Dear Friends of Rainshadow,

I would like to take this perfectly white day to send our deepest gratitude for your support through 2012, and hopes for continued abundance for all of us in 2013.  In the past I would have reflected on the summer months and all the freshness we usually miss this time of year.  This year, Ashanti and I accepted members for our first Winter CSA.  Since the end of November, we have delivered baskets with 10 pounds of mixed pork, beef, and chicken, wheat berries and fresh ground flour, and a whole bunch of vegetables.  We have stored in our root cellar, winter squash, potatoes, garlic, shallots, and onions.  In the ground we have stored celeriac, parsley, carrots, collard greens, kale, cabbage, parsnips, asian greens, bunching onions, beets, and turnips.  In our un-heated greenhouses we are growing lettuce mix, arugula, chard, kale, spinach, kohlrabi, mache, asian greens, mustard greens, and more.

Our goal at Rainshadow is to eat pretty much everything we want, year-round, from right here in Central Oregon.  This seems crazy when I am out there in my heavy cover-alls, unearthing frozen asian greens, the wind whipping snow in my face.  Crazy.  But when they thaw and I bite into the sweetest, nutrient-packed leaf I’ve tasted all year I know this isn’t crazy at all.

Most people probably think that the busy life of a farmer must slow in the winter to sipping tea in front of the fire.  Not here.  In addition to growing and delivering food each month to Sisters, Bend, and Redmond, Ashanti and I are very busy clearing our dryland and planting native flowers and grasses for pollinator habitat.  At the same time, we are bucking up juniper posts for our new pig and chicken houses.  Our first piglets are due in January and we are excited to turn our pigs out onto 5 acres of new pasture this spring.  The chickens are also getting a bigger house and greener pasture.  We are moving away from animal “tractors”, that get moved frequently, but don’t actually have that much space.  With the first of January the four-season greenhouse will start to fill with baby plants, beginning with onions and leeks.  Seeds have been ordered and before we know it we’ll be transplanting gallon pots of tomatoes!

In addition to extensive farm planning for better-than-ever meats and veggies, this year we are offering many new farm membership options with the goal of getting more great food to more of our community.  We are shooting for sustainability here at the farm, financially and physically so that we can do good work for the community for many years to come.  Please sign up again yourself and please spread the word.  For every family that you recommend that signs up, we’d like to offer you $20 off of your farm membership.

NOW is the time to sign up for our first summer full-diet CSA!  This will include a large meat share, large veggie share, and grains including fresh milled flour.  The share is a $1,200 value and we are offering it for $1,000 until the first of the year!!  Give the VERY BEST Christmas gift of good local food!

In addition to our classic small and large, meat and vegetable shares, we are offering several new options.

The CSA Work-Share Membership:  Families will need to pay their $600 in installments before June 1st, but will help with harvest on either Tuesday or Thursday morning.  In return they will get their $30 per week back, and a full share of food for 20 weeks.  If they can’t make the work time, they can still get their vegetables at the CSA drop, but will not receive their payment.

The CSA Home-Garden Membership: This membership is to help more people grow food in Central Oregon. This will start with a class in May at the farm where you will get a worm bin and gardening lesson and you will start to receive a few starts per week to put into your home garden for a continued harvest through the season. The CSA plant starts will be delivered at market until mid-July.  (must sign up by January 15th for planning purposes)

The Subsidized CSA:  We will continue to work with Katrina Van Dis at COIC to provide subsidized CSAs for both meat and vegetables.   Please let me know if you feel you need a subsidy.

The Market CSA Membership:  This will be an up-front payment that will get you “Rainshadow Bucks” that you can spend on anything you want, from meats, grains, and vegetables on the public side of the market tent. You can come any time and any week you would like, to Redmond, Sisters, and/or Bend.  This options helps us as farmers when we need your commitment the most and makes things much more flexible and also let’s people concentrate on getting what they want, while still trying some new items.  We will offer this in a small and large option.  $400 gets you $450 market bucks.  $600 gets you $650 market bucks.

Under the Community Supported Agriculture tab on our website, click the SIGN UP HERE button, which takes you to the membership form.  Just fill this out, and mail it to the farm with a check.  We are more than happy to work with payment plans.  If you pay your membership fee over the course of the winter, just a little bit per month gets you a whole summer of free food!!  Send the form in as your commitment, with a down payment you can afford, and your proposed payment plan and YOU’RE IN!!

Thank you so much for your continued support!!

Happy Holidays from all of us here at Rainshadow.

For our Winter CSA members, here are some recipes from your fellow locavores.

Celeriac Vichyssoise

4 T unsalted butter

3 cups diced onions

1 leek diced

2 pounds cubed potatoes

2 pounds cubed celeriac

6 cloves garlic halved

6 cups broth

3 T fresh lemon juice

½ t celery seeds

salt and pepper to taste

3 cups milk or coconut milk

2 cups cream… or not honestly….

Melt butter in a large soup pot.  Add the onions and leek, and cook over medium heat until wilted, 10 minutes.  Add the potatoes, celeriac, and garlic.  Stir well, and cook 5 minutes.  Then add the stock, lemon, seeds, salt, and pepper.  Bring to a boil, reduce the heat, and cover.  Simmer until celeriac is tender, 30 minutes.  Allow to cool slightly. Puree the mixture, in batches, in a blender or food processor until fairly smooth.  Do not over process.  Return the soup to the saucepan, add the milk, and cream, and simmer until heated through.  Serve garnished with chives.  Serves 10.

Celery Root and Apple Salad with Hazelnut Vinaigrette


2 tablespoons Dijon mustard

2 tablespoons white wine vinegar

1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 small garlic clove, pressed

1/4 cup hazelnut oil plus additional for drizzling (optional)

2 tablespoons olive oil


1 medium celery root, peeled, cut into matchstick-size strips

1 medium fennel bulb, halved lengthwise, thinly sliced

1 unpeeled Gala apple, cut into strips

Parmesan cheese shavings

For vinaigrette: Whisk first 5 ingredients in small bowl. Whisk in 1/4 cup hazelnut oil and olive oil.

For salad: Combine celery root, fennel, and apple in large bowl. Toss with vinaigrette. Top with Parmesan. Drizzle with additional hazelnut oil, if desired.


Roasted Parsnips Recipe

1 1/2 pounds of parsnips, peeled and cut into 2 1/2 inch batons

4 teaspoons of extra virgin olive oil

Salt and freshly ground pepper

1/3 cup of stock – turkey stock, low-sodium chicken stock or vegetable broth (for vegetarian option)*

3 Tbsp unsalted butter, softened

4 teaspoons drained, bottled horseradish (how to make homemade horseradish)

1/2 Tbsp finely chopped flat-leaf parsley

1/2 Tbsp minced chives

1/2 small garlic clove, minced.


1 Pre-heat oven to 400°F. In a large roasting pan, toss the parsnips with the olive oil, salt and pepper. (Use a roasting pan with sides no more than 2 inches high.) Add the broth, cover with aluminum foil and roast, stirring once or twice, until the parsnips are tender and the stock has evaporated or been absorbed, 20-45 minutes (depending on how tender the parsnips are to begin with). Check often to avoid their getting mushy – especially if they are to be reheated later.

2 Combine the softened butter with the horseradish, parsley, chives and garlic and season with salt and pepper. Toss the warm roasted parsnips with the horseradish-herb butter and serve.


Liver Pate –


BBQ’d Beef Heart –


Warm Arugula Salad –