Monday, February 6, 2012

"Meet Your Farmer" at the Cascade Culinary Institute

On February 1st the Cascade Culinary Institute and Central Oregon Locavore hosted their first sold-out "Meet Your Farmer" dinner. We provided pork, collard greens, cabbages, lettuce mix, micro green, beets, and flour.

We want to give a great big thank you to Chef Thor Erickson for his fine art with our ingredients.

He started with charcuterie assortment, pickled beet salad with winter greens, goat cheese, hazelnuts and sherry vinaigrette and winter slaw.

Family style entrees were porcetta with roasted potatoes, handmade pasta ala amatriciana with pancetta, garlic, tomoatoes, and aged cheese. Then Cotechino with lentils and collard greens and braised winter vegetables.

And a wild dessert of Bacon maple ice cream sandwiches

Elevation restaurant

Friday, January 27, 2012

borscht recipe

Hi, SarahLee!

Here is the reHi, SarahLee!

Here is the recipe for borscht I was talking about - it is in Joy of Cooking, but this is my new "modified for CSA" version. Plus I have tweaked it over the years. It is a traditional Russian soup that, like all traditional foods, has a million versions, but the common elements are (usually) beets, cabbage and tomatoes.
Thanks for farming!
Jennifer Heiden Smith in Sisters

Scrub 6 or more beets and roast them whole in a pan covered with foil, at 400F for about an hour or until they are easily pierced with a fork. At the same time, in another pan, place all the root veggies (but save the fennel for something else) that came in your share, chopped into 1 in chunks. Roast until almost soft,about 30 minutes.
Cut 1 - 2 lbs country style/boneless pork ribs into bite sized chunks, dredge in salted and peppered flour. Heat a few tablespoons of oil in a soup pot on medium high heat and brown the pork on all sides. Take the pork out and set aside.
Add 1 big, chopped onion to the pot and cook until soft.
Return pork to pot
Add 4.5 cups broth or water
one 28 oz can of tomatoes (or less than salad-worthy fresh tomatoes),
2 cups or MORE! shredded cabbage
2 celery stalks
1 T tomato paste
Scrape the bottom of the pot to incorporate all the browned flour-y bits into the soup. Simmer on low until pork is tender, approx 45 min - 1 hour.
Peel the roasted beets, chop them, and add to pot along with all the other roasted veggies.
Stir in
2 T red wine vinegar
2T lemon juice
2 cloves Garlic, minced
salt and pepper
1 T sugar.
Simmer on low for about 15 minutes, or until all veggies are soft.
Taste and adjust seasonings.
Serve with sour cream and chopped chives on top.
It is even better the next day.cipe for borscht I was talking about - it is in Joy of Cooking, but this is my new "modified for CSA" version. Plus I have tweaked it over the years. It is a traditional Russian soup that, like all traditional foods, has a million versions, but the common elements are (usually) beets, cabbage and tomatoes.
Thanks for farming!
Jennifer Heiden Smith in Sisters

Scrub 6 or more beets and roast them whole in a pan covered with foil, at 400F for about an hour or until they are easily pierced with a fork. At the same time, in another pan, place all the root veggies (but save the fennel for something else) that came in your share, chopped into 1 in chunks. Roast until almost soft,about 30 minutes.
Cut 1 - 2 lbs country style/boneless pork ribs into bite sized chunks, dredge in salted and peppered flour. Heat a few tablespoons of oil in a soup pot on medium high heat and brown the pork on all sides. Take the pork out and set aside.
Add 1 big, chopped onion to the pot and cook until soft.
Return pork to pot
Add 4.5 cups broth or water
one 28 oz can of tomatoes (or less than salad-worthy fresh tomatoes),
2 cups or MORE! shredded cabbage
2 celery stalks
1 T tomato paste
Scrape the bottom of the pot to incorporate all the browned flour-y bits into the soup. Simmer on low until pork is tender, approx 45 min - 1 hour.
Peel the roasted beets, chop them, and add to pot along with all the other roasted veggies.
Stir in
2 T red wine vinegar
2T lemon juice
2 cloves Garlic, minced
salt and pepper
1 T sugar.
Simmer on low for about 15 minutes, or until all veggies are soft.
Taste and adjust seasonings.
Serve with sour cream and chopped chives on top.
It is even better the next day.

borscht recipe

Hi, SarahLee!

Here is the recipe for borscht I was talking about - it is in Joy of Cooking, but this is my new "modified for CSA" version. Plus I have tweaked it over the years. It is a traditional Russian soup that, like all traditional foods, has a million versions, but the common elements are (usually) beets, cabbage and tomatoes.
Thanks for farming!
Jennifer Heiden Smith in Sisters

Scrub 6 or more beets and roast them whole in a pan covered with foil, at 400F for about an hour or until they are easily pierced with a fork. At the same time, in another pan, place all the root veggies (but save the fennel for something else) that came in your share, chopped into 1 in chunks. Roast until almost soft,about 30 minutes.
Cut 1 - 2 lbs country style/boneless pork ribs into bite sized chunks, dredge in salted and peppered flour. Heat a few tablespoons of oil in a soup pot on medium high heat and brown the pork on all sides. Take the pork out and set aside.
Add 1 big, chopped onion to the pot and cook until soft.
Return pork to pot
Add 4.5 cups broth or water
one 28 oz can of tomatoes (or less than salad-worthy fresh tomatoes),
2 cups or MORE! shredded cabbage
2 celery stalks
1 T tomato paste
Scrape the bottom of the pot to incorporate all the browned flour-y bits into the soup. Simmer on low until pork is tender, approx 45 min - 1 hour.
Peel the roasted beets, chop them, and add to pot along with all the other roasted veggies.
Stir in
2 T red wine vinegar
2T lemon juice
2 cloves Garlic, minced
salt and pepper
1 T sugar.
Simmer on low for about 15 minutes, or until all veggies are soft.
Taste and adjust seasonings.
Serve with sour cream and chopped chives on top.
It is even better the next day.

An inspirational winter note

This is a note from a model local eater, one who truly understands our season by putting food by.

Hi Sarah.

Belated New Year's Greetings! It's exciting to read about your plans for next season.

We're eating foods from last season daily. It has worked out almost exactly as I had hoped: by consuming about half the produce each week and preserving the other half ("putting food by" is a phrase from the 1970's and my granny dresses days) we're enjoying the harvest for a full year. In fact, I wonder if we'll finish by the time your fresh crops are ready.

I have discovered that the root vegetables, other than beets, make a wonderful soup base for almost anything--add hot peppers seasoning, and a little cheese, voila, Mexican; add broccoli, ham and cheddar; make a shrimp or carrot "bisque". All one needs is a food processor or blender. I also found a wonderful beet and quinoa salad. We've been adding various pickled vegetables (beans, beets, spiced carrots) to winter salads.

Thanks for making all this possible. I can't wait for the next season--and I certainly hope we get some rain soon.

I look forward to seeing you at the Redmond Garden Club in April.

Best regards,


Thursday, October 27, 2011

Sage Elementary came for the day

On monday morning, ninety 4th graders arrived in two school busses at Rainshadow Organics. We had fifteen volunteers at the ready who taught stations on seed saving, pigs, chickens, bees, compost, field tour, carrot harvest, nutrition, grains, and root cellar. It was a fabulous, sunny, fall day and we're so happy to share the farm with these kids!!

Sunday, October 16, 2011


Hi Sarahlee~You were right, that escarole (or raddicio) is BITTER. But……I tried roasting it at 425 for 10 minutes (misted with olive oil and some smokey salt) and it took away about 90% of the bitterness. Viola, not too bad. Give it a try. I think it would be really great added to the whole roasted veggie thing. Or perhaps one could smear a little herbed goat cheese on each leaf. It’s nice because the tips of the leaves are crispy.See you Wednesday~Patti

1 pound of fresh fava beans, still in their pods
a couple glugs of olive oil
a few pinches of salt
optional: crushed red pepper flakes, lemon zest, and or chopped fresh herbs.
In a large bowl toss the fava bean pods with olive oil and salt. Arrange them in a single layer on
a grill over medium-high heat. If you're using a grill pan, you may need to cook them in batches.
If I'm using an outdoor grill I don't bother covering the favas, but when I use a grill pan, I typically cover the pan with a flat baking sheet to keep more of the heat in the pan and circulating. Grill until blistered on one side - 4 to 5 minutes, then flip and grill for a few minutes more on the other side.
If you aren't sure when to pull them off, take a pod off the grill, open and taste one of the beans.
You want the fava beans to be smooth and creamy when you pop them out of their skins - not
undercooked. But keep in mind that they'll keep steaming in their pods for a few minutes after they come off the grill, unless you eat them as soon as you can handle the pods without singing your fingers - which is what I encourage you to do :) Season the grilled favas with a bit more salt (if needed) and any herbs or lemon zest if you like.
To eat: tear open the puffy green pods, take a fava bean, pinch the skin and slide the bright green fava from its slipper. Eat them one at a time and be sure to lick your fingers.
Serves 2 - 4

1/3 cup sugar
3 tablespoons butter
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Place turnips in a large saucepan and cover with water. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and cook for15 minutes or until tender and drain.
Transfer turnips to a bowl and mash. Add the egg, sugar, butter and salt; mix well. Transfer to a greased1-qt. baking dish; sprinkle with cinnamon. Cover and bake at 350 degrees F for 20-25 minutes or until athermometer reads 160 degrees F and turnip mixture is heated through.

•2 fennel bulbs
•1 tablespoon butter
•3/4 cup half-and-half cream
•3/4 cup creme fraiche
•1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Cut the base off of the fennel bulbs, and cut a coneshape into the base to remove the core. You can see the core because it is whiter than the surrounding green.This is optional, but helps the fennel cook faster. Slice the fennel vertically (upright) into 1/4 inch thick slices.
Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the fennel, and fry for about 5 minutes. Stir in thehalf-and-half and creme fraiche until well blended. Transfer to a shallow baking dish. Sprinkle Parmesan cheeseover the top.
Bake for 30 minutes in the preheated oven, or until the top is golden brown and the fennel is tenderenough to pierce with a fork.
Nutritional Information
Amount Per Serving Calories: 300 Total Fat: 26.9g Cholesterol: 91mg

Volume 2: Issue 16

Well, this is it! The last week of CSA for the 2011 season. We are harvesting all the goods we’ve been waiting the whole season for. We are also harvesting the last of most things and putting the garden to bed. Its been an incredibly abundant year despite the weather and I have so enjoyed the magic of farming. I want to sincerely thank you for letting me farm for you. I am so proud to be your farmer!!! I hope you have dried your herbs and put some things away for winter and think of Rainshadow when it snows. I will start planting again in February and will see you in June!!!


  • Brussel Sprouts

  • 1 cup cooked celeriac, cut up

  • 1-1/2 cup low-sodium chicken broth

  • 1 cup heavy cream

  • 1/4 C parsley, minced

  • 1 T course salt

  • 2 cloves garlic

  • zest of 1/2 lemon

  • 3 T Parmeggiano Reggiano, shredded

  • olive oil

  • red pepper for garnish

  • salt, hot sauce to taste

    Reserve some Brussels sprouts leaves for garnish and purée the rest of the sprouts with the celeriac and 1/2 cup of the broth. Combine the purée and the rest of the broth in a saucepan and heat gently. Stir in the cream, correct seasoning and keep warm. Place the parsley, garlic, salt, cheese and zest in a mortar bowl and add a little olive oil. Mash and grind the mixture with the pestle 'til you have a thick paste, adding olive oil if necessary. Cut some thin curls from the red pepper for garnish. To serve, ladle soup into warmed soup plates and in it float an island of the parsley pesto along with a sprout-leaf, pepper-curl, and a grinding of black pepper if desired.
    Note: the soup and pesto may be made a day or two in advance (and may improve in flavor). Refrigerate until time to serve. Heat gently (do not microwave!), stirring, to just above serving temperature, then let stand 5 minutes in the pot before ladling into warmed bowls.

    We will be celebrating Food Day on October 24th with ninety 4th graders at Rainshadow. They will be coming for the whole day to learn about animals, vegetables, seed saving, compost, etc… We would love to have your help at the farm for this. It is such a fun and rewarding day at the farm! A great finale!

Dear Rainshadow CSA members,

I’m sitting here by the woodstove, enjoying my first fire of the winter. The greenhouse froze last night at 25-degrees. That sharp smell of frozen vegetable carcasses signifies the very near end of our year. I can’t believe how fast the summer has gone and that next week is our last until we start all over in June. I’ve been thinking about what a wonderful year the CSA had together. We shared a lot of food and recipes and as I see each member every week, I take great pleasure in the food community that has formed around Rainshadow Organics in just two years. I am amazed at how much I have learned, the improvements we’ve made, and the excitement for next year.
I want to thank you so much for your commitment to local, organic food and for actively working to support your local farm. CSA members find out what that means on an intimate level—the backwards cooking, the adventure, the divine morsels, the dozens of different recipes for fennel and cabbage. Members show up each week with enthusiasm for whatever might come from the farm, waiting in line so that I can share the food with each of them. It was an absolute pleasure to farm for the CSA and I’m afraid I’ll go into quite the decline when I don’t get to see them all regularly.
As the season winds down we kick into a different gear for all that we have planned for the winter. This week we are planting and mulching next year’s garlic, finishing a communal kitchen structure in the garden, the farm stand for u-pick gleaning, and building next year’s compost piles. Next week we are hosting the Sisters High School Interdisciplinary Environmental Education class who has taken on the project of refurbishing our old root cellar. We will be cleaning out the last thirty years of accumulated hay, pouring a new foundation, replacing posts, patching insulation, galvanizing the roof, and designing storage for potatoes, beets, carrots, parsnips, turnips, rutabagas, garlic, onions, shallots, and cabbage. The students will be approaching the school administration with a proposal to use local produce in the cafeteria. This project will also help us to provide more staples to CSA members with the ability to store winter crops for a future winter CSA option. We will also be building a room in the root cellar for milling grains. I hope to offer fresh ground flour next year with sourdough starters and recipes so that you can easily bake your own artesian loaves each week.
We have had a wonderful experience raising pigs this year. Our nine pigs have eaten loads and loads of garden waste, our organic wheat and peas and some feed corn that I traded with another organic farmer in John Day. We are hoping to integrate more protein production into the farm in the coming years, because the dynamic of animals in an organic system seems incredibly important, for nutrients, tillage, beneficial use of vegetable byproducts, etc… Plus, providing a more balanced diet for the families who are committed to knowing their farmer.
As I take this old farm as my own, I am striving to grow a complete diet for my family, friends, and community. The symbiosis of a diverse organic system is my dream. I intend to take the Rainshadow CSA to a new level next year. On top of the weekly vegetable boxes, members will be able to add regular meat boxes that include our organic beef and chicken. We will also offer whole and half pigs again as well as Thanksgiving turkeys. I intend to have a farm-fresh egg option and a grain option that includes whole grains and fresh flour. I am including a survey to collect your ideas and desires for a more diverse diet from Rainshadow Organics that I hope you will send back, because your feedback is so valuable to me.
I want to tell you what an important role you play in providing local food to the community. Many people talk about eating locally, but you all really eat locally! That means every week, all the stuff that you see over and over and all the stuff you’ve never seen before, and trying recipes and sharing recipes. YOU make it possible for me to farm. Your commitment allows me to operate a small family farm that is incredibly diverse and diversifying more each day. Your commitment also allows me to have extra that I work hard at getting into the greater community through our hospitals and schools, because fresh, organic food should be available to people, especially ones who are learning or sick. Your commitment allows me to work all winter long on projects to make next year better. Your feedback helps me to buy new varieties and make next year more fun with more diverse abundance. I start planting in February, which feels right around the corner and having your commitment helps me to plant what we need for the coming year.
I want you to please consider signing up for the 2012 CSA before the New Year. I would like to extend an offer of $30 off both the large and small shares if you sign up before then. I am also happy to take payments, WIC, and Farm Direct Coupons. Also, please return your survey. Let me know if you are interested in signing up for pork, which we will purchase in March so they are ready by September. We will also be building our infrastructure for integrating beef and chicken into our system this winter and need to know the demand. And thank you so much for spreading the good word about Rainshadow Organics to other friends and families!
Again, Thank you so much for your commitment!

Much love and all the very best for a wonderful winter season!!!
Your Farmer, sarahlee.

Thank you Sisters High School I.E.E. kids!

I want to extend sincere thanks to the IEE students at Sisters High School for their efforts today at Rainshadow Organics. We have embarked on a year-long project to refurbish our old potato cellar to once again store food for our community. At Rainshadow we produce a wide variety of vegetables and grains on 127 certified organic acres. That food feeds 65 families who are CSA farm members and provides many items to the Bend hospital, local restaurants and Melvin’s Fir Street Market in Sisters. My goal at the farm is to extend our feeding season beyond June through October, into the winter with roots, cabbages, grains and other preserved foods.Seventy students, five teachers and several volunteers showed up at the farm yesterday with pitchforks in hand. We ran four trucks and two dump trailers non-stop for two hours and this group cleaned out thirty years of accumulated hay. I was so impressed with their hard work, enthusiasm, and teamwork. Anyone who says kids don’t know how to work any more have not met these terrific kids from Sisters. Talk about troopers covered in sweat and hay, dust stuck to mascara, crawling under the trailer, jumping in the trailer to make more room, driving trucks, digging potatoes… totally down and dirty. Its incredible what teamwork can accomplish and what fun these kids made out of an awful job.Yesterday we took the first step to make way for food! We will be working together this winter to get locally grown, organic food into the Sisters school cafeterias in the future. These kids deserve it and know that food independence is cool! Not to mention that locally produced, organic food is best for the land and its people.If anyone wants to be a part of this project, please feel free to contact me at again I.E.E.!sarahlee

Sunday, September 25, 2011

I can sure feel a change in the weather this weekend. Fall seems to be blowing in over our mountains. We’ve had a nice long blast of warm weather and everything is gravy from here on out as far as I can tell. Our tomatoes are ripening slower, winter squash is hardening off and the lettuce and kale are loving this. I am hoping the season will continue on through the third week of October. Another month!! We aren’t planting anything new any more and as beds finish, they are getting planted with a winter pea cover crop to fix nitrogen and provide biomass to till in the spring.
This week we are working with Sisters High Schoolers to clean out our hundred year old potato cellar so that we can refurbish it this winter to receive next fall’s harvest. I am so excited about this project and what it means to the food I will be able to provide to you all!

Our harvest of organic hard red spring wheat.

Wheat Berries With Winter Squash and Chickpeas
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
2 large garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon ground allspice
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon cayenne (to taste)
1 cup wheat berries
2 tablespoons tomato paste diluted in 1 cup water
1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
1/4 cup chopped fresh dill or mint
1 pound winter squash, peeled, seeded and cut in large dice
1 can chickpeas, drained
1. Heat the oil in a large heavy soup pot. Add the onion. Cook, stirring, until tender. Stir in the garlic, ground allspice and cayenne. Stir together for about one minute, then add the wheat berries, tomato paste and 4 cups of water. Bring to a boil, and add salt to taste. Reduce the heat, cover and simmer 30 minutes. Add 2 tablespoons each of the parsley and dill or mint, and stir in the winter squash and chickpeas. Bring back to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer for another 45 minutes until the beans and wheat berries are tender and the squash is beginning to fall apart.

2. Uncover the pot, and turn the heat to high so that the liquid returns to a boil. Boil until the liquid is reduced to a syrupy consistency. Remove from the heat, and stir in the remaining herbs. Taste and adjust salt.


We are developing our grain growing to be able to offer more staple foods to our community. We are starting with a partnership with Baked Bakery to build a mill here at the farm to grind our fresh flour. Be sure to sift and clean your wheat berries and you can cook them as a whole grain breakfast, hearty dinner or delicious dessert!

Monday, September 19, 2011

Volume 2: Issue 14

Feels like Fall, but no frost this weekend! We might still see some summer squash after all and more ripe tomatoes ;)
I tried to get Rainshadow Organics on Facebook this weekend. Whatever that means. You should “like” it. I will try to post more pictures and little updates there.
Let me know if you are interested in our vermiculture class on Saturday Oct. 1st here at the farm from 10-2!!! You will leave here enlightened :) with your very own worm farm!

· Use a mix of slender carrots, baby turnips, fingerling potatoes, potatoes in general, parsnips, beets, kohlrabi, rutabaga, or celeriac.
· 1 or 2 medium onions, trimmed, peeled and halved, each 1/2 cut into quarters
· 1 whole head garlic, separated into cloves, unpeeled
· 2 or 3 sprigs fresh rosemary, sage, or thyme, Salt, Freshly ground black pepper
Extra-virgin olive oil

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
Peel and trim your veggies as needed and cut into 1” thick pieces. They can be long and skinny or cubed.
Put all the vegetables and the herb sprigs in a large baking dish. Season well with salt and black pepper, drizzle generously with olive oil, and toss them with your hands to coat them evenly.
Put the baking dish in the preheated oven and cook, stirring the vegetables occasionally, until they are tender and golden brown, about 45 minutes.

You receive a mix of roots each week, especially from here on out and this recipe is a fabulous one for enjoying things you thought you didn’t like :)

I have heard so many of you talking about wonderful recipes that you’ve tried. Please email them to me and I will put them on the Rainshadow Blog to share.
Also, all of the recipes from this year and last year are on the blog so if you lost yours or want to check out some other ones, refer to the blog

Saturday, September 17, 2011

A very special note

"A pic from Wed night. The beef we bought from you, lightly sauteed onions and broccoli, and grilled Romaine salad. Yummmmmmmmmm.
Thanks Sarahlee for bringing the farm to our table. We just love ya and all that you do!!!!!!!
E and the Fam"

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Volume 2: Issue 13

We’ve had an extra hot week of summer here at the farm and have spent a lot of energy to keep things from burning up in the sun and smoke. At the same time, a lot of our seeds planted for fall have loved the warm soil for germination. We have cilantro and asian greens coming on from seed, in addition to more kohlrabi, kale, broccoli, lettuce, and cabbage that have been transplanted in the last week. We are still going strong and reaping more goodness from the hot house each day.
Please consider joining us for our vermiculture class on October 1st. It will be a great time to visit the farm and learn about the benefits of worms. They are the foundation of our nutrient management here at the farm and can be a wonderfully organic way to deal with your vegetable waste at home. You can use your castings in your own garden, or bring them back to the farm to grow more yummy veggies at Rainshadow ;)

Another farm sketch from Kathy Deggendorfer

Grilled Romain Recipe from CSA member Ginny Adams
Cut Romaine lettuce lengthwise down the middle. Brush with olive oil and sprinkle with steak seasoning (I use McCormick’s Montreal steak, or use salt and pepper if you prefer). Grill on hot grill for about 3 minutes on each side. You want it to just begin to wilt. Remove from coals and sprinkle with fresh lime juice and freshly grated Parmesan cheese.

My friend, the worm wizard, would like to share his knowledge. We are going to host a vermiculture class on Saturday Oct. 1st here at the farm from 10-2.
For $40 you will get your own worm farm to go under your kitchen sink and eat your food scraps. We can take 10-12 participants.

Volume 2: Issue 12

Well, just like clockwork, we froze on the 1st of September. My helpers and I scrambled around to get our garlic off of the field and as much row cover onto the field as possible. We saved some beans and some zucchinis, but many of our tender plants got the cold breath of death. Luckily, almost all of our peppers, tomatoes, and eggplants are in my hothouse that you can see in this painting. We are keeping it closed at night and hoping for ripe fruits.
We finally harvested our field peas on Monday and will be planting our winter cover crop and building our garlic beds in the next couple of weeks. We also transplanted all of our fall cabbage, kohlrabi, broccoli, and kale as many of our rows of beans came out in the freeze. It’s a time of transition here at the farm!

Kathy Deggendorfer came to paint at the farm. You should come and paint at the farm too!

· 4 cups chopped cabbage
· 1 medium fennel bulb, trimmed, chopped
· 1/2 cup chopped fresh Italian parsley
· 3 tablespoons drained capers
· 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
· 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
· 2 garlic cloves, minced
Combine cabbage, fennel, parsley, and capers in large bowl; toss to blend. Mix in lemon juice, oil, and garlic. Season to taste with salt and pepper. (Can be prepared 2 hours ahead. Cover and refrigerate. Toss before serving.)
Wonderful as a side dish with grilled sea bass, halibut, or marinated, skewered shrimp
We finally have a small surplus of farm-fresh eggs that will continue for the rest of the season. Many of you have asked for eggs and now is your chance! I am selling them for $5 a dozen and can bring them to your CSA drop. Just let me know a day in advance via email.
Also, remember to get your beef the same way. We are still selling 10lb and 20lb mixed boxes!

Monday, August 29, 2011

Volume 2: Issue 11

We had a fantastic event on Sunday at the farm with a turnout of over 175 people. 100% of the food was from right here on the farm and everyone enjoyed walking through the garden after a little rain and hail. I loved sharing the farm and am happy to relax this week, at least socially. The farm continues to grow with no rest for the weary as they say. Last year our first frost was on August 22nd and we have made it to September! The beans and zucchinis keep coming among other things. We are getting more and more ripe goodies out of the hot house and I’ll be spreading that love as long as it lasts :) At this point we have a couple thousand starts in the greenhouse of lettuce, broccoli, and cabbage that will get set out in the next couple weeks and then as beds become empty they will start to get their fall cover crop planted, probably winter peas. Even as summer seems to dwindle, we have at least six more weeks of veggies to look forward to!

· 15 ounces fava beans
· 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
· 1 large onion, chopped
· 1 large tomato, diced
· 1 teaspoon ground cumin
· 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
· 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice

1. Pour the beans into a pot and bring to a boil.
2. Blend the cooked beans
3. Add onion, tomato, olive oil, cumin, parsley, lemon juice, salt, pepper, and red pepper.
4. Bring the mixture back to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium.
5. Let the mixture cook 5 minutes.
6. Serve warm with grilled pita.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Catching Up


If you haven’t already, be sure to get your tickets for The Rainshadow Effect on August 28!
Come join the Upper Deschutes Watershed Council and Rainshadow Organics for a lovely evening of delicious food (all meat and veggies from the farm), local beer and wine, and the excellent local sounds of Bend-based Franchot Tone!!
We'll kick off at 4pm with beverages, starters, and a farm tour. Then we'll have music and a fabulous dinner. The party will go on around the campfire so bring your personal instruments!
The proceeds of this event will fund Place-based Watershed Education.
Tickets can be purchased online at for $20. You can also email me by Wednesday and pay at the door. And please spread the word! This is the very best time of year to visit the farm and for a wonderful cause.

We are looking forward to seeing you on the 28th

· 3 medium fennel bulbs, trimmed and quartered
· 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter,
· Salt and Freshly ground black pepper
· 1 large onion and 3 cloves garlic
· 8 small plum tomatoes diced or one can tomatoes if I can’t find enough in the greenhouse
· 1/2 cup freshly shredded Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese and 1/2 cup crumbs
First prepare the fennel by discarding any coarse outer leaves and the root base and slice the bulbs very thinly. Heat the oil in a large pan and gently fry the chopped onion and garlic. Add the slices of fennel and cook these for a few more minutes. Add the tomatoes to the fennel and onion mixture and season well. Cover the pan and simmer for about 10 minutes, then transfer the vegetables to a lightly greased dish. Mix the cheese and breadcrumbs together and sprinkle over the top, then bake the casserole for 15 - 20 minutes until the top is nice and crisp.

Dry your Herbs
I try to include herbs each week from mint and parsley to basil, oregano, cilantro, sage, etc…
If you don’t use them fresh and you are wondering what to do, just hang them in your kitchen or dry them in a slightly warm oven, then crush them and save them for winter. Mint is great for tea!

The farm is in full force. Finally. Everything is big and fabulous and sort of astonishing. We are somewhat ahead of the weeds and finishing our final plantings. A wave of starts is coming out of the greenhouse this week including fall kale, cabbage, lettuce, and broccoli. Our last seed starts will get planted this week and get transplanted at the end of the month. Our four season greenhouse has been cycling since February. As things come out now we will be planting fall cover crops like peas and vetch to add nutrients to our soil over winter. Our summer peas are dry and soon to be combined for seed. We have had a full worker exchange as our lovely helpers are all headed back to school. We have a couple new people that you might meet at veggie drops. Otherwise I am trying to stay ahead of beans and zucchinis. Please consider coming on the 28th for our Dinner. I would be so delighted to show you around your farm.

Pork and Beef
We still have a couple little pink pigs for sale. They are devouring organic veggies at the farm and getting fat!
We also have our grass fed beef for sale by the mixed box of 10 or 20lbs. It is priced cheaper than grocery hamburger and you get a mixed box of roasts, steaks, etc. I can deliver this each week with one day’s notice.
Remember to buy your tickets for the Rainshadow Effect at the CSA drop for $20


· 1 tsp olive oil
· 3 carrots, shredded or chopped fine
· 1 fennel bulb, trimmed and diced
· 1/2 tsp ground coriander (fresh chopped cilantro also works)
· 1/4 tsp fennel seeds
· 1/3 cup heavy cream
Heat olive oil in skillet over medium heat. Stir in carrots and fennel and season with coriander and fennel seeds. Cook until lightly browned. Mix in the heavy cream and reduce heat to low. Simmer about 5 minutes until the cream has been absorbed into the carrots and fennel. Serve hot.

Your farmer is back from the mighty Colorado River! I soaked up a ton of powerful medicine in the canyon and am glad to be back on the farm. I am absolutely astonished at how your veggies have grown! I feel like this spring was so terribly slow, but finally we have a garden FULL of food. It is the jungle I have been waiting for. Now, we just have to keep up with the veggies in our brief window of diverse abundance. Last year our first frost was August 21st. Lets hope for an Indian summer this year so we can enjoy our hot crops for all the weeks they want to give. Speaking of which, get ready for the days of beans and zucchinis! Keep in mind that they can be thrown into anything, soup, stir fry, casserole, crock pot, etc… but they can also be blanched and frozen for winter. This is a very easy process and lets you enjoy the bounty of our area even while the snow falls.


· 1 tablespoon olive oil
· 3 slices bacon
· 1 large onion, chopped
· 2 cloves garlic, minced
· 1 teaspoon salt
· 1 teaspoon pepper
· 3 cups chicken broth
· 1 pinch red pepper flakes
· 1 pound collard greens cut into 2” pieces
1. Heat oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add bacon, and cook until crisp. Remove bacon from pan, crumble and return to the pan. Add onion, and cook until tender, about 5 minutes. Add garlic, and cook until just fragrant. Add collard greens, and fry until they start to wilt.
2. Pour in chicken broth, and season with salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for 45 minutes, or until greens are tender.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

JULY 11th

I want to thank you all for your commitment to local food; for trying your greens many different ways, for trying new veggies, and for cooking backwards. I appreciate so much your willingness to receive a vegetable you’ve never seen and to find a new recipe just for it. I believe this is a celebration and respect for the hardy veggies that persevere in Central Oregon. My mom says that eating seasonally is to find many ways to eat the same thing. When their time has passed, you are both happy and sad to see them go until next year.
I’d like to invite you to join me at: Meet Your Farmer Dinner this Friday, July 15th at Common Table, 150 Oregon St, Downtown Bend
Dinner begins at 6pm, My presentation starts at 7pm. They’ll be cookin’ up our veggies and I’ll have pictures of the farm.

Jen’s Garden hosted Tall, Noelie, Amar, and I for the 4th of July. We are excited about their upcoming farm to table dinner.

July 20th:
Check out Jen’s Garden Farm to Table event
Pono Farms and Rainshadow Organics
Location on Pine Meadow Ranch, cost $75 per person.
For more info:

Raven’s Simple Kale Recipe:
Just make a dressing in a large bowl, I use olive oil, bregg's amino's, brewer's yeast, and a few herbs such as cayenne, cumin, turmeric, curry, lemon pepper, whatever--to the mix. Then I mix it in the bowl. Wash the kale, strip off the stalks, and then massage the kale for ten minutes in the dressing. It can be eaten fresh, or dehydrated.
Keep in mind that you can eat all of your greens… radish, cabbage, broccoli, kale, swiss chard, kohlrabi…. They can all be sautéed, thrown in soup, quiche, stirfry, burritos, etc… hide them from yourself if you have to, but know that they are the most nutritious vegetables you can get. There’s nothing like dark leafy greens and I take this opportunity to force feed them all summer long, knowing in my heart that I am helping your health a tiny little bit :)


Happy 4th of July! Things are finally heating up at the farm and starting to grow. Some might find it too hot (the vegetables I mean) and start to bolt, but I’m working hard to stay on top of them all. I adjust our automated drip system to put down more water, I fertilize with a compost tea, and hope that nothing gets away. Its amazing how a broccoli head can go from the size of a quarter to the size of a saucer and starting to flower…. Over night.
Now that the rains have passed (most likely) we are finally getting ahead of the weeds. It’s a lovely time in the garden and you are all welcome to come for a picnic or a rest in the hammock.
I hope you are all enjoying your veggies. They are jam-packed with nutrients and picked fresh each day for you. I know we have had a slow start to the season, but this is Central Oregon after all and the bounty is on its way. Thank you for your patience and support.

Our corner field of Austrian Winter Peas. We will share them with you sweet before we combine them for seed.



1 fresh kohlrabi, ends trimmed, thick skin sliced off with a knife, diced

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 tablespoon garlic

Salt and Good Vinegar

Set oven to 450F. Toss the diced kohlrabi with olive oil, garlic and salt in a bowl. (The kohlrabi can be tossed with oil and seasonings right on the pan but uses more oil.) Spread evenly on a rimmed baking sheet and put into oven (it needn't be fully preheated) and roast for 30 - 35 minutes, stirring every five minutes after about 20 minutes. Sprinkle with a good vinegar (probably at the table so the kohlrabi doesn't get squishy).

WVO stands for Waste Vegetable Oil, which is used fryer oil. Your veggies are delivered by a truck that runs on recycled vegetable oil. I am always looking for WVO and if anyone knows of a restaurant that might be interested in letting me have theirs, please let me know :)

Friday, July 1, 2011

Volume 2: Issue 3

Thanks to all of you who joined us at the farm this weekend. We had a wonderful event with great food, music, bee information, and strolls around the farm. Now that you know where we are, you can feel free to come out and enjoy the hammock or have a picnic under the tree.
It really warms my heart to see people becoming a part of our food community. There is nothing like a potluck to meet new people and cherish the tiny slice of food security that we provide. It is a rare thing to know your farmer, to have confidence in your food, and even the ability to make requests. Speaking of which, its not too late to put in your two bits for veggie varieties. I’d be happy to plant seed that you may have or buy requests. We’ll be planting through July for our late season harvests.
Again, thank you and enjoy!


1 1/2 pounds spinach, baby bok choy, tat soi, swiss chard, kale, or combination of other asian greens.
3 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
1 tablespoon honey
1 teaspoon toasted sesame seeds, plus more for

1 teaspoon sesame oil

Pour about 1-inch of water into a wok and bring it to a boil over high heat. Put the greens into a bamboo steamer and cover. Put the steamer into the wok and steam the vegetables for about 5 minutes or until they are just tender. Meanwhile make the dressing by combining the soy sauce, vinegar, honey, oil, and 1 teaspoon sesame seeds in a small bowl. Put the cooked greens onto a serving platter, drizzle the dressing over them, and toss well to coat. Garnish with sesame seeds and serve immediately.

Steve Harris opens our bee hives at the farm during our event last weekend. In honor of bees I am including a recipe with honey :P

We are raising organic pork this year. They are fed the clippings from our gardens as well as the organic wheat that we raised last year. They live out here in “Hog Heaven” and will be ready sometime in October. Just want to give a heads up if you’d like to buy a whole or half pig. We have a limited amount.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

It was so nice to meet you all last week. I hope you all enjoyed your greens and tried your new recipe. As we ease into summer we are seeing rows of baby beans, summer squash, and broccoli. I have been transitioning the greenhouses from lettuce, asian greens, and kale to tomatoes, eggplants, peppers, and winter squash. The rain makes everything happy including the weeds, but we seem to be staying just ahead of them and the farm is looking lovely.
I want to tell you that there is a hefty amount of nutrients in the food you pick up in your weekly share. The veggies carry maximum vitamins, picked ripe with hardly any lost in transit. As an organic farmer I incorporate an incredible amount of calcium and potassium that the vegetables use to grow and then deliver to you. Each one is powerful and full of love.

One deep nine-inch pastry shell.1 packet of frozen spinach, chopped.2 medium eggs.½ stick of butter.1 cup of milk.1 cup of Swiss cheese, grated.½ cup of onions, chopped.½ cup of celery, chopped.½ cup of cottage cheese.1 teaspoon of salt.½ teaspoon of pepper.¼ teaspoon of nutmeg.
Cook spinach in salted water and drain. Sautee the onion and celery in butter until the onion is soft. Spread cottage cheese over the bottom of the pastry shell. Mix the spinach with the onion/celery mixture and spread over top of the cottage cheese. Sprinkle swiss cheese over top. Combine the eggs, milk, salt, pepper and nutmeg, and pour over all.
Bake at 350 for 45 minutes.

Monday, June 13, 2011


Welcome to the Rainshadow Organics CSA program! We are so happy to have you as part of our farm family. We’ve been planting since February and though our first boxes are mostly green, you will see a full gamut of veggies over the next 5 months. Many things that you find in your box will be a surprise to you and I am excited for your adventure. I will include weekly recipes in the newsletter and you can find more recipes from last year on our blog. I want to encourage your active participation at the farm. Whether that is visiting throughout the summer, requesting varieties, or sharing recipes. You are now a part of a food community that cares about good food, clean food, food that does not come from another continent, but is in fact picked the day it is delivered to your town. As your farmer, I am happy to answer any questions you may have about our varieties, methods, etc.

Savory Kale, Cannellini Bean and Potato Soup

Cook one diced onion in 2 T of olive oil until softened. Stir in 3/4 cup diced carrots and 4 cloves minced garlic and cook 5 minutes. Pour in 3 cups chicken broth, 2 cups water, 1 cup white wine, 3 potatoes (halved and sliced), 1/2 tsp rosemary, 1 tsp chopped fresh sage, 1/2 tsp thyme. Bring to boil over high heat then reduce heat to medium-low, cover and simmer until the potatoes are tender, about 20 minutes. Add one 16 ounce can of cannellini (or your favorite) beans, 2 cups chopped kale leaves, 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes and salt to taste. Simmer, covered for 30 minutes.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Kale is also great layered into your favorite scalloped potato recipe. If you have given up dairy, substitute lite coconut milk for the best scalloped potatoes ever!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

New Farm Stand

With the help of my friend Lee and of course Michael, we framed our new farmstand today. The metal will go on the roof later this week and then we will build our shelves and wash station. I am thrilling to have a more efficient way to get cleaner veggies to my customers.

AND we'll be selling produce like this right at the farm...

The new farm stand will be open pretty much every day all day. It will be a u-pick, honor system. We'll have baskets and knives for picking and clear instructions. Then people can weigh their own stuff and drop their money in the money box.
So, feel free to come on out to the farm starting in mid-June through October. We'll be glad to see you and to share our bounty!

Thursday, April 7, 2011


Greetings to my beloved members of the farm. It is bitter cold outside, the ground is frozen solid, and I am attending to inside business, but just two weeks ago spring came for a preview. We had a fabulous group of “Willing Workers on Local Farms” who came and spread compost on the vegetable garden. We spread about 100 yards of composted horse manure and garden clippings! I integrated it into the ground with the rototiller the next day so that the soil can begin to digest these nutrients so they will be available when we need them in the spring. That night we got a foot of snow and I woke with a tremendous sense of grace to have accomplished such a huge and important task so early. We are off to a great start!!! Seeds have been started and we’ll be planting in tunnels next week!

Christmas Letter

Greetings to my beloved members of the farm. Its been a couple months since I last saw most of you and I MISS YOU! I miss the abundance of the farm and the wonderful sense of community that comes with it. I am also enjoying the long nights and slow days of winter. Time feels like honey as I peruse seed catalogues and begin to map next year’s field on paper. I have so much gratitude for the tremendous success we had this summer with our first crack at growing food here on a large scale. We are also out playing in the snow and building a new washing and packing facility, farm stand, and hoop house. I have my eye on more variety earlier! I am so excited for next year I can hardly stand it. I’m off to water in the greenhouse. We’re still getting greens and tomatoes and TatSoi out of the snow! A NOTE FROM TERRA MADRE As most of you know, I spent October in Italy at Terra Madre. It was a fabulous convention of 6,400 farmers and foodies from 161 nations. It was four fabulous days of sharing pride for our work defending quality of life through food. Coming home, I am so proud of my community and our local food system, which you are all very much a part of. Your decision to eat locally and organically has such a huge impact on a planetary level. I’d love for you to check out Slow Food and the work they do to protect and enjoy culinary heritage and help maintain the health of community and landscape. As they say of farmers in Italy: “When labor impregnates the dress of the humble, we collect the drops of sweat like diamonds.” I farm for you with love. Warmest Wishes I hope you are all ensconced in family and friends this holiday season. Maybe you have a few potatoes or winter squash left from summer to mix in with your holiday celebrations. I am sending much love and gratitude from the farm! Enjoy!

Volume 1: Issue 17

Well, I guess this is it. The last delivery of the season. I find this to be quite depressing, honestly. I will miss my garden so much and I will miss seeing you all every week. Boo. But next year is just around the bend! We are disking down our big field and planting a winter cover crop of Austrian field peas. The vegetable patch is heading to the compost pile and much mulching is taking place. I feel like we’ve finished with a bang. Some great roots and greens to get you a couple more weeks into winter. Its been quite the season experience from our first little boxes through the abundance of summer and into autumn. I have learned so so much and look forward to next year… I’ve got lots of improvements in mind, but I really want to thank you all for your support and patience through this season. I could not have done it without you. Your faith allowed me to dive in and this foundation of knowledge will carry me through many years of growing ahead. I sure hope you all enjoyed the season and I want to reiterate that I am very keen to get any feedback you may have. From variety, to quality, to quantity, etc… I distributed next year’s membership form to many of you a couple of weeks ago. Please let me know if you didn't get one or if you need another. You can sign up any time from now until next spring. If you know of anyone who might be interested in the CSA program, please spread the word or send them my way. I’m happy to send them more information or answer any questions. I will have a limited number of spots next year, so if you can’t pay the membership now, but would like me to hold your spot, you can send a down payment with your form and can send the balance next spring. Thanks again for all your support and commitment to local food!! Basil! This is the last of the basil… you will find quite the bunch of leaves and flowers in your share… I recommend leaving it in an open tray to dry for a week or two… turning it occasionally… then pulling all the dry leaves and flowers off the stem. Crush and store them in a jar for cooking in the winter. Enjoy!

Volume 1: Issue 16

As many of you know, my farm is more than just a vegetable garden. We raise hay, field peas, barley, and wheat. This year I did a field test for the Western Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education program. I intercropped wheat with 5 different varieties of legumes at different seeding rates… looking for a symbiotic relationship where the legume feeds the wheat and suppresses weeds. All quite interesting frankly. In any case, I combined all my test strips last week and will be weighing and testing and ultimately writing a paper about the project. The point is… you get wheat this week! Local, organic, soft, white, spring, wheat, called Alpowa. I eat the stuff raw by the handful, but you should cook it and eat it hot or cold, in soup or salad or whatever. Totally fun! Only one more week to go. I’m getting depressed. I love you all and hope to see you next year!! HERBED FETA WHEAT BERRY SALAD 2 cups cooked wheat berries1 cup feta cheese, crumbled3 Tbsp. fresh parsley, chopped3 Tbsp. fresh dill, chopped
 (You can use dried, if your herb garden has had it, like mine.)2 finely chopped green onions2 tomatoes, coarsely chopped¼ cup extra virgin olive oil¼ cup green olives, sliced in half2 Tbsp. lime juiceSalt and pepper to taste (optional) In a serving bowl mix wheat berries, feta, herbs, olives, green onions and tomato. In a small bowl, whisk together oil and limejuice; then mix the dressing together with the wheat berry mixture. Serve over a bed of spring greens or other dark lettuce. For more wheat berry recipes check out: Broccoli is coming for its second round… I have some plants that are five feet tall and look like something grown in Alaska. Pretty amazing!! Watch out for little grubs and just remind yourself that they are organic :) Steam it. Eat it raw. Put it in salad or soup or stir fry. Enjoy!

Volume 1: Issue 15

Hello! I hope this perfect week of summer and fall wrapped up in one is treating you well. We are still hauling lots of goodies out of the field and are excited to share them with you. I visited a big organic farm in the valley today to see what it would be like to expand a bit. I certainly got some great ideas for implements that will save my time and body. And of course everything grows in the valley, but I can’t stand all that green and the heavy air. I like it here… frost and all… This farm has a big CSA and also sells at markets and such. I was struck by the fact that the farmer didn’t know hardly any of the families visiting his farm and it made me appreciate my relationship with you all so much and how much pleasure I get out of knowing you and seeing you each week. Thank you all so much for being part of my life. Let me know if you come up with any cool recipes for brussel sprouts ;) SQUASH MUFFINS 1 cup flour 1 cup whole wheat flour 1/3 cup packed light brown sugar 2 teaspoons baking powder 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon 1/2 teaspoon baking soda 1/2teaspoons salt 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg 6 tablespoons butter or margarine 1/2 cup golden raisins 3/4 cup milk 1/2 cup cook squash 1 egg Combine flours, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, baking soda, salt, cloves, and nutmeg in a large bowl. Cut in butter with pastry blender until mixture resembles fine crumbs. Stir in raisins. Blend milk, squash, egg, and melted butter. Stir into flour mixture just until moistened. Spoon evenly into prepared muffin cups. Bake 25-30 minutes at 400 or until golden brown. Remove from pan and cool on rack. Brussel Sprouts This may be a bit premature, but I swear we are getting close to having brussel sprouts. If not this week, then next… but I’ve planted four different varieties for your pleasure. I honestly don't know anything about them and have never eaten them, but they look cool and I’m going to see if I like them since I grew them :) Enjoy!

Volume 1: Issue 14

We’re still hangin in down here and I cannot believe how much food is still coming out of this field! Despite the cold and the hard rains, the garden remains fabulously abundant. I’m sure it will all ease down to greens, just as we started, but the root crops sure are fun while they last. We’ve had lots of friends coming through this time of year and digging into the garden with us. Its been wonderful to share the garden. Please feel free to stop by any time for a visit before its all over for this year. We’re also going through our field maps and making notes of what we liked and worked best. If you have any input whatsoever, please send me an email or let me know. I welcome your ideas, especially while the season is fresh in our minds. It’s a great chance for you to shape the coming year! I hope you are all very very well and I want to thank you again for all your support! PARSNIPS... HERE'S WHAT TO DO... Cut them into thin strips and bake them like a French fry. Use a little olive oil and salt and pepper. Super sweet! Use them in a winter stir fry with beets, potatoes, cabbage, etc.. You can strip and grill it like asparagus. I bet there’s a soup with parsnips and parsley too. Mmmm :) Cut them in half and put them in a buttered dish, sprinkle with salt, and add 3/4 cups stock or water and bake for 45 minutes at 375. Serve with Parsley Butter. Essentially, what don’t you do with a parsnip??? Enjoy! Gourds are a fun little ornamental at the end of the season! I don’t think they are edible, but you can try :) I suggest using them as an autumn center piece. Enjoy!

Volume 1: Issue 13

Hello there! I’m so excited to still be hauling in such great loot from the garden despite all the frost. Its amazing how many things are quite tolerant of the cold. In fact, I’m still planting some things, like radishes :) Other rows are finally finishing and are being put to bed for winter. We are adding a lot of vegetable carcasses to the compost pile and turning it regularly. Compost is the foundation for organic growing and will be spread on the rows and mulched before winter. This is a long process that starts now. We get a lot of our manure from our own horses, but most of it comes from Karen and Tim O'Neill in Sisters from their horse training facility. Big thanks to them for all the manure they deliver! I’m particularly excited about seeing my Best friend Holly who is visiting from Alaska. She was in the Olympics this year for Nordic skiing and has been training around the farm. Super fun to have her around!! Root Crops are wonderful at the end of the season. You’ll be getting more turnips, parsnips, and rutabagas. I recommend cutting them into large chunks, coating in olive oil and sprinkling with salt and pepper and simply roasting. It’s a tasty medley and one of the best parts of fall. Enjoy!

Volume 1: Issue 12

Well. We had our first hard freeze and Michael and I spent a good deal of the weekend getting what we could out of the mass destruction. Frost is like the breath of death. All squash, zucchini, beans, peppers, cucumbers, ….. All black. Harvesting the leftover fruits felt like picking the pockets of a dead soldier. Its been rough. Its been Central Oregon. On the flip side, our compost pile is looking fabulous with all the vegetable carcasses piling on. It’s a powerful cycle through significant transformation, everything heading back to the ground for next year. And the years to come. I am excited to think about the soil getting older, more complex, richer… Its going to be a great journey. For now, we have the pile covered to keep it warm and moist and I turn it with the tractor every few days. In the next month we’ll spread the couple hundred cubic yards of compost. Slowly we’ll get the garden all put to bed for the next go-around. Thanks again for all your support! MINT MELON SALAD My dog has been eating melons all summer it seems, but some made it to full size. We have just a few after the frost, but if you get one, you should try this salad. If you don't get one, you should get a melon and try this salad :) Its YUMMY Cube the melon Dice up a handful of mint and mix through Splash with some lime juice Sprinkle with a bit of your favorite sweetener. Winter Squash is here! Maybe that means that winter is actually here?? We have all sorts and I recommend cutting them in half, leaving them in the skin, and bake at 350 for about an hour. Some butter and brown sugar goes a long way. You can bake them right side up or upside down. You can also bake, then freeze for later. Enjoy!

Volume 1: Issue 11

Wowsa, our first fall nights have arrived. Its been dropping down into the low 30’s and threatening to nip our tender squash and beans. We spent a long time covering what we could last night. This morning everything was fine, but it seems awfully early to get so dangerously close to turning things black. I guess that’s what Central Oregon is all about… totally undependable and always keeping you on your toes. I love it! Getting the row cover over the squash was a mission into Avatar!!, those plants over our heads and full of life. But we found our late fall goods under there. So many gorgeous winter squash that you will be seeing soon!! The cool days have been fabulous for working and many many things are being harvested. We also continue to get the fall plantings in the ground. Carrots, Bak Choi, radishes, chard, kale, bunching onions, etc… The season goes on and our food stays good and fresh. POACHED SALMON OVER FENNEL Chop up fennel and spread on bottom of baking pan. Place salmon fillet on top, skin down. Cover with sauce. 1/2 cup mayonnaise 1/2 cup coconut milk or regular milk 1 tsp Tarragon Zest and juice of one lemon Salt and pepper. POTATOES are coming! Its time to start digging new potatoes and you all are in for a treat! These little guys come in so many varieties and colors. Viking Purple, Sangre, and Yukon Gold, to six different varieties of fingerlings. Its our most favorite thing to dig them out of the ground and we are very excited to share them with you! Enjoy!

Volume 1: Issue 10

I want to thank so many of you for visiting me at the farm this weekend. It is such a pleasure to share the ground that produces so much abundance. We are so lucky! For those of you that didn’t make it out, please do try to come out some time in the coming weeks. The garden is at its peak and will wane before long. I also want to give all of you a big congratulations for using, fresh, local food in season. One CSA member called it backwards cooking and I think that’s exactly what it is. You get your ingredients first and then figure out what to do with them. This is a challenge that you have all taken on and each week I hear of new recipes and ways to cook things. I am so happy to see you all digging into your creative depths, some into your past and family history. There’s something right about it isn’t there? Cooking something right when its popping out of the ground in your town. I hope you’ve enjoyed the adventure. I appreciate your efforts so much! ZUCCHINI CRUSTED PIZZA 2 cups grated zucchini 2 eggs 1/2 cup grated mozzarella 1 cup grated parmesan some basil and rosemary 2T Olive Oil Combine all ingredients in a bowl. Press mixture into a pizza crust in the bottom of a greased 10' pan, sprinkled with flour Preheat oven to 400 degrees Bake to 35-40 minutes Half way through baking time, drizzle 1T oil on top Cool for 10 minutes and use a spatula and loosen from pan Then put all your favorite pizza toppings on top.... tomatoes sauce, garlic, cheese, meat, other veggies, etc... Bake at 400 until heated all the way through. BEANS are coming! We have so many beans its frankly insane. But they are so yummy and I hope you steam them up and enjoy them fresh as can be. Another CSA member has been pickling her beans which is a really easy process where you cook them in a brine and put them in a jar. You can find the specifics online, but I really recommend it!

Volume 1: Issue 9

Oh my goodness, vegetables are coming out my ears! I’m having trouble getting the lids on your boxes! I hope you all can handle the abundance. Don’t be afraid to compost things, or send them back for me to compost or feed to the worms. Also, think about freezing some stuff… beans and peas and broccoli and such can be blanched and frozen for winter. I also recommend pickling beets, carrots, cucumbers, etc. If you are particularly interested in a lot of something, just let me know and I can try my best to bring surplus for preservation. Lord knows, I have it :) You are always welcome to come to the farm to pick veggies as well. I am here almost all of the time, at least in the morning. But please do try to drop by on Sunday the 15th! I’ll have refreshments and honored to show you around your farm. Life is positively grand out here. I am continuously surprised by these plants that produce so much. I’m so lucky to get to work with them. FOOD FOR THOUGHT Everybody knows locally sourced food is good for our health, community, and economy. But how do we mobilize our region? Will Allen, CEO of Growing Power, brings his expertise to the table and shares his ideas for sustainable change. Come for an evening of food for thought with Will Allen, named by Time Magazine as one of the World’s 100 most influential people. AUGUST 26th at 7 PM Tower Theatre in downtown Bend. Tomatoes are coming! You’ll be getting more and more tomatoes of all kinds. I pick them before they are completely ripe because they are best when ripened in a paper bag for a couple days. So please take the time to do this. Some are meant to be funny colors like striped green and purple. I will let you know when you get one of these :) Enjoy!

Volume 1: Issue 8

Its fabulous to be back and such a delight to return to a giving garden and supportive CSA members. I feel like the luckiest girl in the world! All of our long-season, warm weather veggies are starting to reach their prime. Just in time, since in only a couple weeks we’ll be back in the frost danger zone. Central Oregon simply has a short growing season and I think that’s the number one reason why its tougher to grow here than most places. But tough veggies make tough folks and we’re all better for it! I have to say that the garden has definitely become the edible jungle I was talking about way back in the spring. Its impressive and marvelous and I really hope you all try to make it out for a visit. We’ll be open for tour on August 15th for the farm tour portion of August Bounty, which you should also think about attending. There are so many wonderful farms and vineyards out this way and a gourmet meal planned! See you there! CHICUMBER SOUP ½ cup chopped onion¼ cup butter¼ cup flour½ tsp seasoned salt¼ tsp white pepper3 cups chicken broth5 medium cucumbers peeled, halved, seeded, and cut up2 cups cubed cooked chicken½ cup long grain rice2 tablespoons lemon juice2 bay leaves1 cup light cream¼ cup snipped parsley In a 3-quart saucepan cook onion in butter until tender. Blend in flour, seasoned salt, and white pepper. Stir in chicken broth. Cook and stir until thickened and bubbly. Add cucumber. Cover and simmer for 10 minutes. Blend on medium speed for 30 seconds. Return all to saucepan.Stir in chicken, uncooked rice, lemon juice, and bay leaves. Return to boiling. Reduce heat; cover and simmer 20-25 minutes. Remove bay leaves. Stir in cream and parsley. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Garnish with snipped parsley. Fennel Bulb is my favorite new crop. This tight white bulb should be chopped and eaten raw or cooked. It should be thrown in everything!!! I use the entire thing right out to its frilly ends. It adds a mild sweetness to any dish and great texture. Enjoy!

Volume 1: Issue 7

Greetings! I don’t know if anyone else wonders about how an organic farm gets enough nutrients in the soil to grow things without normal fertilizers. Well, I started with two years of cover crops that add nitrogen and humus to the soil. Then I put on about 100 yards of composted horse manure. And now I brew up a fantastic liquid fertilizer that I inject into the irrigation system and apply with a watering can. These barrels are an aerated “tea” made up of worm castings, liquid kelp, fish fertilizer, raw milk and organic molasses. All of the ingredients bring beneficial microbes with them, which develops my “living” soil. This microbial goodness inoculates my soil, breaking down nutrients already in the soil and making them available to the plants that need them. It takes about three days to brew the tea, until it gets a frothy head on it and is ready to use. It seems to be working so far! And producing some yummy food :) Braising Mix is a mix of all sorts of hefty greens from beet and rutabaga tops, to chard and kale. It is best to slice them all into strips and sauté in a bit of olive oil, with some chunks of garlic. They seem like elephant ears raw, but cooked, the are tender and divine. Enjoy! Shell Peas! Do require a bit more work than edible pod peas. But shelling peas is a great family activity and boy are they yummy! Just snap the end off, pull the sting and they pop right open. Blanch them in a bit of boiling water and throw them in soup or salad or stir fry. Enjoy!

Volume 1: Issue 6

My family farms in Central Oregon because of my Grandfather’s dream to farm after retiring from the military where he worked as a colonel through four wars. He always said that farming was the closest thing to war. Mostly because everything is always on the line. Back before veggies on the farm, we battled weevils in the alfalfa and mites in the orchard grass, sleep deprivation in the summer and cold in the winter. Now with all these varieties being grown, they all have something that wants to eat it or kill it besides us. The garden requires constant vigilance and it can be tough to get around to all 150 beds each day to check for bugs, wilt, weeds, ripeness, etc… And so many crops makes farming a little more forgiving. On failure doesn't mean 100% failure. I will say that farming doesn't feel like war to me. It feels like a pleasure, but maybe that is because work ethic and care giving are already in my blood. Thanks for letting me do what I love! Recipe for the best meatloaf ever! 1 pkg ground beef2/3 cup crumbs¼ cup chopped onion2 eggs1 packed tsp chopped fresh sage leavessalt/pepper¼ coconut milk Topping:2 tablespoons brown sugar¼ cup catsup¼ tsp nutmeg In a bowl, combine all top ingredients. Mash it all together and put in a greased bread loaf pan. Stir toppings together and pour on top of meat mixture Bake at 350 for 1 hour

Sunday, January 2, 2011

News From The Farm: Volume 1, Issue 5

Greetings! Its HOT out here!!! And the veggies love it! The whole place has popped and the food is coming. Its amazing what a little seed can become with lots of sun, soil, and water. It continues to amaze me! When its really hot like this it is important to be very attentive to the plants. We’ve set up sprinklers in addition to our drip lines to “sprizt” the field in the heat of the day to keep our plants from wilting. The hot house is exploding! I spend my early mornings before breakfast, whacking back the tomatoes and training them to the trellis. We have lots of green fruits and hundreds of flowers. I am hoping to have ripe fruits very soon. I have been told that it is best to pick the tomatoes when they aren’t yet red, then left to ripen on your sill. This reduces any mealy-ness. So you might get them sooner than later! As for us, we’ve all got wider brimmed hats and bigger sunglasses. Loving summer and farming for you!

How To Cook A Beet

In the very near future, if not today, you’ll be getting beets in your box. These beets are the freshest of the fresh and full of that dark red color that fills us with antioxidants. The red of a beet or orange of a carrot comes from carotenoids or crystalline hydrocarbons. In order for our bodies to make good use of these nutrients, its important to eat the vegetable with a bit of fat. So… cut the tap root and greens off about an inch from the beet bulb. Be sure to use your greens in salad or sauté them. Boil the beets whole for about 30-40 minutes. Poke with a knife to see if they are done. Drain off the water and let the beets cool slightly, then the outer layer, root, and stems should sluff right off in your hands. Quarter the beets. Put a little butter on them. Yummy!!!

News From The Farm: Volume 1, Issue 4

I do believe summer really is here! I hope you are all enjoying it as much as I am. And as much as the veggies are! Our warm weather crops are finally coming on and starting to flower, which means the fruits are coming! Our lemon cucumbers in this photos, are loaded with flowers! I am just hoping our bees will get with pollinating them. We are still planting a bit… just a few rows left that are getting the final planting successions, but now we have beds that are harvested and needing to be seeded again. Its an ongoing process!! It seems crazy, but in the next two weeks we will be planting all of our late season, cold tolerant crops. One really has to plan ahead for an ongoing harvest! Aside from planting, its time to weed!! Our clean slates and carefully seeded rows are full of crops, but also full of weeds. Luckily we all love weeding around here. Put the ipod in and enjoy the zen activity of pulling tiny weeds. Come help if you like!

Bok Choi Stir Fry Recipe
1 1/2 pounds bok choy or baby bok choy1 1/2 tablespoons canola, vegetable or peanut oil1-2 cloves garlic, finely minced1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger3 tablespoons broth or water (or 2 tablespoons broth/water + 1 tablespoon wine)salt to taste1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
1. Chop up the bok choy
2. Finely mince garlic and grate fresh ginger. Grating the ginger helps break up the tough fibers!
3. Place wok or frying pan on your stove and pour in the cooking oil. Add the garlic and ginger. Turn the heat to medium-high. Let the ginger and garlic gently sizzle in the oil. When the aromatics become fragrant and light golden brown, add the bok choy leaves. Toss very well to coat each leaf with the garlicky, gingery oil for 15 seconds. Pour in broth, water or wine. Immediately cover and let cook for 1 minute. Yummy!

News From The Farm: Volume 1, Issue 1

We miraculously have our first vegetables of the season! This spring has been a most refreshing situation. Our cold weather crops are doing magnificently, though I wish there were more of them. With the beginning of June came out all the tender starts. We’ve been planting like mad. Hard to believe after two freezing nights last week. But we all know that we’re about to wake up to three months in the 90’s and it will be time to take off the long underwear. Central Oregon isn’t known for graceful transitions… So, here is my first offering of food, grown organically right here in Central Oregon. Its fresh as can be, though somewhat meager. We simply have to start somewhere. I can assure you that when the veggies get on a roll, there will be no stopping them! I really hope you enjoy what you find and please do give me whatever feedback you have…. About food, logistics, quantity, quality, etc… I am so excited to be growing for you!

Country Delight Rhubarb Desert

2 cups rhubarb
1 cup flour
1/2 cup butter
1/3 cup confectioner’s sugar
3 eggs
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/4 cup flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 tsp salt
Blend flour and butter. Add confectioner’s sugar. Press into 9” square pan. Bake at 350 for 15 minutes.
Beat eggs, add 1 1/4 cup sugar very gradually. Beat until light and fluffy (5 minutes on high). Add flour, baking powder, vanilla and salt. Fold in rhubarb. Pour over crusts. Bake at 350 for 40 minutes until light brown.
Serve just the way it comes from the oven or with strawberries and whipped cream.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

On the news!
check out the news clip online...

09/22/2010 Redmond

From the farm to the kitchen, 28 year old farmer Sarahlee Lawrence is growing about 100 varieties of vegetables at her farm Rainshadow Organics. "This is my first year growing, and first year on this ground here and it's definitley very abundant, it's very exciting," said Lawrence.

For the past three months she's been supplying her produce to St. Charles in Redmond, now she's about to expand to St. Charles in Bend as well. "I'm excited to help people that are ailing and I think that food is so important," said Lawrence.

The hospital gets a load every week. "Whatever's fresh that's coming off of her farm is what we serve for lunch," said Benjamin Brown, Food Service Supervisor at St. Charles Redmond.

On the menu Wednesday, an organic buttercup squash and purple peruvian potato medly and mixed greens with steamed carrots all from rainshadow organics 16 miles away in terrebonne. " you know it's like chef's dream come true to be able to deal with vegetables that are that fresh," said Brown.

It's a dream come true for Lawrence as well. She plans to start expanding her two acres to 25 and start harvesting more vegetables by next year.