This month is the halfway point of our CSA!
Can you believe it, we are at the halfway point of our CSA. Four months in and 3 more after that. Thank you for sharing your winter with us and letting us nourish you this winter! It is our pleasure and we feel so privileged to be such an essential part of your lives. We will see you later this week at CSA pick up!
We will see all you Sisters ( 3-3:15pm) and Bend (4:30-5:30) folks on Thursday. And, if you signed up for a Farm Store pick up, we will see you Friday (11-5) or Saturday (11-3).
If you can’t make your pick up, LET US KNOW and we can work towards finding an alternative day at the Farm Store.
News from the Farm
This month, Noah, has been spending a lot of time upgrading infrastructure. In the winter, not only do you have time to reflect on how much and what you planted, but you also have time to take a big picture look at the farm and the buildings and other components of it. Noah, our Livestock Manager, has been laser focused on how to make his animals more comfortable and, by extension, his and Pancho’s, life easier. (They focus most of their attention on our livestock, feeding all the hoofed and feathered friends on the farm, collecting eggs, and milking cows among many other things!) January has been rather productive for him as he worked through those beautiful days making everybody more comfortable.
You know, sometimes the weather brings certain tasks to the front of the line, and that is what happened in the milking hut. With all that rain and mud and the variations in temperatures, it became very apparent that we needed a new milking stanchion and a protective box to hold the milking machine, alfalfa pellets, and other necessary items for milking. (A stanchion is what the cow willingly walks into and stays in while she is milked. It needs to be efficient, provide a snack, and be comforting, like a weighted blanket.) The new stanchion has a flat floor that the cows don’t have to step up onto and can be cleaned of mud and such. It provides many options to look around, and, even thought it looks very tight, the cow can fit its head into and through to the alfalfa pellets without bobbing, weaving, or batting an eye. These ladies love it and head in eagerly each morning!
The weather really brought the new stanchion to the front of the line, but Noah also got the new Meat Bird house/trailer ready for our first round of meat birds arriving the first week of March. The thought/hope for this is that it will ease the transition of the chicks into early adulthood. I like to think of it as the dorm. We get our meat bird chicks in the mail and raise them all the way through to meat CSA size. This takes 3 separate coops/homes, we realized that these transitions from home to home to home weren’t easy on the birds. Totally not cool. So now we have a situation where the birds can walk themselves to their new home.
After the chicks graduate from their very warm, very comforting chick house, they walk through an alleyway into their new trailer. The trailer has an open pasture area which allows them to explore outside and sleep inside. This is the transition period before they head into the meat bird pasture where there is a ton of space and a more open coop configuration. It will introduce them to walking about and foraging, but in a comfortable way to build their confidence. You know, the dorm if it goes right in college.
When the birds grow up enough, then we will drive the trailer to the meat bird pasture and turn them loose on their own time into the wide world of bugs and pasture and sky for them to run around as they grow big and delicious!
Winter in infrastructure repair land is just like winter in crop planning land: what are the things that can be done now that will make life so much easier when everything gets crazy busy during the main growing season. Winter isn’t done yet (hello -8F last night on the farm), but Noah has already done amazing things. We can’t wait to see what the next few months hold.
Summer CSA is half full!
It’s that time of year! As you begin to dream about fresh spring & summer vegetables (snap peas, tomatoes, beans, broccoli, even zucchini), don’t forget to secure your Rainshadow Organics 20-week summer CSA. Choose the size and share type that best fits your home. We have sold out for the past 4 years and we are currently about half full. We would hate for our community members to miss their opportunity.
What is Delicata Squash?
The Delicata, aka the peanut, Bohemian, or sweet potato squash, is great for stuffing, roasting in half moon slices, or cubed and added to dishes. The beauty of this squash is both its flavor–a sweet, buttery flavor with rich taste and moist texture–and that its skin is soft, tender, and edible. This means that you don’t have to peel it! This squash is great to put where ever a butternut squash is mentioned. or, check out these recipes:
Roasted Stuffed Delicata Squash, don’t forget that you can substitute cooked wheat berries or whole Tibetan Black Barley for farro.
Probable Box Contents
We pack the vegetable portion of your CSA share on Wednesday before pick up. Our decisions about what goes into the monthly vegetable CSA depends on the temperature and and how our storage crops and the hoops are doing.
Today, we think Thursday’s Vegetable Share will include:
Yukina Savoy (this is a tender green that goes well in stir-fry or raw as a spinach substitute)
Celeriac, or celery root, is an other worldly vegetable: somewhat furry, brown, and knobby. This one you definitely want to scrub and peel before using! Native to the Mediterranean and parts of Europe, it is related to parsley, carrots, and parsnips, and can be roasted, mashed, steamed, or shaved raw into salads. While Celeriac looks like a root vegetable, the ball you see is actually the stem. (If yours has any green on it, those are the leaves.) Add Celeriac to mashed potatoes or mixed roasted vegetables for a bit more depth of flavor, or follow any of the recipes below. Just don’t forget to peel it!
Celery Root Salad, this is the classic French Celery Remoulade
Here are a selection of curated recipes using your box ingredients. Have a question about a recipe? Want to suggest one? Wish you knew how to cook a particular thing better? Ask us HERE and we will see what we can find. If you suggest a recipe, we will probably share it with others in the CSA!
What a fun way to put together all the parts of your CSA: stuffed squash, kale, onion, and ground beef!
2 delicata, cut in half and deseeded
1 pound ground beef
4 cups packed kale, chopped (about 1 head)
½ cup chopped onion
1 teaspoon cumin
½ teaspoon garlic powder
½ teaspoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 tablespoon lemon juice
lard or oil, for greasing
Yum Yum Sauce
1 teaspoon garlic powder
½ teaspoon sweet paprika
1 tablespoon warm water
½ cup mayonnaise
¼ cup ketchup
2 teaspoons rice vinegar
1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
¼ cup YumYum Sauce
1 tablespoon water
½ tablespoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon cinnamon
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Line 1-2 baking sheets with some avocado oil and salt and pepper on the flesh of butternut squash. Place cut side down and roast for 40-45 minutes until soft.
- Make the Yum Yum sauce: In a medium bowl, stir together the garlic powder, paprika and warm water. Add the mayonnaise, ketchup, rice vinegar and sesame oil, and season generously with salt. Stir until smooth.Make the sauce. Combine all sauce ingredients in a small mixing bowl and whisk together. Add more water if needed.
- Make the Cinnamon Sauce: combine the yum yum sauce with the water, lemon juice, and cinnamon.
- When there is 10 minutes left on the squash, make the beef. Heat a large well-seasoned cast iron skillet over medium heat. Add oil if needed. Once hot (about 1-2 minutes), add ground beef and salt and pepper and break it up with the back of a large spoon. Cook for about 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Then add all the seasonings and onions. Lastly, add kale and cook for another 2-3 minutes until wilted and beef is cooked through and no pink remains.
- Remove squash from oven and let cool a minute. Evenly distribute ground beef mixture over squashes and top with cinnamon sauce. Enjoy!
Adapted from Delicious Magazine
potatoes, washed and cut into chunks
celeriac, peeled and cut into the same size chunks as the potatoes
kale, roughly chopped
lard or oil for frying
- Take the steaks out of the fridge to allow them to come to room temperature. Bring a large pan of water to the boil, then cook the potatoes for 15-20 minutes, adding the celeriac after 5 minutes so both vegetables will be soft and ready for mashing at the same time. Add the chopped kale for the final 2 minutes’ cooking time.
- Drain the vegetables well, then return to the pan and mash with enough milk and butter to be smooth. Season well with plenty of salt and pepper. Cover with a lid and keep warm over a low heat while you cook the steaks.
- Heat a large frying pan over a high heat until smokng hot. Oil the steaks on both sides and season with salt and pepper, then fry on each side until the side is browned and the steak is your preferred temperature. Leave to rest in a warm place for 5 minutes. Serve the steaks alongside the warm vegetable mash.
1 slice bacon, chopped finely
1/2 onion, chopped
1 carrot, chopped
1 clove garlic, chopped
1 head yukina savoy
salt and pepper
splash or more of heavy or light cream
lemon zest to taste
- Sauté the bacon over low heat until fat has been rendered. Add the onion, carrot, and garlic with a little water (be careful if your fat is too hot!). Cover and cook until the vegetables are soft, about 10 minutes. Add the yukina savoy to the vegetables and season with sale and pepper. Cook, uncovered, over medium-high heat. Keep cooking until the excess moisture in the pot evaporates (10-15 minutes). Add half the cream and simmer until it is absorbed. Then add the other half and simmer until absorbed as well. Add the lemon zest and serve.
We can’t wait to see you on Thursday, February 2 in Bend or Sisters, or at the Farm Store on Friday or Saturday, Februaryt 3 & 4. Please let us know if you have any questions.
The Farm Crew