Sunday, April 8, 2012

Out and about: Northwest Seed and Pet

"Out and About" is a an ongoing project I throw out there now and then to document some of the unique, quirky and/or totally fabulous aspects of living in the fair city of Bermtopia.

Oh. And I should mention I don't get paid to write about these joints. (Does this blog look like it gets paid to write about anything?)

It's just me, sharing my profoundly deep knowledge of all things Bermtopian with the world.

You're welcome.

It was time.

In spite of itself, spring has (mostly) made it to Bermtopia. And despite a week's worth of snow, wind, rain and hail, the sun made an appearance Saturday, accompanied by just a hint of heat.

I heard the siren song. I heard When Pigs Fly Farm whispering, "Carrots. Radishes. It's time."

And it WAS time. For a springtime trip to Northwest Seed and Pet. I had me a shopping list -- vegetable seeds, bird seed (seems the sparrows prefer sunflower seeds in the hanging feeder and cracked corn on the platform feeder -- since when did the little twits become such gourmands?), seed socks and an investigatory look at supports for pole beans.

I DO live life on the razor's edge, don't I?

Probably hands down, Northwest Seed and Pet has been Bermtopia's flagship lawn and garden destination since 1944 (take THAT, Lowe's and Home Depot!). It was dream child of a guy named Harry Gross, who started the store out of the front of his home. He had big ideas, envisioning his small garden and pet center growing into Bermtopia's only zoo or "Jungle Town." He came close. In the 1950s, at any given time, Northwest Seed and Pet's Jungle Town might be home to elephants, lions, pumas, chimpanzees, baboons, ocelots, bobcats and wallabies.

I wonder what the neighbors thought?

Today, things are not nearly as glamorous, but we still bring our kids and grandkids to NWS & P to look at puppies, kittens, guinea pigs, rabbits, ferrets, birds, reptiles and dozens of exotic fish tanks. Parrots perch uncaged and squawk at visitors, a lone cat lounges regally above the rodent habitats and we all take care to dodge the occasional tortoise poop courtesy of Nelson, a courtly old Russian tortoise who has full run crawl of the pet center. (Unfortunately, he was napping under a sunlight when I was there yesterday.)

Words to live by.
They've got the leash and collar thing covered

3 to 4 rows dedicated to rodents!

A musing about pet store puppies and kittens: It always makes me feel just a little melancholy when there are so many great pets waiting to be adopted in shelters. At least, that's where I'd start. 

And wouldn't you want to meet this little guy's breeder face to face? 

My op-ed piece for the day.

Mooned by a couple of parakeets. We'll survive.
And then there is the garden side of things. Let's take a little tour, shall we?

Need a hummingbird feeder - or 2 or 3?
Or a gardening hat?

If it ain't at NWS & P, you don't need it.

Potato and onion starts by the dozen!

THAT'S  what I'm talkin' about: Three rows of vegetable seeds!

Major happiness quotient here on these shelves.
The outdoor garden center isn't quite set up, but Security was onsite.
Whew. I'm exhausted. My shopping cart runneth over.

And it's full of spring, courtesy of Northwest Seed and Pet.

Happy Easter, all!


  1. They pay most of their employees minimum wage. When the store is closed on a holiday, the pets are left alone all day - yes, they do put out extra food and water the night before a holiday but if the puppies tip over their water dish they go without until the store opens the day after the holiday. Please adopt a pet from a shelter instead of buying from any pet store.

  2. Looks like a neat store! I love local Nurseries, although none in Portland (that I know of) also include pet supplies (or pets, for that matter). But I agree, a shelter is the first place we go too.