Greetings friends of Rainshadow.  We put our last potatoes and onions in the barn, and mulched the leeks and parsnips in the ground.  The greenhouses are full of baby greens for winter.  And the experiment begins.  The year-round, full diet right here in Central Oregon.  Ten brave families will continue into winter with a monthly CSA delivery of meat, grains, flour, dried herbs, stored roots, and winter greens.  We’ll let you know how it goes along the way.  We’ll see how those spring months go.  We’ll see if we saved enough.  No matter what, we’ll emerge in June with the full gamut starting over!  So, do sign up for CSA next year.  If you sign up this week, you get a 10% discount!!  Our CSA members are our heart and soul; the backbone to the farm that allows us to bring our community an incredible variety of real organic food.  Thank you for all your support and your willingness to take the adventure.

Last week, Luis, Aaron and I harvested what would be the last tomato harvest of the season, before the hard frosts.  We brought 35 flats of heirloom tomatoes to market last week and I did my best to inspire people to sauce, salsa, dry, and freeze.  Many people will be glad that they did as the haul is finally done.  I am always amazed that they last this long.  And I’m always a  little relieved when they finish.  My house smells like sauce as they linger.

If you’ve been thinking about making sauce… marinera is simple.  No need to buy Newman’s… just make your own and freeze it in jars or tupperware or ziplocks and enjoy fresh heirloom sauce in deep winter:  You need one flat of tomatoes.  Core them, and put them in a baking pan, open, with onion and garlic and olive oil and maybe a little salt for 4 hours at 250 degrees.  Let them cool.  Slip the skins off and use a slotted spoon to put the  meat in a stove-top sauce pan.  Save the juice for soup…  Simmer the meat on the stove for 2 hours with  some oregano, bay leaf, basil, etc…  Use the immersion blender to whiz it up. Let it cool completely.  And you’re done.  Time bake works well in the morning… them come home and complete the task during dinner.  Mmmmmm 🙂

This weekend I was weeding beds to plant our austrian winter pea cover crop and I heard the red wing blackbirds making a fuss over the corn patch.  When I had checked the corn, the kernels were white and small and I thought the frost in August had come too soon.  But it turns out, those tawny dry stalks, that make such a lovely noise in the lightest wind, filled the kernels with blue.  Some were true blue, others I could see the blue still pushing in the kernels.  I will dry them and Tall will mill them into blue cornmeal.  We will have blue corn bisquits at our next Longtable.  For Valentine’s Day!


1 tablespoon olive oil

1/2 small head cabbage, cored and sliced thin

1 onion, thinly sliced

black pepper to taste

1 1/3 cups plain yogurt

2/3 cup milk

1/4 cup vegetable oil

2 eggs

2 cups flour

4 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda



  1. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Stir in the cabbage and onion; cook and stir until the vegetables are soft and fragrant, about 10 minutes. Season with pepper, and set pan aside to cool.
  2. Whisk together the yogurt, milk, vegetable oil, and eggs in a bowl until evenly blended; set aside. Stir together the flour, baking powder, and baking soda in a large bowl. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients. Pour the wet mixture into the well, then stir until well combined. Fold the cooled cabbage and onions into the pancake batter.
  3. Heat a large skillet over medium heat, and butter or oil if necessary. Pour 1/4 cupfuls of batter onto the skillet, and cook until bubbles appear on the surface. Flip with a spatula, and cook until browned on the other side.
ONION TART also by
1/4 cup butter
1 1/2 pounds onions, sliced
2 eggs, beaten
1 (9 inch) pie crust, baked
4 slices bacon


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
  2. In a large skillet, melt butter and saute onions until soft. Remove from heat. Place bacon in a large, deep skillet. Cook over medium high heat until evenly brown. Drain, crumble and set aside.
  3. Mix in eggs.
  4. Pour into prepared shell and bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for approximately 20 minutes. Top with bacon, Can be served warm or cold.

Finally, some parting photos of our winter stores of onions and parsnips