Over the summer months, some of the Rainshadow Crew has teamed up with some of our CSA members for a monthly book club meeting at Jackson’s Corner. We’ve laughed and enjoyed Jackson’s tasty pizza specials topped with local ingredients (some which our Rainshadow crew had harvested the day before!). Over discussing The Omnivore’s Dilemma by Michael Pollan, Formerly Known as Food by Kristin Lawless, and beginning discussions about Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbera Kingsolver, something occurred to me. These books were rewriting something. They were describing a new food narrative. A food narrative that I’ve been living at Rainshadow Organics. A narrative that eliminated the grocery store, thousands of food miles attached to my food, and a narrative where food strengthened my wellness and inner being.

My number one takeaway from these book driven discussions is my awareness of the food narrative we’re writing at Rainshadow Organics. Those who partake in our story are strengthened by food and community in new ways. Trustworthy food and wellness are deeply ingrained in the backbone of this narrative, giving our community ownership and knowledge behind the food they eat.

Our food narrative starts with the soil. The brown, crumbly earth, seemingly barren, but in reality full of organic matter. Nitrogen, phophsoprous, potassium, and a whole host of microorganisms too small to see. The food we grow is completely dependant on these tiny but mighty beings who work hard to make nutrients in our soil readily available for plants to uptake. Our soil is intentionally cultivated over time with organic amendments, cover crops, crop rotation, and field compost. Each year we dedicate time and energy to learn about our soil. To learn what it needs and what it has too much of. All food begins with rich soil, cared for and cultivated through time and intention. The soil on our land is the foundational element in our narrative. Something the roots grab hold of, living harmoniously and regeneratively with the earth.

Our narrative continues with a seed. Certified organic by beloved seed farms, or saved from last years crop, these powerful packets of energy explode when graced with the perfect mixture of soil and moisture, just at the right temperature. Opening up and reaching for the sun, our food begins to grow, beginning its journey to our tables.

As our food grows we listen to its every need. Its call for water and nutrients. Its call for tending and harvesting. We use intentional awareness to ensure it grows to be nutrient-dense, beautiful, and rich. The growth process of our food is intertwined with the intelligence of our farmers. The hands that work our food spend countless hours in the field, listening, tending to, and caring for what will soon reach our kitchens. Their interaction with food is personal and robust. They know and understand what our food needs to thrive, catering to its every need to ensure it will provide us with the maximum nutritional benefits. The care and time we put into planting and cultivation defines the origin of our food narrative. Personal engagement with food as it grows gives us the true understanding of what really goes into our what nourishes us each day.

The harvest and distribution of Rainshadow grown food is one of the final steps in our farms food story. Our farm crew spends countless days in the spring, summer, fall and through the winter intentionally harvesting food from the field. Once it has deep full roots, is bearing ripe fruit, or has broad leafy greens, out of the soil it comes and becomes one step closer to our plates. We harvest food, load it into crates, and haul it to be washed and packed at our farm stand. A place where soil is sprayed off and our veggies go straight into clean crates, wax boxes, and coolers to be shared with our community. Then we load up and head straight to Sisters, Redmond, or Bend where our ultra-fresh food is delivered to a grocery store, a CSA member’s bags, or displayed at the farmers market.

Very few hands touch our food after it is disconnected from the plant which fed it in the field. Each zucchini, bunch of kale, or tomato is ready to be prepared into a tasty dish, or eaten fresh. Straight from our farm to your plate. Fed and cultivated by our farm crew. Harvested and packed by few hands. Shared with our local community. Preserved or eaten within a few weeks.

Nutrient-density is consumed. Energy straight from the sun and the earth transferred to us. Ecologically sound, regenerative, chemical-free, purposeful, strong, sustainable.

THIS narrative is the story of the food we grow to nourish our bodies. It is themed with wellness and raw energy. It means knowledge and ownership of what you put in your body. Join the Rainshadow food narrative to rewrite yours. Discover the power of a local food narrative.

It matters.

Written By: Eleanor Babcock