Goods and goodies for sale

Yummy goods and goodies for sale

We are admitted RV foodies. We LOVE food, DREAM about food and spend hours concocting interesting recipes so we can EAT the stuff. Many of our best memories center around the “day we ate xxx” which leads to rather mouth-watering strolls down memory lane, which in turn leads to planning the next meal which ultimately ends up with full & happy bellies and yet another drool-worthy memory. It’s a wonderful natural progression that I call the food cycle. Procure, Nourish, Repeat….YUM!

Paul chats to the butcher-block guy at Bandon market

Paul chats at Bandon market

Now this is not a new thing for me. I’ve been a food-lover all my life, sadly most of it of the wrong kind, which is partially why I spent many of my youthful years either very overweight or battling said weight with various unhealthy eating disorders. Thankfully I matured, learned about my own food triggers and discovered how to love the “right” stuff which has brought me to a sense of food peace I never knew. And even more thankfully I met a partner who joined me on this journey and…wait for it ladies…he cooks like a Food Network chef! Oh yeah baby, I totally scored.

Paul and Alex stroll into Bandon's Farmers Market

Paul and Alex stroll into Bandon’s Farmers Market

Valley Flora Farm just south in Langlois, OR is a local secret for greens!

Valley Flora Farm just south in Langlois, OR is a local secret for greens!

All this to say that we spend a good portion of our monthly budget on the glories of food, as well as a good portion of our days looking for interesting recipes and patting ourselves on the back for a job well cooked (it’s always nice when you get 5-star reviews). Our philosophy centers around whole, fresh produce of the best quality we can get. We eat lots of fresh greens, organic veggies, fruit, nuts, meat and fish…nothing processed at all. This can be a challenge at times, depending on how far out in the “boonies” we get, but it becomes super-easy in the bountiful summer and even more so on the green and fruitful Oregon coast.

Just a small portion of Friday's farmers market haul. DELISH!

Just a small portion of Friday’s farmers market haul. DELISH!

Enter Farmers Markets & local farms. Depending on season almost every town you hit will have one or the other. I’ll often look-up farmers markets before we get to a spot (a simple google of “farmers market in city xxx” will usually bring up the goods) and sometimes we’ll even plan our travels around hitting one. Since we’re meat-eaters and rather picky about the quality of our meat, I’ll also look for grass-fed farms (eatwild.com is an excellent resource).  In this way it becomes a rather fun part of our travels. I’ve been known to slip-in late-night meetings with egg-farmers on street corners so I can trade for hard-to-find pastured eggs, drive “the beast” right onto a farm to conclude a clandestine meat transaction and bribe locals into finding me the best greens. I’m sneaky and I’m good….

Here in Bandon we’ve got several excellent sources of all the above. We have a large Friday/Saturday farmers market every week right in town, excellent u-pick berry farms all around and even a fabulous veggie spot just south of us. We usually buy for a week or two at a time with the plan of eating said goodies depending on how well they last. So, typically we’ll eat any delicate greens & fruits (salad, herbs, arugula, kale, beet tops, raspberries etc.) first, followed by longer-lasting stuff later in the week (zucchini, broccoli, cauliflower, beets, blueberries etc.), with the best-keeping stuff (cabbage, squashes, parsnips, apples etc.) left for last. Any fresh-caught fish we’ll eat same-day whereas other meats go in the freezer. With that method we buy “smart” and can easily go 1-2 weeks on a good set of purchases while still keeping a very varied diet. Easy peasy, right?

Our past week here was a typical shopping expedition. We hit the farmers market in Bandon on Friday AM, followed by a trip to Valley Flora on Saturday (thanks to Gunta’s local connection) to get more goodies the next day. Our haul was HUGE from fresh salmon caught the day before to eggs collected from pastured hens that morning to organic greens plucked right from the farm the very day. This stuff is super-fresh and it tastes….IN-CRED-IBLE. By now most of the stalls know me by name (I can order “the usual” ya know), and I have the benefit of knowing exactly where our stuff comes from. Plus, believe it or not we actually save money when we shop locally.

The glory of food and healthy living…Fennel and all. If you haven’t tried them, give your local farmers markets a go and I guarantee you’ll become converts in no time. Who knows, you might even end up as bonafide RV foodies like us.

Do you dig farmers markets as much as we do?

"The usual" please. My local coffee roaster at the market.

“The usual” please. My local coffee roaster at the market.

Apricots, Cherries, Peaches, Cherry Tomatoes OH MY....

Apricots, Cherries, Peaches, Cherry Tomatoes OH MY….

Lovely Valley Flora farm

Lovely Valley Flora produce

C-20130719 Bandon & Alex (21) (JPG)

All local grass-fed meats at Bandon, OR

C-20130719 Bandon & Alex (22) (JPG)

A local hunter??? Parked at the market

Goods for sale at Valley Flora

Goods for sale at Valley Flora

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45 Responses to Food, Glorious Food -> The Joy Of Farmers Markets & Local Farms On The Road

  1. Karen says:

    Yummmmmmm, what wonderful concoction can I come up with? Yup…. I live to eat and love it too!

    • libertatemamo says:

      We loooove to buy whatever is in season and then figure out how to make it later. If I see a veggie I haven’t tried before it’s immediately part of the menu for that week. All part of the fun.
      Nina

  2. Gunta says:

    I wondered how you managed when you were in the boonies. For me it probably all started back around 1970 with one of the first primitive food co-ops in San Francisco, where food actually tasted the way it ought to. Ever since that experience it became difficult to settle for the plastic taste of supermarket produce. I think it’s wonderful that that realization is growing and real food is becoming more readily available. One of my favorite expressions has come down to “voting” with my fork.

    • libertatemamo says:

      The boonies can be a challenge. We’ve found many of the SW desert towns do farmers markets in winter (e.g. Palm Springs, Anza Borrego, Yuma etc.) so we usually tend to manage good, fresh stuff even in winter. Out in the “true” boonies sometimes the best we can do is Walmart organic, but sometimes you just have to make do with what you’ve got.
      I LOVE the expression of “voting” with your fork. Nice one!
      NIna

  3. Great info! I’m always curious how others eat healthy on the road.
    Thanks for sharing!

  4. Tim Clark says:

    They shoot….they SCORE!!!!

    We’re not in a rig yet, still in Ukraine until Spring, but we have farmers markets everywhere (and everyday) here and get all the fresh homegrown produce we can eat. In fact, an older couple in our apartment building keep chickens out back (free range no less) and we’ve tapped into the freshest tasting eggs I’ve had since I was a boy on my grandparent’s farm. I’m told there’ll be some chicken on the menu some time soon too.

    Love following your blog, guys. We heard about you in a recent Technomadia post applauding your trip planning posts. Keep up the posts.

    Tim & Katya

    • libertatemamo says:

      It’s amazing how different fresh produce tastes. The first time I tried *true* free-range eggs I was simply stunned. Yolks were much darker, the taste so much richer. The same is true of meats & greens. There’s just no comparison.
      Nina
      P.S. Lovely to have you along as followers…all the way from Ukraine no less! That’s one country I have yet to visit.

  5. We LOVE farmers markets too. We recently found one of the best ones ever in Moncton, Nova Scotia (Dieppe Market). Also found a very unique homemade item – sweet vinegars – in a small farmers market in Annapolis Royal, Nova Scotia that we use to make homemade salad dressing (we bought a small supply). YUM!
    Brenda

    • libertatemamo says:

      Ah yes, those little home-made gems make farmers markets extra special. We picked up some local honey last week…he had 6 different kinds. What a treat!
      Nina

  6. MarciaGB says:

    Oh yes, we love to eat fresh! We have a summer CSA share that includes humanely raised local meat. It’s a little more challenging when we’re on the road but your great link to “Eat Wild” will help with that. It’s amazing to see all the wonderful foods/products at various farmers’ markets. A feast for the eyes, the tummy and the soul. Bon appetit!

    • libertatemamo says:

      I so wish we could join a summer CSA, but like you said it’s tough when you’re travelling. The local farms can take time to find, but they are well worth the effort.
      Nina

  7. You are killing me!!! Oh, This could be my post! This is how we eat. John doesn’t cook at all but I LOVE to cook and create wonderful fresh recipes. I so loved all the farmer markets in the west. They just aren’t happening out here in the east the same way. Produce isn’t as beautiful. And finding fresh gorgeous greens doesn’t exist. I love kale and Swiss Chard!! I do have a great farm in PA where I can get wonderful grass fed beef and another with free range organic eggs!! But your post has me drooling!!! Enjoying cooking up all your fresh ingredients!!!

    • libertatemamo says:

      I knew you were a foodie Pam :) Didn’t realize there were less farmers markets out east…I guess I always just assumed they had just as many (if not more) produce out there being so green and all. Interesting piece of info.
      We had a good dinner on Friday…oven-baked fresh salmon with mustard glaze with a side of spicy arugula & parsnip puree. For desert a fresh peach simply dripping in juice…yum, yum!!
      Nina

    • Gunta says:

      Wondering how far you might be from Marshall, W Va. A friend helped launch a year round Farmer’s Market sort of store there. Even if the trip is too far from you, they might be a good source for local growers in your area. http://wildramp.wordpress.com/

  8. Charlotte says:

    Fresh is best, organic & fresh even better! That’s one thing I really look forward to next summer when we are on the west coast to enjoy the beautiful fresh, organic markets. Here in the southeast they are hard to come by. Can’t wait!! Enjoy all the wonderful goodies!

  9. Deas is the cook in our house, er, RV. Lucky for me since I hate to cook! He loves a good farmers market too – he gets so excited when he finds one in whatever city we’re visiting at the time. He’ll definitely want to check this one out when we’re in Bandon. We’ll have to get together and cook one night when we’re there! I won’t be much help with the cooking but I’m an excellent wine steward. :)

    • libertatemamo says:

      The market here is every Friday & Sat. Best to get there early since a lot of the really good stuff goes fast. See you soon!
      Nina

  10. Joe Anderson says:

    Hi Nina
    Thanks for giving us Greg Ryders name we have been in contact with him and he called us this past Sat to let us know we have a host job at Cape Blanco Light House next Apr and May. He mentioned that he was calling you next and that you would be there in Sept of this year. We are also doing the Hughes House and Marine Maritime Museum next summer.
    We’ll be hosting at Bothe State Park in Napa Valley CA this winter leaving Lolo National Forest MT host job mid Sept. Maybe will see you next Summer at Blanco.
    Regards
    Joe and Murlene

    • libertatemamo says:

      How exciting!! Apr & May can be rather “wet” months on the coast so be prepared for that, but Cape Blanco is such a stunning spot. It’ll be a lot of fun!
      Nina

  11. Chuck Custer says:

    Since you guys seem serious about eating right for health I might suggest two sources of information – a book and a website. The book is The China Study – http://amzn.to/14DROIN – an amazing source of information on what’s really healthy and what’s not. The website is by Dr. John McDougall – drmcdougall. com. He’s been treating patients with only plant foods for more than 35 years (with a few meds thrown in when absolutely necessary in the beginning of a patient’s treatment) and his site is a wealth of information. Click on the “Search” word in the upper right to seek out anything. And check out Star McDougallers. Oh… and one more site – FatFreeVegan.com – if you decide to eat more plant-based foods and need a wonderful, searchable recipe site. Your blog is terrific; thanks for all your warm, hearty RV travel news. ~ Chuck

    • libertatemamo says:

      Thanks Chuck. Although we’re not vegan I do use vegan sites a lot to search for interesting veggie recipes, so appreciate the link. Last week we made an excellent raw kale/avocado soup for lunch from this site that was just delish! We love our greens!
      Nina

  12. Sheila says:

    Nina, I hope you don’t mind an off-topic question. Do you still like your MCD Blinds? Manual or motorized? Getting some-read reviews-value your opinion. Thanks!

    Lovely post; I don’t eat meat, but I could do so much better with eating more FRESH veggies. You have given me incentive to try harder!

  13. mnwool says:

    Nancy is the cook in our mobile condo. Fresh and organic is also how we love to eat when we can also.

  14. mnwool says:

    Sheila, we also have MCD shades and are currently only a few miles from the factory. What would you like to know? maybe I can help.

  15. geogypsy2u says:

    Oh how I wish these kinds of options were closer to the North Rim. For fresh organics I have to drive four hours to Flagstaff, which I do about every three weeks.

    • libertatemamo says:

      That sure makes it tougher. We had a hard time finding fresh stuff through parts of our Utah trip this past spring. Some places just don’t have a lot of options.
      Nina

  16. cozybegone says:

    Always on the lookout…zeroed in on one yesterday crossing Iowa. Landed baby eggplants and tiny round zuchinni…can you send your chef over :) It’s the tomatoes that can’t be found yet…fickle year I guess.

    • libertatemamo says:

      Sounds scrumptious. We’re getting tons of tomatoes on the coast, but it’s been nice and moist/warm out here so maybe a better environment for them? They just started a few weeks ago.
      Nina

  17. Nan and John says:

    We started farmer’s markets at home (Indiana)…but was always seasonal. Love our travels where we can find fresh fruits and veggies as we travel. ALSO, we travel with 3 tomato plants that gives medium sized toms and 3 grape tomato plants. We also have Thai Basil and Sweet Basil. I have one Leek growing as an experiment….They travel in the shower and come out when we park. Yesterday, we picked blackberries and tonight we are having blackberry pie! Hopefully, we will be up your way and we can meet. Missed you in Q.

    • libertatemamo says:

      Wow! You guys have a wonderful garden traveling with you. How lovely! I do little bits of container gardening (a few herbs and such), but never thought about tomatoes or anything that size. Great idea!
      Nina

  18. Larry says:

    I follow another blog in OR and she regularly shows the Portland FM. the produce always looks so good from that part of the country.

  19. Charlotte says:

    Thanks Nina for the farmers market link. I will put it to good use!

  20. Hi! I found your blog through the post on Technomadia. I subscribed! My husband and I are hitting the road sometime next year. We are currently researching rigs. It’s so hard to know which one to choose! Anyway, we eat very healthy and eat organically. I love to cook. It’s really important to me that we retain our healthy eating on the road. Great post. BTW – you are in my neighborhood. I live in Coos Bay. Love Bandon and go often for photography and to the Farmers Market there! Let me know if you have any questions about things to do on the Southern Oregon Coast.

    • libertatemamo says:

      Lovely to “meet” you Patricia, You are just around the corner!! if you fancy coming down to visit sometime and tour our rig, just lemme know. Our days off are Friday & Saturday. By the way, your photos are just spectacular.
      Nina

  21. Rowanova says:

    I love this post. Nothing beats fresh food. Nothing. And store bought “fresh” just ain’t “real” fresh.

    Nice to see you found sources for fresh meat products too. Especially easy for fish and seafood while living on the coast.

    Awesome how much is available from real people instead of instead of corporate stores too. I love that as well.

    This article inspires me to do anything and everything I can to get RV full-timing ASAP!

    • libertatemamo says:

      We’ve been totally spoiled by good, fresh fish here on the coast. That’s definitely something we miss when we travel inland. It’s all a journey!
      Nina

  22. LuAnn says:

    Bandon is looking more appealing all the time! :)

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