winter kale in the sunlight, a sunrise view from the loft of the barn, an early succession of purple sprouting broccoli

Hi Friends & Farm-ily,

Happy December! We hope the Thanksgiving holiday treated you all well.  It was a stormy and wet end to November and we hope you kept warm by making many delicious homemade meals in the warmth of your kitchen.

We spent all thanksgiving morning gathering equipment from the pastures and lower fields in the sideways wind and rain which was good because the ground water and creek flooded out the lower acreage so our annual lake is back.  The Tualatin River didn’t flow over it’s banks this time around but it sure was close!  The lake view property we currently have is a good reminder of that.  There’s actually so much ground water looking for a place to go it’s just been bubbling out of mole holes!


The view from the garlic block, spinach in the high tunnel & a bulk beet harvest.. or should we say mud…

Welcome to the start of the Winter CSA!  There’s no better place to grow during the winter months than in the Willamette Valley – our more mild oceanic/marine west coast climate is perfect for overwintering vegetables and when you pair that with a couple of farmers who love growing vegetables it’s a winning combination.  For those of you who are joining us for a winter growing season we think you are the bees knees. You understand that the winter weather is more variable than other times of the year and you have chosen to support the farm and these two farmers through the winter months. Crop losses can happen from a hard freeze, disease pressure, bugs, etc…  and many of these things will be out of your farmers control.  You invest in the farm and the farmers and we do our very best to provide you with organic seasonal produce that is sure to inspire.  We have taken measures to give the Winter CSA the best possible chance at success like building two additional 96′ x 30′ high tunnels, building a pole barn for storage, researching specialty winter hardy crops, etc… All that being said, you have gotten to know Brian and I, and our work ethic over the course of this season (and for the majority of you over several seasons) and you know we will do our very best to ensure you have food on your table all winter long!

Thank you for supporting our farm through this time of exciting ‘growth’! We grow better each and every year with the support, encouragement and inspiration that our CSA members bring.  It’s a mutual admiration society around here!



The chicories come alive this time of season, italian dandelions and overwintering onions..


This time of the year that quote, “there’s no such thing as bad weather, only the wrong clothes” rings true. With our long johns on, wooly layers and Grundens rain gear we’ve been good to go with bulk winter harvest, grounds maintenance, winter CSA harvest etc.   When the real cold weather hits, all of the tender crops (i.e. fully mature romanesco/cauliflower, tops of radishes, mixed greens, chard, beet greens etc) turn into slime- from freezing and thawing- and whithering away.  Some of the crops we grow actually taste better when they go through a freeze (turnips, carrots, parsnips, rutabaga, kale, cabbage, kohlrabi,  etc) because of all the sugar they create in order to protect themselves from freezing.  To find a balance and to protect some of the more tender crops listed above, before any cold and bitter weather hits we are keeping busy and working extra hard – to ensure that our winter CSA members had the best possible CSA experience. We continue to cover up crops with row cover and harvesting crops over the next few weeks for storage before those extra chilly they are predicting next week hit.

It’s been a surprisingly mild late Fall despite how wet and gloomy it was in October.  November seems to have made up for the quick change back in the early fall.  Usually by now we’ve had our first frost (which we still have yet to had) and is the reason why we still had some peppers, romanesco, cauliflower and broccoli in the first Winter CSA share.  We planted a late succession of all three and it paid off this year.  As Farmer Brian said the other day while harvesting,  “In a typical season we would have had our first freeze by now, which made these a big gamble with a delicious pay out. Glad we rolled the dice.”  We’re definitely feeling thankful for this bounty of late Fall varietals!



Late season cauliflower, farm kitty sleeping on a stack of carhartts, and homemade pumpkin pie..

Although working in the cold and wet can be difficult at times (with the right clothes on we could be out there for hours – no problem) but the shorter days are hardest to get used to after the long days of summer and fall. Right now the day length is 9 hours of sunlight and by the Winter Solstice it will be close to 8 hours & 42min (compared to the Summer Solstice with 15 hours & 41 min of daylight).

It is during this darkest time of the year (when you have 10hours of daylight or less) — referred to by Eliot Coleman as the “Persephone period” — that plant growth essentially stops…

‘Humans have long had their own way of understanding the changes in day length and its affect on agriculture. Early Greek farmers, whose practical experience added mythical stories to astronomical fact, knew intimately that the power of the sun and the length of the day are the principal influences on agriculture. They created the myth of Persephone to explain the effect of winter conditions. As the story goes, the earth goddess Demeter had a daughter, Persephone, who was abducted by Hades to live with him as his wife in the netherworld. Demeter would have nothing to do with this and threatened to shut down all plant growth. Zeus intervened and brokered a deal whereby Persephone would spend only the winter months with her husband, Hades. Demeter, saddened by her daughter’s absence, made the earth barren during that time. On our farm we refer to the period when the days are less than ten hours long as the Persephone months.’ – Eliot Coleman, The New Organic Grower



The brussels love the colder weather, the goats saying “HI!” and some delicious savoy cabbages…

Aside from growing winter veggies, we’re just plugging along on the winter projects… cleaning up, organizing, little building projects, packing and storing,  planning, scheming etc.  We’re still chippin’ away at the ol’ to-do list but we’re also taking time to rest and recuperate (thanks to the growing darkness that winter brings).  The days are growing shorter and we are just 3 weeks away from the shortest day of the year – the Winter Solstice.  As we near the holidays and the new year we’ll be spending the longer evenings inside, brainstorming and dreaming about the future and pulling out all of our inspiring seed catalogs to begin our adventure for the 2017 season!

January marks the beginning of our season as we open up registration for the main season CSA, order our seeds, fill the propagation greenhouse with soil amendments, and begin this exciting process all over again! We have some exciting plans and ideas to make 2017 our greatest growing season yet – so stay tuned 😉



Late Fall romanesco, a field of overwintering purple sprouting broccoli, the cutest komatsuna leaf..

20% off WHF Pastured Pork & Grass Fed Beef!  To celebrate the holidays ahead – beginning today – we are offering 20% off all orders over $25 for our Pastured Pork & Grass Fed Beef using the discount code HOLIDAYSALE during checkout.

To purchase: click the link to our Online Store to purchase some of our amazing pastured pork & grass fed beef.  *You will receive 20% off your online order when you type in or copy/paste the discount code: HOLIDAYSALE during check out.  Discount code will be valid while supplies last!*

Not only is it incredibly delicious but your investment helps Brian & I to sustain our small farm!

Thank you in advance for your support! Help us spread the good word and share this email and link with family and friends!  #buylocal #knowyourfarmer#knowyourfood


The lake returns! Radicchio for the win, and Captain Ahab basking in the sun…

Be happy, be well and stay warm and dry out there.   We’ll leave you with this beautiful poem by Mr. Wendell Berry entitled, “The Cold”…

“How exactly good it is

to know myself

in the solitude of winter,

my body containing its own

warmth, divided from all

by the cold; and to go

separate and sure

among the trees cleanly

divided, thinking of you

perfect too in your solitude,

your life withdrawn into

your own keeping

–to be clear, poised

in perfect self-suspension

toward you, as though frozen.

And having known fully the

goodness of that, it will be

good also to melt.”

With kind regards,

Your Farmers

Jess & Brian

dirty hands, clean hearts