We grow plants in three different locations here at Rainshadow Organics: our 25-acre field, hoop and greenhouses, and the 2-acre garden. It is through the combination of all three that we can bring you all the veggies in your CSA year round.
Rainshadow Organics started in the 2-acre garden (top picture) with Sarahlee’s dream of changing the world through food. In the 2-acre garden, we grow our summer market vegetables, salad mix, strawberries, and flowers. It is a till-free zone, except in extreme weed emergencies. We add nutrients to the soil, create beds, plant starts, seed, and weed all by hand here. It is also a great place to wander about and see what is growing on the farm.
Our hoop and green houses (bottom left photo) help us extend our growing season and protect those summer favorites like tomatoes and cucumbers. Did you know that Central Oregon has zero historic frost free days? This means that since people have been measuring and writing down daily temperature readings, there has been a freeze every day of the year. The hoop and greenhouses allow us to batten down the hatches and protect the plants that aren’t frost tolerant while also allowing us to plant them early enough to bear fruit. In the hoop houses we do everything by hand: add nutrients to the soil, form beds, seed, plant starts, weed. We love our hoop houses for their kale in the winter, sweet peas and turnips in the spring, tomatoes and cucumbers in the summer, and sweet potatoes in the fall.
The 25-acre field is bordered by Holmes Rd and Lower Bridge (bottom right photo). We rotate our CBD production, winter storage and summer market veggies, as well as grains through this field. We approach the 25-acre with a limited tillage philosophy, by strategically discing the very top layer of the soil, which helps us add nutrients into the soil and aids in weed control. Additionally, we use a tractor to help us create our rows, plant starts, direct seed into the prepared rows, and weed. When the plants get too big for weeding with the tractor, we transition to hand weeding. We are huge fans of the tractor in the 25-acre field.
Fried broccoli and kale with garlic, cumin, and lime
serves 6 as a side
1 large head broccoli, cut into 1 1/4-1 1/2 inch florets, about 3 cups
1 large bunch kale, stems discarded and leaves chopped, about 3 3/4 cups
3 TBS olive oil
3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
1/2 cup mint leaves, roughly shredded
1 TBS lime juice
- Place a large saucepan filed with plenty of salted water over high heat. Once boiling, add the broccoli and blanch for 90 seconds. Use a slotted spoon to remove the broccoli then refresh under plenty of cold water and dry well. Keep the water at a boil and add the kale. Blanch for 30 seconds, then drain and refresh. Squeeze out as much water from the kale as you can with a clean kitchen towel and set aside.
- Put the oil into a large sauté pan and place over high heat. Add the garlic and cumin and fry for about 2 minutes, stirring a few times, until the garlic is a light golden brown. Use a slotted spoon to remove the garlic and set aside. Add the kale to the oil — take care, it might spatter at the beginning — and fry for 3-4 minutes, until the leaves are starting to crisp. Add the broccoli, 1/2 tsp chile flakes, and 1/4 tsp of salt. Stir for a minute, then transfer to a large plate or dish. Gently mix in the mint and drizzle with the lime juice. Serve with the remaining 1/2 tsp chile flakes and the crisp garlic sprinkled on top.
Keeping those veggies firm & fresh
We’re not sure if you’ve noticed how hot it has been recently, but your veggies sure have! All vegetables in your CSA are harvested the day before you pick them up. We rinse them in cold water and keep them in a temperature controlled trailer to maintain their freshness, but they might seem a little wilty when you pick them up at the farmers market or the farm store. The best thing you can do to revive them and give those vegetables a little more pep in their step is to immediately soak them in cold water when you get home. Consider dumping some ice in the water too. They will thank you and stay fresher much longer as a result.
Late Summer & Fall Brunche
Come join us on Sunday mid-morning and experience the bounty of the farm through Chef Travis Taylor’s magical creations! Brunches are filling up fast! There is limited space August 9 and August 16, but plenty of spots left for the remainder of August and into September and the rest of fall. If you’ve been thinking about joining us for brunch, it might be worth pulling out your calendars and getting your tickets now. Check out our Events Calendar to find open brunches and buy your tickets.
(We serve brunch outdoors on the farm store deck. All groups are seated 6′ from others and meals are plated and served by masked servers. $29)