Running the Fall Rapid

If farming is like a constantly turning wheel fluctuating between planting, harvesting, weeding, and seeding depending on the day and the crop and the month, then fall is like running a rapid. You scout and check out your line and figure our what you want to do when keeping days of the week, harvest goals, and biodynamic days in mind. Then you drop into the month of October and ¡KABLAM! The weather gets windy and cold, or hot, or rainy. The nights stay in the 40s or drop down to the 20s. The root washer for all the storage crops finally breaks down right when it is needed most. The beautiful days are on Saturday and Sunday when everybody is off. There are only 5 biodynamic root days in a month when all you want to do is harvest roots. Yet, just like a “perfectly” scouted rapid, plan A morphs into B or C or D and you continue running the month of October. I mean it is only day 10, but if feels like a month already. 

This past week, we harvested potatoes, winter squash, dry beans, and carrots. We thought we were going to have to harvest all the tomatoes, but we managed to sneak another week of growth in (yay tomato houses!). We turned off the water to the tomatoes, though, so this week will be the end of that. (Great timing, don’t you think.) We harvested all our sweet peppers and flipped the beds into winter kale. We watched our newly planted winter greens survive the last weekend of warmth (whew!). And we got a little blast of cuteness and welcomed a new littler of piglets to the farm. These cuties are only a week or so old but already cruising around and curious as can be. It is impossible not to fall in love with piglets!

(Photos by Brandon Marcaccini, Nat Leder, Zoë Griffith)

And, our Rainshadow craftsman extraordinaire Jeremy Harmon (@harmonwickedwoodworking on instagram) pulled us a huge favor and completely rebuilt our root washer from the ground up. It is certifiably bomb-proof now! We went from a rickety older one that was made of wood and only begrudgingly stayed on track, to a stable, metal, keeps on rockin’ until you are done root washer to last a lifetime! We remain in awe of Jer’s skills with wood and metal! Huge thanks to him. He pulled it all together on extremely short notice and in time for one of those very few biodynamic root days this month. Every time you each a root vegetable in your CSA this winter (or this week), think of Jer and say thanks for us!

(Photos by Mel Wood and Noah Graber)

We’ve been spending a bit of time on gratitude in these emails recently, but it is impossible not to feel grateful every day for a crew that just rolls with the punches whatever the planned task and those little weather windows that let us continue harvesting and playing in the dirt (while staying reasonably warm and dry!).

Want to get your hands dirty?

WWOLF is hosting a volunteer day at Rainshadow on October 15. Sarah thinks you will be helping out in the corn patch and working in the 25-acre. 

Check them out here and Register for the Event. 

Willing Workers on Local Farms (WWOLF) invites you to help at Rainshadow Organics! Lend a hand, make new friends, and gain a deeper appreciation for what it takes to grow food in Central Oregon. There will be work for all abilities and ages, everyone is welcome. Light lunch will be served at the end of the workday and you can shop the farm store.

Curious about Rainshadow and Regenerative Agriculture?

Join us Wednesday October 20 as we host a Field Day with the Quivira Coalition at Rainshadow.

We will have several presenters throughout the day, with the tour facilitated by farm co-owner Sarahlee Lawrence. Jackie Esleman of the Jefferson Center for Holistic Management, Ecological Outcome Verification (EOV) Program Director will discuss and demonstrate the monitoring and measuring of soil fertility at Rainshadow Organics. Natasha Bellis with the Deschutes Land Trust (DLT) will discuss the partnership that DLT has built with Rainshadow Organics to create conservation easements at the property and how that can apply to other operations. Soil fertility guru and farm intern, Adam Lavender, will talk about what he’s done to build up soil fertility at the farm with compost tea and other closed circle inputs. And to round out the day, field day guests will have the pleasure of enjoying a special 3-course meal prepared in-house by the farm chef utilizing Rainshadow’s seasonal harvest. We will be in a ventilated and partially enclosed porch for the meal and some other parts of the day.

This Field Day includes lunch on the deck, is $50, and is open to 50 people. Registration is required. More information and registration details can be found HERE. Some scholarships are available. Send Lynne at [email protected] an email if you are interested.

The Quivira Coalition builds soil, biodiversity, and resilience on western working landscapes. We foster ecological, economic, and social health through education, innovation, and collaboration…. At the foundation of all our work is the concept that well managed working rangelands and forests are two of the most effective, efficient, and immediately viable paths to remedy the devastating impacts of climate change.

Join us for Customer Appreciation Day, Saturday, October 23!

Mark your calendars and join us on Saturday, October 23 for a day of gratitude, gleaning, small plate eating, live music, and farm tours. 

Every year after we finish harvesting our winter storage crops we open up the 25-acre to our community. It is impossible for us to harvest everything. There are always treasures that we missed. Join us and glean for your pantries!

We also celebrate you with food on this day. Our kitchen prepares and serves a variety of farm to table small plates ranging from soups to salads to sliders. 

While you are here, stock up on flour, meat, and other goodies from our farm store!

Come make a day of it as we celebrate you and the end of our summer growing season. This is a great opportunity to get you and your kids in the dirt and remembering (**or learning**) where your food comes from!

You all mean the world to us let’s spend the day together.

Harvest List

This time of year, harvest lists can be a bit hit or miss. Crops are starting to get fatigued and produce less than expected. We clear beds and find more of something than we initially thoughts. Either way, you know the list below will adjust to reflect what is actually out there by the end of Tuesday harvest and you know it will be delicious!

For this week, we think our foundational veggies will be:

  • Savoy cabbage
  • broccoli
  • leeks
  • Red Kuri squash

Asian greens
Golden beets
Chiogga beets
Red Beets
Daikon radish
Green onions
Lettuce Heads

Salad turnips
Cherry tomatoes
Large tomatoes
Hot peppers
winter squash
green onions


I for one am so excited that it is winter squash season. I am particularly excited to try the Sausage Stuffed Red Kuri Squash recipe below. (We also have a TON of ground Italian Sausage right now. Email us and we can send a package to market for you!). 

Additionally, with this cold North wind ripping through the farm right now, I really want to make the cabbage and potato leek soup below. It reminds me a lot of the soups I tasted in the mountains of Slovenia: hot, filling, homey, and real. 

Sausage Stuffed Red Kuri Squash Recipe
(adapted from the Sunday Supper Blog)

1 packaged Italian sausage
2 medium red Kuri squash halved
2 slices bread
1/2 cup milk
2 cloves garlic minced
1 egg
1/4 cup parsley
2 tsp. crushed red pepper
1/2 cup grated cheddar or other cheese of your choice
olive oil
salt to taste


  1. Preheat the oven to 375°F and grease a pan with olive oil. The pan should fit all the halves of squash.
  2. Remove the crust of the bread and break it into crumbs with your hands or a food processor. Leave the crust crumbs aside for topping.
  3. Break 2 slices of bread into pieces and soak them in ½ cup milk for 5 minutes. Squeeze the bread slices to wring out most of the milk.
  4. Mince 2 cloves garlic and ¼ cup parsley.
  5. Meanwhile, cut the red Kuri squash in half and remove the fibers and seeds.
  6. Slice a sliver off of the bottom of each squash half so the halves sit flat, then place them in the oiled pan.
  7. In a large mixing bowl, add the sausage, bread crumbs, garlic, parsley, and 2 tsp. crushed red pepper in with 1 egg, and mix well. (Think meatloaf mixing.) Salt to taste.
  8. Stuff your squash halves with the Italian sausage mixture.
  9. Top with the breadcrumbs and sprinkle with olive oil and ½ cup grated cheddar.
  10. Roast in your preheated oven for about 30 minutes covered with aluminum foil, and then another 30 minutes uncovered, until the squash is tender when you poke it with a fork. The cheddar on top should be a nice golden brown.
Cabbage and Potato Leek Soup
(adapted from the New York Times Cooking section)
6 tablespoons unsalted butter
3 medium leeks, white and light green parts, thinly sliced
8 cups shredded cabbage
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2-4 purple viking potatoes washed and diced
2 cups chicken or vegetable stock
2½ teaspoons kosher salt
2 thyme branches
½ teaspoon black pepper
Grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, to serve


  1. Melt the butter in a large pot over medium-high heat, add the leeks and cook until soft and golden around the edges, 5 to 7 minutes. Add the cabbage and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until cabbage begins to caramelize, about 10 minutes.
  2. Stir in potatoes, stock, 4 cups water, salt and thyme. Bring soup to a simmer and cook, partly covered, until potatoes begin to fall apart, 45 to 50 minutes. Add more water, as needed, to reach the desired consistency. Season with black pepper and serve, topped with cheese.

Happy last CSA everyone!


Please email us and let us know if you can’t make Wednesday or if someone else is picking up for you. We can’t wait to see you on Wednesday!