The beauty of you all!

photo credit: Melissa Harmon

What a weekend we had! It was the perfect culmination to an incredible summer! Over the last 2 months we have been harvesting EVERYTHING we grew during the summer. From the last of the lettuce heads and chard for the Farmers Market, Farm Store, and CSAs to the last of the carrots, winter squash, and celeriac for storage, it all had to go before the weather really turned *and/or* Customer Appreciation Day came around. That meant that we have been busy, busy, busy. And, as a result we are full up in all our fridges, barns, containers, and buildings.

We have carrots, onions, garlic, and potatoes for days.
We have so many winter squash – and of so many varieties – that I challenge you to get tired of winter squash this winter.
We have beets and daikon radish to bring color to your winter meals.
We have celeriac for that added je ne sais quoi of your winter palette.
And then the crunch of cabbage. So delicious and sweet!

This year, lucky us, Customer Appreciation Day won. On October 22 we opened our fields to the community for a day of gleaning and celebration. It was a day so emblematic of the whole season – beautiful, sunny, not too hot, not too cold.

So many people came! We served over 500 dishes out of the kitchen which was almost twice as much food as we served the year before. And none of us think we have ever had that many people come to a Customer Appreciation day at least in the last 4 years. There were over 1000 folks in the dirt with their kids and friends and parents scavenging for carrots and kale. Poking around for green onions and winter squash. Perusing the rows for chard and fennel.

This was one of the last days before the big freezes of winter set in. It was the last day for our Apprentice working. Customer Appreciation and Gleaning Day is truly a gathering of the WHOLE community and it is such a joyous send off of the season for us. We are so grateful to have spent it with our Central Oregon Community!

photo credit: Melissa Harmon

We talk a lot about community and its importance to Rainshadow, and this is one of those events that pulls everyone together.  One doesn’t have to be a CSA member to come celebrate and glean, all you have to do is have a desire to come out and harvest your own food. Any person, any amount.

Customer Appreciation Day is just one of the ways that we make sure food gets into all the parts of our Community. All summer we work with High Desert Food and Farm Alliance to donate vegetables in their Grow and Give Program. In 2023 we donated over 4500 lbs of vegetables and fruit that was distributed through the Neighbor Impact Food Bank network.

We also partnered with Pacific Northwest CSA Coalition to continue bringing Double Up Food Buck awards to our folks using SNAP benefits to purchase summer and winter CSAs. This opens up access and opportunities for so many more of our Central Oregon community.

We at Rainshadow believe all people deserve nutrient dense, local, organic food and we love that we have these very solid, time tested ways of getting food to all of our community.

photo credit: Natalie Leder, Angela Lariza, Melissa Harmon

Winter CSA starts this week

And if you have been dragging your feet about getting your share, it isn’t too late! We still have a limited number of spots available! First pick up is this Thursday in Sisters (3pm) and Bend (4:30pm) and then at the Farm Store on Friday (11-5) and Saturday (9-3).

Fill Your Pantry, 11/11, 11-3pm

We are participating in Fill Your Pantry again this year and we hope we will see you there! Fill Your Pantry is a community bulk buying farmers market created so YOU can fill up your pantry, freezer, and root cellar full of great local products for the winter. Say bye bye to busy holiday lines and veggies that have traveled farther than you during holiday vacations, and say hello to a cupboard full of local meat, grains, veggies, ferments, and more. It is held at the OSU Extension parking lot at the Deschutes County Fairgrounds.

The best way to approach Fill  Your Pantry is through Pre Orders (the handy button below), but you can also come and shop like at a farmers market! Pre-Orders are open until November 4th, so there are still a few days to get an order in!

This year there are two great opportunities to help out the community at Fill Your Pantry.

  • Bend Food Project will be collecting non-perishable food items at their booth to donate to the Giving Plate Food Pantry. Please consider bringing canned or packaged goods to the event to donate to help out your food insecure neighbors.
  • HDFFA will be collecting fresh food items to donate to NeighborImpact and their associated food pantries. Consider buying an extra bulk item to donate to HDFFA!

Salty Debby is coming back in December!

photo credit: Keree Smith

Last year we partnered with Keree Smith to bring our CSA members high-quality, wild-caught Alaskan sockeye salmon direct-to-consumer and we are excited to do this again. Keree, who is the fisherm*n at the helm of Salty Debby, will be at our December CSA pick ups delivering salmon to you! Check out her information below and get your order in.

Learn more about Keree and fishing in Bristol Bay on her website HERE and you can pre-order a 20lb box of Sockeye Salmon Filets or a 10-lb box of Sockeye Salmon Portions from Keree HERE. We will deliver your box to you at the December CSA pick up or you can pick it up at the Farm Store December 8 or 9. And now, through November 15th, she is offering a discount if you pay cash at pick up. *Use code $CASH$ at checkout. Reserve your 20-lb box of salmon online, pay nothing upfront, and receive a $20 discount per 20-lb box when you pick up your salmon and pay in cash. Discount available until Nov. 15th 2023 or while supplies last.

photo credit: Natalie Leder

Winter is here and we are so glad you are too! Thanks for coming out to the farm, visiting us at market, or checking out a dinner or brunch this past summer. We can’t wait to see you over the next few months as we start planning, prepping, and planting next year’s vegetable. The cycle continues and we love that you are there with us as we lap around yet again.

~ Sarahlee and the crew