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With a name like Tour de Food, you might think this local farm tour event is exclusively for foodies, but don't shy away if you are a "food newbie" or prefer to enjoy fall color tours from the comfort of your car.


Sure, it's a great time for Portlandia types who do bike tours every weekend and like to know the name of the cow who contributed the gourmet hamburger on their plate.  But Tour de Food is accessible to everyone on the food spectrum, even folks who were raised on canned goods and boxed foods.  When I was growing up, a "square meal" meant mac & cheese with some boiled hot dogs and strained peas thrown in.  So at my first Tour de Food, it was a nice change of pace to be able to see how and where that evening's harvest dinner was grown and have an opportunity to talk to some of the folks who literally had a hand in planting/feeding and nurturing all the components that went into it.  Farm to fork doesn't get much more local than that!


I was also able to get some handy tips for buying fresh foods.  Because most of my meals as a kid came in dehydrated/powdered form, I've been known to come back from a grocery trip with curious surprises.  In the past, I've mistaken zucchinis for cucumbers and Brussel sprouts for basil.  I learned from the good folks at Skyline and Tour de Food that a cucumber can be distinguished from a zucchini by its small prickles.  As a result, I'm more confident when shopping and I spend more time at local markets and in the margins of the grocery store -- where the good stuff is!  


It's a great family outing and the ability to drive the tour makes it fun for young children and folks who prefer not to bike.  As an added bonus, driving gives you access to some of the stops that are further afield from Skyline along the M-53 corridor, including spots where you can get up close and personal with a variety of different animals.  Not surprisingly for a food novice, I was a city kid with very little exposure to large animals.  So it was especially fun to be able to interact a bit with horses and alpacas, in addition to Skyline's own goats and rabbits.  Tour de Food truly has something for everyone!

by Christine Trinh,

3-time participant, Alpaca smoocher (see picture, right)

Alpaca Lips Now!