Please Note, the Farm Store is transitioning to Fall Hours in October. September 25 will be the last Sunday the Farm Store is open this season. Don’t worry, if you miss your Wednesday pickup, you can still come and pick up your CSA on the other days we are open:

Fall Hours, starting September 29th:
Thursday, 11-3
Friday, 11-5
Saturday, 11-3

News from the Farm

As I write this it is with a breath of fresh air and a gasp of excitement. These cooler temps, the fact that over the last couple days you could actually see the Sisters and Smith Rock from the Farm for most of the day, and then the rain last night. What a blessing. I at least am feeling the transition back into more hefty dinners. I find that I am straying from big, crunchy, cool salads, to wanting spaghetti and more “heavy” saucy dishes. Fall is oficially here!

I also see the arrival of Fall in the produce we have for you. Daikon radish, potatoes, fresh onions, pie pumpkins (a note about those below!), leeks, cabbage. Every week it seems, a new “cool weather” crop gets harvested for the first time of the season. Handy that the timing works out this way. I mean which came first, the desire to switch up the way I have been eating for the last 2 months or the change in temp and harvested vegetables… probably both simultaneously. What is that, convergence?

So, as you feel the feels of Fall, it is time to start thinking about all those things that make winter cooking delicious. A thought experiment that is, right now, warming me from the inside out.

potatoes in all the forms: mashed, roasted, pan fried, in soup and stews
winter squash curries, purées, in desserts, soups, stews, pasta, and pie
roasted root vegetables including carrots, beets, parsnips, onions, and garlic
onion and bacon galette
beef stew with preserved tomatoes, carrots, onions, and parsnips
sauerkraut from Rainshadow cabbage (do you remember the ones from last year that were bigger then your head) with ham or on those roasted root vegetables above
celeriac and wild rice gratin with gruyere cheese
and, lest we forget the shining star and gem of our winter CSA, SIBERIAN KALE, the most tender, juiciest, and best of the kales. So tender you don’t even have to massage it for a kale salad (although you still can an it is great!)
spaghetti bolognese made with ground beef and preserved tomatoes
cottage pie, oh my goodness another form of mashed potatoes and gravy

The list goes on and now you have a deep peek into my eating habits 🙂

How do you get your hands on all these fixings? Why, with a Rainshadow Organics Winter CSA of course!

What is the Rainshadow Organics Winter CSA

The Rainshadow Organics Winter CSA is a 7-month meat and vegetables monthly CSA (November-May) and can go a long way toward feeding your family for the whole month. For $1183 or $169/month you get:

1 crate of mixed winter vegetables Over the course of the winter you will see:

  • root vegetables: potatoes, beets, parsnips, carrots, celeriac, diakon radish, sweet potatoes
  • varieties of winter squash
  • cabbage and leeks
  • early and late season you might see green onions, lettuce heads, napa cabbage, rainbow/dino/purple curly kale, chard
  • deep winter you will see Siberian Kale
  • alliums: garlic, yellow and red onions, shallots

10 lbs of meat/month. We average about 70% beef, 25% pork, 5% other things including 2-3 whole roasting chickens, 1 stewing hen, and a quart of lard and meat broth spread out between the 7 months. Our beef and pork cuts follow the averages of the animal, so you can expect way more ground beef and roasts then steaks and bacon!

  • beef cuts include: ground beef, roasts, soup bones, varieties of steak cuts, offal
  • pork cuts might include: smoked meat (bacon, ham roasts, ham steaks, ham hocks), chops (bone-in or boneless), shoulder blade steaks, shoulder arm roasts, ground pork, sweet italian/hot italian/breakfast sausage

We deliver to Sisters & Bend, or you can always pick up at the Farm Store. On the First Thursday of the month, we deliver to Sisters and Bend. You can always pick up your CSA at the Farm Store Friday & Saturday after we deliver to Bend.

  • Sisters pickup: 1st Thursday of the month, 3:00-3:15PM. We will be across the street from Oliver Lemon’s Market.
  • Bend pickup: 1st Thursday of the month, 4:30-5:30PM. We will be at the Deschutes Main Services Building north parking lot at 1300 NW Wall Street.
  • On Farm pickup: Friday and Saturday during our Farm Store Hours following the 1st Thursday of the month CSA pick up (Farm Store pick up will always be on the two days following our Thursday Bend and Sisters pick ups. 71290 Holmes Rd, Sisters OR 97759.

The Perks

  • Fewer trips to the grocery store & a direct relationship and connection with Rainshadow farmers
  • Monthly CSA newsletter with news from the farm, recipe ideas, food storage, and preservation tips
  • Access to locally grown, certified organic vegetables and pasture raised meat free of GMOs and chemicals
  • Knowing that your food sourcing decision supports both the local economy and the local environment.
  • Pay in full or pay monthly using your credit/debit card or SNAP/EBT

For more information, check out our Winter CSA page here. Or click on the buttons below to purchase your Winter CSA today!

Are you interested in a Meat Only Winter CSA? You can find information on that and Pay in Full HERE or Pay Monthly HERE.
Have questions about our Winter CSA, let us know HERE.

Photos from the Week

photos by: Cami Becerra Rirorco, Zöe Griffith

As we bid summer a fond farewell, here are some of the true stars of our summer CSA. One would argue the gems of the summer growing season. They might be leaving our kitchens and recipes until next season, but that is how we regain our delight in their flavor and don’t become complacent in our appreciation for each beautiful piece of produce. As Dan Hicks and His Hot Licks sings, “how can I miss you if you don’t go away.” 

Veggie ID: Basil

We have 4 different varieties of basil here at Rainshadow Organics: Tulsi, Italian, Thai, and Purple.
Purple basil is best used raw in salads, sprinkles for dishes, and pesto because it turns black when cooked and is not as sweet as other varieties and leans more on the clove flavor. 
Tulsi or holy basil is an herb primarily used in teas. It has a flavor profile that includes cloves, anise, a hint of mint, and a slight peppery note
Thai basil is best for stir frys and other Asian inspired cuisine and has a slightly spicy and licorice-esque flavor.
Italian Basil is the classic used for pesto, caprese salad, and Italian cooking and has a sweet and savory taste profile with peppery and minty undertones.

To store: Basil is very sensitive to cold and damp. You can refrigerate it but it must stay dry or it will turn black. Another option includes stripping the the lower leaves off the stems and placing stems in a glass of water on the kitchen counter like a flower.  

To freeze: Basil does not freeze well by itself. Options include making a batch of pesto and freeze it flat in Ziplock bags or muffin tins or adding chopped basil to olive oil or water and freezing in ice cube trays.

Vegetable CSA Harvest List

We think our foundation vegetables this week will include basil. We will let you know on Wednesday if that changes and how many other items you will get to select.

**A note about the weather this time of year: we had our first freeze on Friday night. It dipped down to at least 32F. This will become more common as the days shorten and we proceed further away from the summer solstice and closer to the winter solstice. Flexibility becomes key this time of year as we harvest what we can, do salvage missions as necessary, and generally revel in the fact that it isn’t 100F anymore!**

We have been keeping an eye on the hoops and 2-acre garden and have a pretty good idea of what is out there and ready to be harvested, but this is a Sunday estimation of what we will be harvesting on Tuesday. Also, because we have a market style CSA, this isn’t a guarantee of 1 of all these things for everyone. Instead, this will be the variety of what will hopefully (fingers crossed) have for you to choose from this week.)
 

Other Vegetable Options will probably include:

Basil
Beets
cauliflower
Carrots
Chard
Cucumbers
cherry tomatoes
large heirloom tomatoes
tomatillos
celery
daikon radish

Fennel
Kale
Cabbage
Yod Fah
green zucchini
yellow zucchini
patty pan squash
Fresh onions
potatoes
sweet peppers
hot peppers

Meat CSA

This week our Meat CSA features, whole roasting birds!

Small:

  • whole roasting bird
  • 1 quart meat broth



Large:

  • whole roasting bird
  • 1 quart meat broth
  • oxtail
  • +/- 3 ground beef

 

Our meat birds are special! They are all heritage breeds and spend their days running around, exercising and eating bugs. If you don’t plan on roasting your bird whole and instead part it out to do a sheet pan bake or something like that, I would definitely recommend brining it first. These birds have INCREDIBLE FLAVOR but they are both hearty and hardy birds.

Talking about a cooking and eating a heritage bird is kind of like saying that one shouldn’t have smile lines or crows feet as you get older. Somethings are inevitable and shouldn’t be traded for a life where they don’t exist. In order to get the deep, wholesome flavor of a well exercised bird with genetics that are varied, honest, and real, you get a bird that you actually need to chew. If you live a life of adventure, love, fresh air, and beauty, you will end up with crows feet. Why trade? Do it all!

For the large Meat CSA members, you are probably wondering, What is oxtail? This is, as you have probably guessed, what it sounds like, the tail of the beef. And what a treat! I was a little hesitant to include it on the heels of the offal run last week, but, while different and uncommon, oxtail is SO GOOD! This is one of those cuts to make a special dish out of for your family or company.

Oxtail is fatty, marrow filled, and tough. It needs to be slow cooked in a braise and will produce a beef, rich, collagen filled saucy business. Perfect for winter. You can make oxtail soup, or a pasta sauce, or a sauce to take steaks to a whole next level.

While cruising around, a lot of the recipes I found for oxtail come from other countries (Jamiaca, Italy, the Philippines) which makes sense. This is one of those whole animal cuts that Americans have strayed away from in the past years. Don’t stray! Come back to the fold! Set aside an afternoon and enjoy the rich beauty of oxtail!

Keep an eye on our Instagram stories for a tour of what the options are on Wednesday around 11 am.

Recipe Corner

Here is a new chicken recipe that I made last week, one for oxtail, and a standby pesto recipe. If you want a refresher on how to roast a whole roasting bird, check out our CSA email from the 2nd meat CSA way back in June HERE. This is a standby chicken recipe and always guarantees a great dinner and good leftovers.

 
James Beard’s Farmer’s Chicken
(I made this for dinner the other night, mmm, so good! I definitely recommend either your own fresh loaf of bread, or acquiring one for dipping in the juices. Or you can serve over rice, pasta, mashed potatoes, etc. After making this, I think that adding some chopped tomatoes into the sauce would be delicious.)

INGREDIENTS
1 bone-in, skin-on chicken (brined over night and then parted outks)
Kosher salt and black pepper
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 yellow or white onion, minced
1 red bell pepper, stemmed, seeded and minced
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1 tablespoon sweet paprika
1 cup dry white wine
2  cups chicken stock
1 cup mild green olives, such as manzanilla or Castelvetrano, pitted
½ cup dried currants or raisins
1 tablespoon freshly grated lemon zest plus 1 tablespoon juice
⅓ cup minced fresh parsley
½ cup toasted sliced almonds (optional)
Cooked rice or orzo, or garlic-rubbed toast

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Remove chicken from brine, cut whole chicken into parts (HERE is a great YouTube video from America’s Test Kitchen with how to do that) and sprinkle pieces with salt and pepper.
  2. In a wide skillet with a lid, heat oil over medium. Working in batches if necessary to avoid crowding the pan, brown the chicken, rotating as needed, until the skin is golden and releases easily from the pan, at least 5 minutes per side. Adjust the heat to avoid scorching. As the pieces are browned, transfer them to a plate.
  3. Once all the chicken is browned, add the onion and bell pepper to the skillet. Sprinkle with salt and cook, stirring, until softened and beginning to brown around the edges, about 5 minutes. Stir in the oregano and paprika.
  4. Add the wine and simmer, stirring up the browned bits from the bottom of the pan, until the pan is almost dry, about 5 minutes.
  5. Stir in stock, olives and currants, and bring to a simmer. Carefully return the chicken pieces to the pan. Cover and let simmer over low heat for 20 minutes. Remove the lid, stir and let simmer, uncovered, until the chicken is tender and the liquid reduces slightly, about 15 minutes. (The sauce will be quite loose.) Taste the sauce for salt and pepper. (Recipe can be made up to this point and refrigerated for up to 3 days.)
  6. When ready to serve, heat through and stir in lemon zest and juice. Divide among shallow bowls and sprinkle with parsley and almonds (if using). Serve with rice, orzo or toast.
 
Wine Braised Oxtail
Recipe by Melissa Clark from the New York Times Cooking
(While I haven’t made this yet, this seemed like an accessible and guaranteed good recipe! If you save your oxtail for when you start getting your Winter CSA, you will definitely get celery root! And if your oxtail isn’t exactly 5 lbs, don’t fret, just adjust the other ingredients as needed. Take your guidance form Melissa, “Feel free to substitute other vegetables for those roots. For example: mushrooms, celery stalks, turnips, rutabaga, winter squash chunks, and sweet potatoes would all be happy additions to the pot. Or leave the vegetables out and serve the whole thing over mashed potatoes, egg noodles or polenta. Like all braises, it can be made at least four days ahead, and gets better as it sits.”)
 
INGREDIENTS
2½ teaspoons coarse kosher salt, more as needed
2 teaspoons black pepper
½ teaspoon ground allspice
5 pounds beef oxtails, patted dry
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
4 shallots, peeled, trimmed and sliced lengthwise ÂĽ-inch-thick
4 large carrots, peeled and cut into 3-inch lengths
2 small or 1 large celeriac, peeled and cut into 2-inch chunks
1 tablespoon tomato paste
6 large garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 bottle (750 milliliters) dry red wine
1 cup chicken stock
5 parsley sprigs, plus ÂĽ cup chopped parsley leaves
2 rosemary branches
2 bay leaves
Grated zest of 1 lemon
Torn celery leaves, for garnish (optional)

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. In a large bowl, combine salt, pepper and allspice. Add oxtail to bowl and rub the mixture all over the meat. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 2 hours or overnight.
  2. Heat an 8-quart Dutch oven, or a heavy soup pot with a lid, over medium-high heat. Add oil and warm through. Add as many oxtail pieces as you can fit in a single layer without overcrowding the pot. Sear, turning occasionally, until the meat is uniformly golden brown all over, including the sides. Transfer meat to a plate; repeat until you’ve browned all the oxtail.
  3. Add shallot to the pan drippings and cook over medium heat until lightly caramelized, about 10 minutes. Add carrot and celery root and cook 5 minutes. Stir in tomato paste and two-thirds of the garlic (save the rest for garnish) and cook 1 minute.
  4. Heat oven to 325 degrees. Pour wine and stock into pot. Bundle parsley sprigs, rosemary branches and bay leaves with kitchen twine and drop into pot. Bring mixture to a simmer and cook over medium heat until liquid has reduced by half, about 15 minutes.
  5. Return oxtail to pot and bring to a simmer. Cover pot and transfer to oven. Cook, turning oxtails every 30 minutes, until meat is fork tender, 3 to 3½ hours.
  6. Transfer oxtails to a plate. Spoon off fat from surface of pan juices and discard (there will be a lot of it). Toss oxtails with remaining pan gravy. Taste and adjust seasonings if necessary. In a small bowl, toss together chopped parsley, garlic, lemon zest and a pinch of salt. Scatter mixture over oxtails and garnish with the celery leaves, if using, before serving.
 
Basic Basil Pesto for Freezing or Eating Immediately
(This or some variation is my standby for pesto making. I tend to make a batch for my freezer and either freeze it in muffin tins or 1/4 pint jars for winter use. Such a delicious blast of summer when the snow if flying!)
 
INGREDIENTS
2 cups fresh basil leaves (no stems)
2 tablespoons pine nuts or walnuts
2 large cloves garlic
½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
½ cup freshly grated parmesan cheese

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Combine basil leaves, pine nuts or walnuts and garlic in a food processor and process until very finely minced.
  2. With the machine running slowly dribble in the oil and process until the mixture is smooth.
  3. Add the cheese and process very briefly, just long enough to combine. Store in refrigerator or freezer.
photo by: Sarahlee Lawrence

Have you signed up for your Winter CSA yet 😉 We can’t wait to see you on Wednesday! Don’t forget it is a meat week!

The Farm Crew