- Off the beaten path and right up our alley, Bend's Produce Patch: Off the beaten path and right up our alley, Bend's Produce Patch.
Throughout the summer, shoppers can enjoy the fruits (and vegetables) of somebody else's labor at any one of the numerous open-air farmers' markets. Bend and Redmond markets offer basketfuls of melons, berries and lettuce. Smaller markets, like those in Prineville and Madras, offer more locally raised produce. For market locations and hours of operation, visit www.oregonfarmersmarkets.org. Another great option, Richard's Produce operates a nice seasonal business in Sisters and recently expanded to Bend where it is hawking locally and regionally grown fruits and veggies from a makeshift stand in front of the old Bright Wood manufacturing facility on Century Drive. If this produce isn't fresh enough for you, join or visit one of the two CSA (community supported agriculture) farms: Fields Farm in Bend and Dancing Cow Farm in Prineville. Sign up for a season of weekly produce deliveries, or visit the farms and buy direct from the growers. For more information visit www.localharvest.org.
As summer comes to a close, so do most of the farmer's markets and CSAs. Fortunately, foodies can congregate at indoor grocers that specialize in organic and regional produce. Devore's Good Food Store (1124 NW Newport Ave.) is celebrating 30 years as a westside institution. Shoppers are lured in by the brightly colored organic produce and leave with homemade salads, dips and wraps. Newer, but no less worth the trip, the Produce Patch (400 SE 2nd St.) delivers on its name by offering an ample array of fruits and veggies, along with grains, nuts and homemade ice cream. Who doesn't deserve a treat for finishing their veggies! - Jennifer Letz