THE GREAT POTATO HARVEST– BENEFIT FOR I.E.E
Rainshadow Organics and Sisters students are teaming up to get locally grown, organic food into the Central Oregon community. This is Rainshadow Organics’ 4th annual community potato dig. In the past, community members have been able to come to their farm and help harvest the potatoes – this year it’s being run a bit differently. Rainshadow has donated 20 tons of potatoes as a fundraiser for the Interdisciplinary Environmental Education Program at Sisters High School.
Sisters High School students in both the Agriculture class and I.E.E. will go on a farm tour led by Seed to Table, participate in farm based science activities and learn what it means to be a farmer by helping harvest the potatoes.
Please join them Thursday, November 1oth from 8am-8pm. They hope to see 800 families at the sale, buying a 50-pound box of potatoes at a wholesale price of $50 and the proceeds go to IEE. If they sell all the potatoes, IEE could get upwards $20K for their program! Help them meet their goal!
“A family can quickly go through a 50 pound box by Christmas,” says Seed to Table coordinator Audrey Tehan. “Thanksgiving mashed potatoes and Christmas roasters will be the best tasting yet!”
Worried you won’t be able to go through 50 pounds of potatoes? Potatoes will keep in a cool, dry place for a few months. Or find a friend, neighbor, or colleague and share a box with them – what a way to build community.
“Load up your car, give them as gifts, donate them to your church,” says Sarahlee Lawrence, owner of Rainshadow Organics. “Storage is our biggest challenge, so we are hoping to have one big ‘potato sale day’ and everyone can take them home and enjoy!”
The proceeds will go to the I.E.E. program at Sisters High School.
I.E.E. helps students get first hand experience in project-based learning for several disciplines including science, language arts and physical education. The course is composed of a community of learners working together to gain a balanced, in-depth understanding of the world around them.
“Students are given the necessary tools to create positive change within their community,” Says Rand Runco one of the IEE teachers. “We have taken a number of field trips to Rainshadow Organics over the last seven years. Developing community partnerships like this result in a shared vision of stewardship and a sense of appreciation for and responsibility to the world around us.”
“Another goal of IEE is that students gain a sense of place and a sense of community,” says Samra Spear, IEE teacher. “This partnership and activity help to meet that goal, as students will be selflessly giving back to the community in which they live. For many years, IEE has worked with Rainshadow Organics and students have greatly gained from the experiences.”
The potatoes that will be for sale are heirloom, organic varieties. The first variety is the Viking Purple. They are a purple skin, white-fleshed potato that is particularly outstanding as a masher with incredible fluffiness. They hold together great in soups and stews. They roast, bake, and boil splendidly. Their skins hold their color and are full of nutrients.
“Potatoes are a sustainable option for a staple in Central Oregon,” says Sarahlee from Rainshadow Organics. “It is important to remember that conventional potatoes are cheap, but they are part of the ‘dirty dozen’: the top twelve conventional fruits and vegetables to avoid in terms of chemical residue. Rainshadow and IEE are proud to make these organic potatoes available to the community.”
The other variety is called Desiree. Its the #1 gourmet potato in Europe. Light red skin and yellow flesh, it has a distinctive flavor and is a versatile, fairly waxy variety which is firm and holds its shape, and is useful for all methods of cooking, from roasting to mashing and salads.