Rainshadow Organics is a full-diet, year round farm. We have committed ourselves to raising and storing vegetables, meats, and grains all year round. As November fell upon the farm, the change in seasonal eating was clearly upon us. This shift into winter completely manifests itself in our food. We go to great lengths to discern the edibility of winter food that has grown in a passive, and therefore sustainable, environment. Our food suffers severe cold, which contributes to its ugly imperfections but also its sweetness and nutrient density. We are incredibly grateful for this food and marvel at every meal, the resiliency and sheer miracle of it.
The winter CSA came from Sarahlee’s deep drive to grow what she and her family eats, year-round. She feels obligated to share in this endeavor, with people who want to get down and dirty with food security. How do we really live here? How do we store food without all the conventional chemicals and gasses that keep food pristine for months? How do we do it without single-use plastic? What we consider edible, simply changes in the winter.
Sarahlee combats food waste by challenging people’s food aesthetic expectations. She challenges Whole Foods all summer to offer imperfect produce to their customers and works to help raise awareness that the food took tons of time and energy to raise and there really isn’t anything ugly about it. But it’s nothing like winter produce. Winter produce can be squishy, dirty, and discolored. Sometimes it needs to be picked several days in advance depending on the weather and the simple feat of walking it through the cold to where it can be packed. It would be completely intolerable in any grocery store, but it’s the best we’ve got.
Thank you for taking part in the journey and the seasons of this incredible place we call home. Where without an international food system, most people would starve. We’re proud of you. And we encourage you to ask us about the food. Challenge us to explain how we grow and store the food and why it looks like it does. Broaden your awareness to how the climate affects your food. And know we would never give you anything we wouldn’t eat ourselves.