My plan was to blog about the trip as I went along. However, I wrongly assumed I’d have tons of time between my signings, and tons of energy to do this post. In reality, here’s how it went down:
- I got super busy after my Houston signing and had very little time between all of the travel and events.
- I dropped my phone in the toilet at the McMenamins Old St. Francis Hotel in Bend, Oregon.
- When I finally got my new phone in Portland, Oregon, my trip was almost over.
- It was so much fun and incredibly exhausting.
- Most of the images posted here are from a friend’s phone or from what was posted to my Instagram feed during my trip, so they’re not as great as they could be.
Here are some highlights from the rest of my tour – thank you to everyone who came out to see me. I tried to hit independent booksellers and smaller venues, plus great food and beautiful scenery along the way.
May 31: My buddy Michelle Tam was the sweetest BFF ever, and picked me up the night before, hosted me for three days, and cooked me crispy eggs every morning and we ate great food like this every night – Her recipe for “My Sister’s Green Chicken”, roasted broccoli and crispy potatoes. You’ll have to buy her book for the chicken recipe (I make it all the time at my house, too – it’s incredible!).
We headed over to Mission: Heirloom, located in Berkeley, a cafe dedicated to serving those on a gluten and grain-free diet. You can order items at the counter, or grab one of their healthy meals to go.
They served a special brunch in honor of my book. All of the recipes were inspired by The Homegrown Paleo Cookbook.
We had a great crowd and the food was amazing. Here is the roasted asparagus soup with trumpet mushrooms and truffle oil.
I had a chance to talk a bit about my nutrition journey and my life on the farm.
I was thrilled to have a chance to visit! I left a few signed copies of my book for those who weren’t able to join us.
That night, Michelle and I were invited to a dinner party at one of my favorite sleep researchers’ homes. Dan Pardi runs “Dan’s Plan” and also is quite an academic nerd. He studies how sleep effects our decision making. He also recently wrote this awesome post on friendship.
It was so nice to meet his beautiful wife and son.
Seriously, that face!!! I was also thrilled to see their backyard container garden.
The meal was catered by Diane Davidson of Cast Iron Kitchen. She did an incredible job.
After we stuffed ourselves on short ribs, sweet potatoes, eggplant and salad. We also enjoyed an incredibly delicious gluten free pie and decadent chocolate torte. Joining Diane in the kitchen was the lovely Chef Jone Pan.
Not pictured is a special guest who joined us, Nicolette Hahn Niman, environmental lawyer, rancher and author of Defending Beef. I recently interviewed her for my podcast. She argues why beef is critical for healthy soil. I was thrilled to have a chance to chat with her and meet her family. What a special night!
The next day, Michelle and I goofed around a bit and I got to see how fancy people in Palo Alto work. These sorts of benefits aren’t that common on organic farms…
Then we headed over to Books, Inc. for a joint signing/talk. Here I am telling Michelle that planters aren’t that hard to put together and don’t take up too much room. I’m not sure she’s sold.
That night, my friend Kirsty flew into town to join me for the next leg of my trip… Oregon!
Our first stop was to Ashland, Oregon. My buddy Karen Phelps lives there and offered to organize an event at the Ashland Library.
We then headed to dinner at Harvest, located in nearby Talent, Oregon where I ran into Adam Danforth, the James Beard Award Winning author of Butchering Beef, and Butchering Poultry, Rabbit, Lamb, Goat, and Pork. Below from left to right is Kirsty, me, Dr. Deborah Gordon, her partner Diane, Karen Phelps and Derek Barber.
The next day, Kirsty and I got a behind-the-scenes tour of the Oregon Shakespeare Festival prop warehouse, where they store costumes and all other items used on stage during performances. The costumes are also rented out to film production companies. It was a real highlight of the trip! Part of me wanted to stay and get a job as a set/prop designer.
Need a deer head? These folks custom make anything the art directors need for the productions.
We even got to see the “weapon room” – it was so interesting!
Next stop: Bend, Oregon. The drive was incredible.
I spoke at The Natural Grocers, a very paleo-friendly chain of stores on the west coast, but heading east! All of their dairy is pasture-based and all of the produce is organic. I had a fantastic turnout… and some tough questions. It always amazes me when people choose to be rude to an author who put a lot of energy into their work. When I speak, I usually get one hard audience member who just wants to show off how smart they are. During my whole trip, Bend was the only location where this happened. Over time, I’ve learned how to defend myself pretty well, however these folks still end up being a distraction to the group.
I was glad to have my buddy with me so we could joke about this one guy who gave me such a hard time. Anyway, we absolutely LOVED Bend’s food scene. Lunch at Barrio was the best meal of our trip! We also ate dinner at Zydeco, which boasts a gluten free menu and had an incredible breakfast at Chow. The photo below is from the garden at Chow – there were so many little gardens everywhere we looked! It was hard to leave. If I had to pick another city to live in, Bend would be close to my top choice.
Moving on, the next stop was The Natural Grocers in Beaverton, Oregon.
And, the next day, I hit The Cultured Caveman in Portland. The most adorable couple runs this cafe, which started as a food truck not long ago. The broth was just what I needed after feeling bit run down (travel is sometimes really hard on me). This place is a must try for anyone following a gluten-free/paleo diet. They carry books, frozen items, a great grab-and-go section, and I tried several dishes that were fantastic. Plus, I have to say I am blown away by the energy of Heather and Joe. I really hope they do well!
Later that day, we visited the Portland Rose Garden, which happened to be in peak bloom. The variety of rose scents ranged from “peachy” to “floral” (I’m sure there are better words to describe this). It was the first time I had really stopped to notice the difference in scents.
The world-class Japanese Gardens, located next to the Rose Gardens, were really worth the trip too.
That night, we met up with Mickey Trescott and enjoyed a rooftop dinner at Departure. The view was lovely and it’s amazing that there seems to be zero mosquitos in Portland. On our farm, we have an intern this year from Vietnam and even he is complaining about the mosquitos in Massachusetts. They seem particularly bad this year. My favorite dish was this Kampachi Sashimi with Black Garlic, Chili and Crispy Taro.
The whole reason I organized this trip was because of an email I got from the organizers of the Mother Earth News Fair asking me to speak at their Albany, Oregon event. On Saturday, Kirsty and I started our day with a home-cooked breakfast in our fantastic Airbnb rental (complete with raised vegetable beds in the yard, modern art all over the walls, and goats across the street).
We then went for a quick morning hike in Forest Park. I actually lived in Portland in the mid-90’s and would regularly go for long walks there. It’s such a gem to have a wild place like this so close to the city.
We drove down to Albany for the Fair, which took a little over one hour. Before my talk, we got to walk around the Mother Earth News Fair for a bit and check out the vendors. I can think of a few people who would love this shirt!
There were also quite a few “prepper” booths, selling medical equipment and other emergency packs. I enjoyed checking out these tiny houses! I’ve been obsessed with them since I was a kid. I even have a Pinterest board full of tiny houses.
I gave my presentation to a packed room. My talk was called “Get More Goat in Your Life”. I spoke about why I believe goats are ideal for both sustainability and for human nutrition. Goats don’t compete with other herbivores for grasslands because they are happy to eat shrubs and other plants that grow on marginal land. They also provide excellent milk that is more easily digested than cow’s milk, and their meat is full of iron and tastes a lot like lamb. Check out this post I wrote for Chris Kresser about the benefits of goats.
Finally, my last stop was a beautiful, all cookbook store called Book Larder in Seattle. My friend Audra Mulkern of The Female Farmer Project offered to interview me. I had her on The Modern Farm Girls podcast a few months back, so it was interesting to be on the other end of the questions. The store was packed on this hot Sunday afternoon.
After the signing, Audra, Leigh Olson and I enjoyed dinner at The Whale Wins, a bright and airy, farm-to-table restaurant not far away from Book Larder. I was particularly impressed with how they treat their vegetables.
The next morning I took an early flight back to Boston. It was a really fun but exhausting trip with an event every day for over a week. I’ve got some other cool events coming up this summer, including my next on in Portland, Maine at Whole Foods Market on June 28th where I’m giving away a chicken coop, then later that night, a special dinner at Vinland (an all-local, grain-free restaurant in downtown Portland). In July, I’m headed to NYC on the 25th then back to the farm on the 26th for a special farm BBQ with a few other paleo authors (more info and buy tickets here). In August, I head to Virginia for the Farm to Consumer Legal Defense Fund’s Food Freedom Festival, then to the Nutritional Therapy Association’ 2015 Business Summit. Finally, the big event I’m super excited about is the Ancestral Health Symposium’s New Zealand Conference in October where I’ll be presenting about my true passion – Sustainability in Nutrition.
That’s all for now! If you’re not already signed up for my newsletter, please do so today. It’s the best way to learn about what I’m up to (many exciting projects in the future that I haven’t listed here!) and I’m also offering a free gift – the complete “Growing” chapter from my latest book, The Homegrown Paleo Cookbook.