This means that we have been BUSY!

While many other farmers start to slow down and their operations begin to ease up, we have been doing exactly the opposite: kicking it into high gear, doubling up on our efficiencies and what the harvest list are for the day, and, generally, trying to get twice as much done per week while the daylight hours have been dwindling.

Over the past month we harvested 90% of the food that will sustain our Full Diet and Winter CSAs, the Farm Store, and our Farm Kitchen for the next 7 months. That includes all our storage vegetables and all our roasting chickens. This time of year is the culmination of growth. In October, we plant garlic. In January we start our thousands of alliums in the 4-season green house, in May we plant them in the ground.  Two and a half miles of them to be exact.  In March, we start the celeriac. In June we direct seed our beets, carrots, potatoes, and parsnips. Over the summer growing season, we weed, water, thin, and cross our fingers and hope for the best.

Then mid-September to mid-October we harvest them all and prepare them for storage. We sort onions, potatoes, sweet potatoes, and squash into open air crates.  We wash and bag beets, carrots, parsnips, daikon, kohlrabi, and celeriac and store them in our walk-in fridges. We store cabbages and leeks in big totes in our walk-ins. We also pick and sort hundreds of pounds of peppers that will last for a month in the fridge or end up pickled or fermented into hot sauce.  All these foods nurture us through the winter.

Managing the storage vegetables becomes a full-time job. Instead of planting, weeding, culling, and harvesting, we monitor the stores: make sure the temperatures are correct in the potato barn and the walk-ins, open bags to make sure that the produce is holding its quality, moving a particular variety into a CSA because it’s storage life is done and it needs to be consumed. 

Mid-September to mid-October is also when the last of our roasting chickens are processed and if there was any last space in the freezers, it is now taken up by the roasting birds we will send out with the CSAs from November through June. 

What we didn’t harvest, we planted. The peppers were finally cleared this week to make way for 45 beds of winter greens, primarily Siberian Kale. These fresh greens, paired with our storage cabbage, will provide the crunch to our beautiful root vegetables all winter long.

photo credit: Sarahlee Lawrence, Alison Holland
Our potato barn is stocked with 5 different varieties of potatoes. We have multiple different winter squash to keep the taste buds excited all winter, and our kale is tucked into the hoop houses growing strong and waiting to be harvested. All of this is only part of what sustains us during the winter months.

Our savings account is fat!

Harvesting all of this means that, right now, we are stocked full. Each and every nook, crevice, and temperature controlled space is as full as it will ever be. If you take a tour of Rainshadow Organics, the fields look like they are beginning their long winter’s nap, but our walk-ins, sheds, and barns have more food in them then they have since just about this time last year. 

We do this because we firmly believe that it is possible to eat from the farm, from Central Oregon!, year round! It takes space and attention on our part. It takes creativity in your cooking because you are limited in your cooking to what the land can grow June to mid-October. And it takes dedication to an idea and a way of eating.  It is our best effort at sustainability in wildly unsustainable times.

Join us this winter as we tour our storage vegetables and everything about them on Instagram and Facebook. On most Sundays our social media post and stories will have a tour of a particular crop, or variety, or storage facility and we will discuss the intricacies and nuances of that. Then on Monday, we will showcase a recipe that uses something from the Sunday Farm Tour. The hope is that we will all have a better understanding of how to eat locally during these colder months.

Do you want to eat locally all winter?

All are welcome to come shop from our Farm Stand this winter! We have transitioned to Winter Hours, Fridays (11-5) and Saturdays (11-3), and would love to see you! You can come pick up all the winter storage crops that will be featured in our Farm Tours and recipe posts as well as grass fed & finished Pitchfork T beef and Rainshadow Organics hogs!

And, if you are wishing you were on our Winter CSA right now, you can still purchase a Meat CSA HERE and you can sign up for our Winter CSA waitlist HERE. This way you won’t miss out next year 🙂

Wait, you host Farm-to-Table events year round?
You bet we do! 

We finally bid farewell to the garden, but just because we’ve put the garden to sleep for the season doesn’t mean that we’re stopping our farm-to-table events.

We host events year round on our Farm Store Porch. We put up corrugated green house plastic, add heaters and turn the porch into a sunroom where we all thrive in the warmth.

Check out all of our November events below:

Brunch: Sundays at 11 am
November 6th
November 20th
November 27th
 You read that right! We are hosting brunch the Sunday after Thanksgiving to give you a break from cooking. Bring your family and treat yourselves to a three course brunch on our Farm Store porch.

Dinner: Begins at 6 pm
November 19th, Crux Fermentation Beer Pairing
 (SOLD OUT! Thank you!!)

December 3rd, Sea-to-Table featuring Sockeye Salmon
 We are excited to announce that we have established a new community partnership! We’ve known Keree Smith for several years as a commercial fisherman fishing out of Bristol Bay Alaska. Now she is not only catching the fish, but selling direct-to-market in her home state of Oregon.

Bristol Bay is one of the last wild, scenic and remote fisheries left and it is abundant because of the way it is managed. Join us for an evening of enjoying delicious sockeye salmon and learning about the practices used in Bristol Bay to promote a healthy fishery.


Now is the time to start thinking about your winter, holiday and employee appreciation parties! We are currently booking out December for private parties. And let’s be honest, treating your employees to a dinner at the farm is THE BEST way to say “thank you, you are so appreciated”.

Contact us at [email protected] to book your holiday company party now!

photo credit: Alison Holland
The sunsets sure are getting better this time of year as the days shorten and the moisture in the atmosphere increases!