I met a friend about a year ago at a new coffee place — the kind of place where they roast each bean with immense care and they really care about every part of the coffee production process. A classic Portland coffee place.
I get migraines sometimes, so I don’t drink traditional coffee. When I drink it at all, it’s got to be decaf or I risk a debilitating headache. So when I walked into this very Portland-y coffee place, I scanned the menu for a decaf option. I asked the barista at the counter, and he was visibly annoyed.
“It’s just not as good if you order the decaf,” he argued. “The regular really brings a bouquet of flavors.”
For a minute I felt a little defensive. Just let me pay you five bucks for some stupid decaf so I can go talk to my friend!, I thought. But in the days after that, I reconsidered that this man was someone who is completely immersed in the quality of his product. That’s pride and expertise, and I’m glad I live in a city like that (most days).
At Naomi’s Organic Farm Supply, they have pride and expertise and a similar attitude about helping people discover gardening, composting and all the rest of it. They are experts.
I bought a house last year with a big yard. The yard, in square footage terms, is like five times the size of the house. So I’ve needed to get familiar with plants and gardening and all the other things that come along with home ownership on a huge lot. Through that process, I’ve learned to love gardening books and the people who love them. Especially in Portland, where there is so much great info on organic gardening and so much emphasis on cool plants and animals.
Naomi’s made me want to rip out everything in my yard and start from scratch — with the beautiful plants strewn throughout the space. Fig trees? Yes, please. Olives and passionflower and manzanita, too. Visiting Naomi’s is inspiring — but that’s even before you’ve had a conversation with Naomi herself, who is a walking encyclopedia of organic gardening. Some days, they have chicks (in the spring), goats and even bunnies for sale in the shop, which adds an incredible cuteness factor. Add in a great selection of gardening books, and that’s what I’d call a one-stop shop.