Another late Sunday night with a long week ahead.  I want to start your week off with a sunrise.  We have had some terrific, apocalyptic smoke here from the Pole Creek fire.  But it makes for some incredible skies.  Tall has gone to work the fire, so I am here with the pigs and chickens and turkeys and so many vegetables waiting their turn.  I love my work and I love being outside.  I love being connected to the ground in the very best possible way.  But this smoke…  I feel so oppressed.  It brought on a summer cold that just seems to linger and I can’t help but feel like the timing is just plain bad.



As the season goes on, we lose some of our markets where we drop our CSAs.  This is very important. I will continue to deliver in Redmond from 4-6pm as long as the market wants to run, but we will pare down to 5-6pm when the market ends at the end of September.

In Bend, the market goes through the 10th of October, which will be our last CSA delivery.  Easy 🙂

In Sisters, the market is over and I will be dropping at Melvin’s Market from 5-6pm.  Note the time change.





MUSINGS ON THE FREE CHOICE:  I have read this book:  The Dirty Life 

by Kristin Kimball.  This is a book about a farm that provides a CSA that is full-diet, free-choice, year-round.  I would call it:  Eat Like a Farmer.  I love this idea.  I love the community she has created… where over 100 families come to their farm every friday afternoon for their veggies, meats, grains, and milk.  No markets.  No deliveries.  Seriously connecting people to their food.  Now, I have a couple thoughts on this.  First:  How could our CSA be at the market, but be free-choice?  Would anyone ever choose to eat a turnip?  How about Shiso?  Isn’t part of the CSA the adventure?  The eating what you are given because of the inspiration that comes with it.  Last year I did a survey of what people liked and didn’t and for every thing that someone liked, someone else didn’t like it or visa-versa.  I can’t thank our CSA members enough, for their commitment and their sense of adventure.  It is the heart and soul of Rainshadow and what makes farming for us possible.  You can bet that being a committed member of the farm makes good food possible for many many people that aren’t willing to make the commitment.  But without our members, no one would enjoy the good food that we produce.  I would love to talk with you all about this idea when I see you this week… this is my effort at a survey.  How shall we move forward?

Similarly, I am interested in the year-round CSA.  I am storing roots, cabbages, etc… I have started many many seeds to transplant into the greenhouses for winter.  Its all a big experiment!  For the sake of food access and security for Central Oregon, I am working hard at learning how to grow it… well… all the time.  This winter model would include meats, grains, veggies…  It would be delivered less frequently.  Its an idea.  Price… not sure.  Once a month, 10# of meat, big box of veggies and grain… $100.  Let me know what you think.


AS FOR THIS WEEK… We’ll have Leeks.  And we  might even have parsnips… definitely kale and onions, parsley and garlic.  And eggplant!!

“Leeks are an aristocrat of a vegetable. They require much of the year to grow, lots of space and tender care: You need to hill up soil around them on a regular basis to get that shank—the part you eat—long and white enough to be worth it. So when you find well-grown leeks, treat them regally. This braise preserves the integrity of the leeks; at the table, you cut them with a knife and fork to eat, almost like a main course.” From

Braised Leeks Recipe

  • Prep time: 10 minutes
  • Cook time: 50 minutes


  • 4-6 leeks
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 3-4 Tbsp unsalted butter
  • Salt
  • 2 teaspoons fresh thyme or 1 teaspoon dried
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 cup white wine or vegetable stock
  • 1/4 cup parsley, chopped


1 Cut off the ends of the leeks until you get to the shank; a little of the light green part is fine. If you want, you can save the unused portion of the leeks in the freezer for making stock later. Slice through the shank of the leek lengthwise until you get to the root end—do not cut through the root just yet. Clean the leeks under cold running water, as leeks are usually dirty. Once the leeks are free of any dirt or grit, cut through the root to make two long pieces of leek.

2 Get a sauté pan large enough to hold the leeks in one layer and heat the butter in it over medium-high heat. When the butter has melted and begins to foam, turn the heat down to medium and add the minced garlic and then the leeks, cut side down. Cook for 1-2 minutes, just to get them a little browned and to let the butter get into the leeks. Turn over and sprinkle with salt, then cook the other side for 1-2 minutes.

3 Turn the leeks back over so the cut side is down, sprinkle the leeks with the sugar, the thyme leaves and a touch more salt. Add the white wine with the bay leaf and bring to a gentle simmer. Cover and cook 35-45 minutes over medium-low heat.

4 When the leeks are tender enough so that a knife blade pierces them easily, uncover the pot and bring the braising liquid to a rolling boil. Let this reduce by half, then turn off the heat. Add the parsley, swirl it around and serve.

Yield: Serves 4 as a side dish