Concentrates — it’s right here in Portland, located about 2 miles from our house, just east of the Willamette in the lovely and highly-functional industrial district there. An easy bike ride, even if you are hauling 200 pounds of homesteadin’ goodness. Go there and get yer feed, and tell them we sent you. It’s kind of hard to find because it’s nestled among the train tracks, SE Powell, and Division where it gets all diagonalized. Just map it and be intrepid (you are an urban homesteader, after all!), and you’ll find it. 2613 SE 8th, 503-234-7501.
Rose’s Restaurant Supply is our other new favorite supply depot. If you want kitchen implements that have more function than form, Rose’s is your kind of place. I have been looking for a decent stainless steel roasting pan for a while, but every time we look at them in a kitchen store I balk at the $100+ price tag. Here at Rose’s you can get a hotel pan (the big metal trays that go into steam tables) of any number of sizes or depths. I got one big enough to hold a 15-pound turkey for $15, and it worked great for roasting said turkey last weekend. We also got a pizza stone for about $10, and a super-heavy-duty 8-qt mixing bowl. Of course if you need a giant Hobart mixer, a professional espresso machine, or an industrial-size cooler, they can help you there too. For our part, I expect that we will be going to Rose’s whenever we need large freezer containers, stainless steel bowls or pots, or anything that is a little bigger, or more heavy-duty, than the usual kitchen store would supply. Handy for homesteaders and home brewers as well as restaurant owners! There’s also another restaurant supply next door called Pitmans, that carries both new and used stuff. Rose’s is at 207 SE Clay, 503-233-7450. No web site that I could find.