7/21 pickup — we survived!

Ms Amiga smiling in the cover crop. (Photo credit: Natalie Leder)

We made it!

I duplicate emails within our email program so I don’t have to fussel with design and formatting every week. It turns out 2 weeks ago, when I sent the July 7 email, I was talking about surviving the extreme heat event. I used these subjects and headlines.

We Survived!
We Made It!

Forgive the duplicity, but they remain true. And now we are talking about heat of a different sort. God bless it, but if I don’t have to use those headlines again, it will be too soon!

The main thing that happened last week was the Grandview Fire. Without repeating too many details that we have probably all read elsewhere, that was mighty damn close.

Looking at the fire from the 25-acre. Photo credit: Natalie Leder

On Sunday, we watched it kick up and mentally/emotionally realized that something was coming as ash rained down on the farm and the air tankers started running laps right overhead. As evening turned into night, we realized how close the Grandview fire really was and began motivating the big response. We filled water trucks, sharpened and tuned chainsaws, found all the bar oil and mixed gas for the saws, packed go bags, turned sprinklers on, and generally came together as a crew and farm family to make sure that we were responding as best and safely as we could.

On Monday, we awoke and kept an eye on things. Ashanti was up on the line with the water truck, Mel & Jer were doing a lot of sprinkler placement, brush thinning, and chainsaw tuning, and the interns and farmers harvested and weeded. We moved animals around to safer spots and corralled our dogs and cats in case we had to move out quick. The fire was close and we spent a lot of time and energy preparing, but the vegetables and weeds continued to grow and the animals still needed milking and feeding.

Jeremy Harmon (@harmonwickedwoodworking) sharpening and prepping chainsaws and Melissa Wood and Jer taking a moment from clearing brush, setting up sprinklers and generally securing the perimeter as best they could! (Photo credit: Melissa Wood & Sarahlee Lawrence)

Ginny Weasley and Amiga grazing on the cover crop through the fire preparations. Our Pigs are munching on pink Laird’s Superfood compost this week which has been a pleasant moment of hilarity during all the rest of the worry. (Photo credit Sarahlee Lawrence and Natalie Leder)

Monday evening, though, shit got real and the Farm entered into Level 2 (Set) and the Pitchfork T across the street entered into Level 3 (GO!). As that transition into an even higher level of response occurred, the tone shifted. We had spent the day with an eye toward preparation, but this was the moment. We gathered as a group, acknowledged the danger, and sat with our selves and feelings for a minute. And then we got to work. No matter how much time you have put into thinking about what to bring and where the safe spots on the farm are, it isn’t until that tipping point of GO! Now is the time! that things really fall into place.

We moved all the vehicles and propane tanks into the middle of the 25-acre field. We moved flammable objects away from houses, made sure all the sprinklers and waterlines were running, and sent people and chainsaws to the line to assist if needed. We discussed when we would physically remove ourselves from the property and what to do with the things we couldn’t take with us. These are hard discussions to have and difficult decisions to make and I am beyond grateful for our crew and farm-ily because we were able to have these conversations in the moment when emotions and tension were high.

Vehicles parked in the middle of the 25-acre poised for whatever might come. (Photo credit: Melissa Wood)

When we awoke on Tuesday morning it was a waiting game, so we harvested and stayed poised. The Farm remained in Level 2 and we followed the fire updates religiously.

On Wednesday, all we could do was see you all and give you all those vegetables. It was so rewarding to see you and feel your gratitude. It was a relief to share some of our experiences with our community and we appreciate so much your good wishes and the flood of offers to help if it came to that.

We are so glad it didn’t come to that. On Friday, they dropped us down to Level 1 (ready), and Saturday morning, let us know that the fire was 31% contained. (Yay!)

New crops last week: boccoli & rainbow carrots (photo credit: Zoë Griffith and Kiely Houston)

A Note on Salmon

Our favorite Salmon fisherman, Joe, is also a fire fighter. This past week he got pulled back into fire fighting and was unable to actually go fishing. We will let you know when he gets off fire duty and back to the river. We are expecting more salmon as the season continues!

Harvest List

We think our core vegetables this week will be: Napa cabbage, chard, and cucumbers. We will let you know on Wednesday at your pick up how many other items you will get to select.

We have been keeping an eye on the hoops and 2-acre garden and have a pretty good idea of what is out there and ready to be harvested, but this is a Sunday estimation of what we will be harvesting on Tuesday. Also, because we have a market style CSA, this isn’t a guarantee of 1 of all these things for everyone. Instead, this will be the variety of what will hopefully (fingers crossed) have for you to choose from this week.)
Other Vegetable Options will probably include:
Tulsi Basil
Italian Basil
Thai Basil
Purple Basil
Lettuce Heads
Yod Fah
Salad Turnips
Summer Squash
Salad Mix
Green Onions
Daikon Radish
Green Beans
Broccoli (maybe)
Eggplant (maybe)
Tomatillos (maybe)
tomatoes (maybe)


Earlier this week, I got on a chard kick and started looking into chard recipes. Chard is another one of those vegetables that Rainshadow grows so well and very consistently, but all I’ve really done is put it in eggs and soups. I am getting ready to change that! Unbeknownst to me, chard is one of our foundational veggies this week. How fortuitous for all of us!

While I haven’t cooked most of these recipes, they passed my initial inquiry standard and are on the list to be cooked! Maybe we could all try them out and see which ones are the winners.

Swiss Chard Tahini Dip
from Bon Appétit
This is a great dip to serve with crudités or crostini. I actually did make it and it was super refreshing and light. Great for snacking or an appetizer.

2 bunches green-stemmed Swiss chard (about 1½ lb.)
⅔ cup extra-virgin olive oil, divided, plus more
5 garlic cloves, finely chopped
½ cup tahini
⅓ cup fresh lemon juice
Kosher salt
Toasted flatbread and lemon wedges (for serving) (or carrots, daikon radish, cucumbers, broccoli, etc.)


  1. Remove ribs and stems from Swiss chard leaves and finely chop. Tear leaves into small pieces. Set both aside separately.
  2. Heat ⅓ cup oil in a large pot over medium-low. Cook reserved ribs and stems, stirring often and adding a splash of water if they start to brown, until tender, 5–7 minutes. Add garlic; cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 1 minute. (I accidentally let my garlic get browned, and I wouldn’t recommend it. It added a bit too much of a carmelized/brown taste to the dish.) Add reserved chard leaves by the handful, letting them wilt before adding more; cook, tossing, until all the leaves are wilted and tender, 10–12 minutes total. Let cool. Squeeze excess liquid from mixture into a measuring glass. (You should have about ½ cup liquid.)
  3. Place Swiss chard mixture and 1 Tbsp. cooking liquid in a food processor and add tahini, lemon juice, and ⅓ cup oil. Season with salt and process, adding more cooking liquid if needed, until dip is creamy and only speckles of chard remain. This could take up to 5 minutes. Season with more salt if needed.
  4. Transfer dip to a serving bowl and drizzle with more oil. Serve with flatbread and lemon wedges.
  5. Do Ahead: Dip can be made 3 days ahead. Cover and chill.

Spinach or Chard Catalan Style

from Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone by Deborah Madison

1 large bunch chard, stems removed, leaves blanched
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large garlic clove, sliced
cup dark or golden raisins Salt and freshly milled pepper
1/3 cup pine nuts
  1. Coarsely chop the cooked chard.
  2. Warm the oil with the garlic in a wide skillet over medium heat. When the garlic is golden, remove it. Add the raisins and pine nuts and cook until the raisins are plumped and the pine nuts are golden. Add the greens and cook until they’re heated through. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Swiss Chard with Potatoes

from the “She Loves Biscotti” blog
This is more of a winter one, but I think it looks delicious and I still have some potatoes leftover from this past winter.

2 pounds potatoes peeled and diced (¾ inch)
1 teaspoon salt
2 pounds Swiss chard ends trimmed, cleaned, ribs separated from the leafy part, cut into ½-inch pieces
4 tablespoons olive oil separated
3-4 cloves garlic fresh, roughly chopped
pinch red pepper flakes
salt and pepper to taste
1-2 tablespoons lemon juice and olive oil for drizzling


  1. Bring a large pot of water to a rolling boil. Add the diced potatoes and the salt. Reduce heat to a simmer for about 15-20 minutes, until they become tender and can be easily pierced with a knife.
  2. While the potatoes are simmering, properly clean and chop the chard into ½ inch strips.
  3. When the potatoes are tender, add the chopped chard stems. Boil for 3-5 minutes or until just beginning to soften. The total time depends on their size. Add the leafy chopped portion of the chard and boil for approximately 30 seconds. Gently drain all the vegetables in a colander.
  4. Drizzle 3 tablespoons of olive oil in a large skillet or cast iron pan. Add the coarsely chopped garlic and red pepper flakes. Turn on the heat to medium-high. Once the garlic begins to sizzle and starts turning golden, reduce the heat to medium. Add the mixture of boiled chard and potatoes. Season with salt and pepper according to taste. Sauté until most of the liquid evaporates. Stir often.
  5. Transfer to a serving dish and drizzle with freshly squeezed lemon juice and olive oil. Serve immediately.

I am also trying to cook a new ground beef recipe each week in order to keep all that ground beef fresh. It is so good and so versatile. I just really like ground beef tacos and I found that I was cooking that weekly. Which is fine (!) but, I needed a little more diversity in my life.

We made Ground Beef Kabobs the other night on the grill and served them with fresh tzatziki sauce (recipes below). We enjoyed some sautéed broccoli, carrots, and green onions and rice pilaf along with the Ground Beef Kabobs and all of it covered in the tzatziki. This seems like a timely recipe to post since cucumbers are part of our foundational veggies this week and I suspect that many of us still have ground beef in our freezers from our meat CSAs.

Ground Beef Kabobs
adapted from the “Delicious on a Dime” blog

15 wooden skewers (optional)
2 lbs ground beef
1 egg
1/4 cup dried parsley (or 1/2 cup fresh parsley, minced)
1 tablespoon onion powder
1 tsp garlic powder (or a few cloves of fresh garlic, minced)
1 tablespoon paprika
1 tablespoon salt
2 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon pepper


  1. Pre-soak wooden skewers for at least 30 minutes if using.
  2. Preheat grill, or preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  3. Mix all ingredients in a large bowl using clean hands until well combined (don’t overmix).
  4. Gently form meat into oblong patties, either on the pre-soaked wooden skewers or on their own.
  5. Grill for about 20 minutes, carefully turning the kebab with tongs half way. Cook until internal temperature reaches 160 degrees F using a meat thermometer.**
  6. OR Bake in preheated oven for about 20 minutes, until internal temperature reaches 160 degrees F using a meat thermometer.*** Then broil for a minute or two to brown the meat.
  7. Let kebabs rest (tented with foil, if you want) for a few minutes before eating so that juices redistribute throughout the meat.
  8. Serve with bbq side dishes, rice, garden salad, soft pita bread, veggies and hummus or tzatziki.

Tzatziki Sauce

adapted from the “Cookie & Kate” blog

2 cups grated cucumber (from about 1 medium 10-ounce cucumber, no need to peel or seed the cucumber first, grate on the large holes of your box grater) (I cheated and used the grating apparatus on my food processor.)
1 ½ cups plain Greek yogurt
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint and/or dill
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 medium clove garlic, pressed or minced
½ teaspoon fine sea salt


  1. Working with one big handful at a time, lightly squeeze the grated cucumber between your palms over the sink to remove excess moisture. Transfer the squeezed cucumber to a serving bowl, and repeat with the remaining cucumber.
  2. Add the yogurt, olive oil, herbs, lemon juice, garlic, and salt to the bowl, and stir to blend. Let the mixture rest for 5 minutes to allow the flavors to meld. Taste and add additional chopped fresh herbs, lemon juice, and/or salt, if necessary.
  3. Serve tzatziki immediately or chill for later. Leftover tzatziki keeps well, chilled, for about 4 days.

Veggie IDs

We have lots of different cucumbers here at Rainshadow: traditional pickling varieties, lemon cucumbers, and Armenian Cucumbers. Armenian Cucumbers are actually classified as melons, but are called cucumbers because of their look. Both Painted Serpent and Armenian cucumbers (both are considered Armenian cucumbers) are long, very flavorful, and edible in their entirety. This means you can eat their seeds and skins no problem. They are less watery than an official cucumber, but retain that delicious cucumber flavor. We love them in cucumber salads, eating fresh, and pickling (both quick and canned).

Armenian Cucumber

Painted Serpent Cucumber


Email us if you would like us to pack you anything extra from the store for pickup with your CSA. You can pay when you pick up at the Farm Store or our Farm Stand at the Bend Farmers Market.

Flours and Wheat Berries:

  • 2 lb bags hard red, hard white, soft white flour: $5/bag
  • 2 lb bag buckwheat flour: $7/bag
  • 2 lb bag corn flour: $12/bag
  • 2 lb bag rolled Tibetan black barley: $5/bag
  • 3 lb bag hard white or hard red wheat berries $5/bag


  • $5/lb: beef liver
  • $8/lb: ground beef
  • $10/lb: chuck roast, brisket, and short ribs
  • $11/lb: cubed round steak
  • $14/lb: Rib Steak


  • Pint: $10/jar
  • Quart: $20/jar

As I sit on the deck writing this email on Saturday morning, it is a steady stream of dozers and large trucks and trailers and water trucks departing and horse trailers returning to homes on Holmes Rd. My shoulders are getting lighter, the burden is lifting.

Fire season is here and we are grateful that we appear to be on the other side of the Grandview fire. This fire turned into a practice run that was too close for comfort. Our hope is that was our close all this season. Fingers crossed.

We look forward to seeing you on Wednesday!

Please email us let us know if you can’t make Wednesday or if someone else is picking up for you. We can’t wait to see you on Wednesday!