We are coming up on the end of may and the farm is bursting with potential! Garden beds have been prepped, thousands of seeds have been sewn, greenhouses built and filled with transplants. We’ve got a strong crew back at the farm and we’re ready for our CSA and Market season to start in just two weeks!
“I have lived at Rainshadow now through a hot summer and a hot winter. Another hot summer rests on the horizon. Everyday we march towards it. Only now, four more are in stride with us. Rogue Farm Corps interns, Ev, Ser, Mel, Rich. With strong bodies, inquisitive minds and spinach filled grins we take on the tending of the earth. Their presence has given rise to the pace of learning, to the strength of our workforce and playforce and finally someone else is around to lock in the hens. They are pulling on pant legs, asking questions and sometimes chasing chickens wandering in all directions. At the end of the day we are all the wiser for it. Having the Rogue Farm Corps interns at Rainshadow has added much to the already deep wells of Love and desire to grow that fuels the farm.” Austin Dunbar
“Once the subject of bringing goats onto the farm was introduced, it was only a matter of sleeping on it – one night to be precise – that made the idea a reality. To be certain the novelty of having goats romping around played a role in the desire, but ultimately, for our hungry farm crew of eight, it was the idea of having milk that sold us.
We picked up two goats in kit – a La Manche and an Alpine – by the names of Lily and Gail. We built them shelter, a stanchion, and got them all cozied up next to our hen house on our two-acre pasture.
The goats have great personalities and are pretty fun to have around. They follow you about, bleat a bit, and seem to enjoy stampeding across the field. Their milk has also been quite an awesome addition to our kitchen. They march right up onto the stanchion and before you know it you’re walking back to the kitchen with a few mason jars filled with milk.
Most interesting in this experience has been the reinterpretation of a staple food. Milk has always been the safe, homogenous, white fluid bought from the grocery store fridges. But having goats has created a fresh reminder of the truly organic nature of the product: raw, frothy, warm and of course don’t forget: shooting straight from the udder of a stout hairy little goat.
Having raw milk in our meals creates a whole new sense of appreciation for the food, much the same way fresh produce makes food taste richer and more alive. We’ve been joyously incorporating the milk into all of our meals somehow: pancakes, biscuits, sauces, the curds for cheese, the whey for soups, and most importantly for yogurt (which goes on everything and can be made quite easily overnight). This has been a real lesson for us in how much developing a relationship with our food can infuse our meals with creativity and fun!” Evan Schmidt, Rogue Farm Corps Intern
SOME FARM RECIPES FROM THE CREW
“Waking up to cook crew on an egg day is an exciting challenge! Cook crew woke up just before sunrise and began baking biscuits with our Rainshadow flour. We then grabbed some over-wintered potatoes from the barn and started grilling those and our Rainshadow ham. Next we took egg yolks and butter to make hollandaise while also simmering some water with rice vinegar and salt to lightly poach the fresh eggs from our ladies. Plating the food we split the biscuits in half, set the ham on top, then the poached eggs, hollandaise and spooned potatoes on the side! Cook/prep time: one hour. As a bonus we simmered chocolate chips in a pan with fresh goats milk, and let it cool before serving as chocolate milk.” Melissa Wood, Rogue Intern
“Here’s an interesting take on a summer grill classic:
We constructed burgers using Rainshadow beef, falafel mix, fresh mint and a few free-range egg yolks. The proportions were eyeballed and ingredients were well mixed and formed into sturdy patties and grilled on a cast iron skillet. Served over a bed of spring greens with homemade hummus and sweet chili encrusted potatoes.
One addition I would make to this meal would be a goat yogurt tatziki made with cucumbers, garlic and a hint of cumin.” Richard Gelb, Rogue Farm Corps Intern
POTATOES HAVE ARRIVED AND ARE IN THE GROUND!
May marks the time to plant potatoes and Mother’s Day was a biodynamic root day!
Below Left: Mom and Dad getting the potato planter set and working properly. We plant one row at a time, back and forth in the same tracks so there are two rows under the tractor. We planted a total of 44 rows. Below Middle: The whole crew cutting potatoes. We cut each seed piece to about 2 ounces, with 3-4 eyes. Below Right: The stack of potatoes in sacks, which we hauled from Irish Eyes Garden Seeds in Ellensburg, WA. We brought home 4 tons total of Viking Purples and Desiree potatoes. These are both waxy varieties of potato that grow fast, tolerate drought, and store well. You can read more about the vikings here.