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your life withdrawn into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.

– Wendell Berry

Hi Friends & Farm-ily,

Wow, what a few whirlwind weeks it’s been. We’ve all been through the gamut with the freezing rain, snow, frigid temperatures and flooding! We’re really glad everyone made it out safe and sound!

Winter farming is always an exciting adventure and we thank you all for supporting us come Snow or High Water! Two Wednesdays ago it was forecasted that we were going to receive 1-3inches of snow… so around 9pm we realized that the snow was not slowing down and that we would be in for a long night. From 9pm-4am we went from one greenhouse to the next brushing off the heavy wet snow (‘jello arms’ we discovered is most definitely a thing). As soon as all 4 tunnels were brushed off the first would need to be brushed off again. We kept going until we didn’t have anything left. It was crazy and dreamlike. All the hard work paid off though and all the greenhouses were saved (none of them buckled/collapsed under pressure). We ended up getting close to a foot of snow which is the most snow Brian (the native Oregonian) had ever seen at any one time in the valley.


kale flavored snow cones, Brian plowing us out with the tractor & a brave bunch of hens..

The snow was nice at first (especially once the stress wasn’t as heavy) but as time went on I think we all felt ready for it to melt. The snow did help with the frigid nights that followed that week (we got down to 12-14 degrees in the nights after). The snow can act like a nice layer of insulation for all those crops that were still in the ground. The animals didn’t seem to mind the weather one bit – in fact they all seemed unfazed with their cozy barn, thick fur and unlimited supply of tasty hay… well, except for the chickens… only a few brave hens would actually come out into the snowy drifts.. they’ve never seen snow before!

When the rains came through last week we felt much relief.. the rain came in over night and by morning all the snow was gone. CSA harvests and pick ups could resume! It was now time to walk about the garden and see what was happening with all the crops.  Some of the highlights from our crop walk:   The leeks, garlic and overwintering onions looked great – they even looked like they put on some growth while nestled under the snow. The stoic kale had been through so much this winter – absolute CHAMPS – it’s one of the most winter hardy crops we grow – and although it had leaf damage by the snow and cold it looks like it’ll put on some new leaves with the more moderate temps ahead.   Those January King Cabbages in the share this week speak for themselves… amazing!  The lettuces in the high tunnels (especially the romaine and winter pink lettuces) all weathered the cold like champs. Even the baby spinach, radishes, turnips and arugula in the high tunnels all looked great – not a big of damage!    The Purple Sprouting Broccoli varieties are all about to begin sprouting up which reminds us just how resilient all these crops are.   Surely the ones that make it through a winter like we’ve had this year will be at the top of the planting list for next Winter season!  Seed folks calls it a “selection event” – selecting the hardiest ones for next generation.


These lettuces & chicories were the champs of the high tunnels.  Absolutely beautiful!  

No matter what mother nature throws at us we LOVE the winter CSA. And with a little sweat equity, love and tears it just proves that we will always have food to eat!  The best perk so far is having access to so much delicious fresh food in the winter – with the Winter CSA it means that we (the farmers and the farm’s members) have eaten better than ever before.   The last two winter seasons have been a truly enjoyable addition to the WHF CSA growing season and we’d like to extend a big thank you to all the WHF Winter CSA members for joining us this winter season! We hope you are all enjoying this week’s yummy winter goodies and look forward to hearing all the delicious home cooked meals you’ve prepared with them.  Keep up the great work!

High Water.  With all the snow melt and additional inches of rain we had some creek flooding within 12-24 hours and over the weekend the Tualatin broke it’s banks. It is now sitting at 30 ft which is 5ft less the crazy flood we had in December 2015. It peaked on Sunday and is slowly beginning to recede (the Tualatin has already gone back over the banks) thanks to the sunny/cloudy days in the forecast. It sure has been nice to really thaw out and dry things out too.


We’ve been busy getting ready for the season ahead.   During the snow storm we finished up our seed order (yay!) and are super excited about the new varieties of vegetables + fruits we’ll be planting this year as well as some of our tried and true veggies that we already can’t get enough of.  We’re planning big and will be increasing productivity by streamlining our systems and investing in some equipment to ensure we have even more of our CSAs most beloved crops (i.e. strawberries, sweet potatoes, potatoes, carrots, onions, garlic, melons, greens, cucumbers, tomatoes etc to name a few).

Last weekend we cleaned out the propagation house, heat mats set up and got our seeding area organized. Brian seeded over 150 trays of storage onions, shallots, bunching onions and cipollinis (over 20,000 onions!) in just two days.  We even started some beets, lettuce and spinach to be planted as some of our first crops for the Spring and Summer CSA. Whoop whoop! Gotta have the veggies.  In the next few weeks we’ll begin our first peppers and tomatoes that will be planted out early in the high tunnels…

Have we mentioned how excited we are for the new growing season?!


This week’s CSA share, checking on the babies in the high tunnels and Gloucester in his annual seed cat-a-log coma…

Sign up for the 2017 Spring, Summer & Fall Season!  We are just a week away from the start of February and we are 3/4 of the way there to being full for the 2017 season.  A big thank you to all of our amazing CSA members both new and old!  Keep spreading the good word because it makes all the difference. As a farm-ily member once said, “keep your friends close and you farmers closer.”

Small farms are making a big impact! Keep up the great work everyone – let’s do it even better in 2017! #workinghandsfarmcsa #dirtyhandscleanhearts

3 Steps to Signing Up:


First seeds of the year have been started, those beautiful January King Cabbages and the post-snow melt flood!

If you have any further questions about the 2017 CSA be sure to check out our FAQs section or send us an email.  We look forward to seeing you all at the start of the season!  Here’s to good food and the amazing community it brings together!

With kind regards,

Your Farmers

Jess & Brian

dirty hands, clean hearts

Purple sprouting broccoli (top) and cabbage (bottom), now you see them, now you don’t!