“I am not bound for any public place, but for ground of my own where I have planted vines and orchard trees, and in the heat of the day climbed up into the healing shadow of the woods.” -Wendell Berry

Hi Friends & Farm-ily,

Reminder: First Winter CSA payments are due by September 15th (next Friday!) Check out the email ‘First Winter CSA Payment Due by September 15th’ for more details!

We hope the first week of September has treated you well and that you had a nice holiday weekend!  August came in hot and looks like September is beginning the same way… with another heat advisory (100+ temps), a red flag warning and air quality index that says to limit your time outside!  Looking ahead at the 10-day it looks we’re back in the 80’s but there doesn’t seem to be a big reprieve of rain for the many fires burning throughout Oregon (and Washington, Montana, Idaho, California and Canada) for us in particular the Eagle Creek Fire.  Our hearts are with all the first responders who are working day and night to contain the fires and friends/fellow farmers who are located near the blaze..  Between the heat and smoke it’s been a bit of a bear to work in on the farm but it’s nothing compared to the communities who are surrounded/more directly impacted by the fires.  What a whirlwind of weather events it’s been this year from the wettest winter and spring in 75 years, to a very dry and hot summer with some of the biggest wildfires Oregon has ever seen.  It’s crazy.  We hope you are all taking good care in this dry, hot, smoky spell.

Dried beans are ready to harvest for Winter CSA, celeriac sizing up in the field and farmer B harvesting melons at sunrise….

Summer Bounty!  With the coming of September it means it’s time to soak in all the goodness that the end of summer has to offer.  To enjoy the bounty and flavors of the season!  The autumnal equinox is less than a month away which means the days are growing shorter.  It’s crazy how you go from hiding from the sun to chasing it as every minute counts!  The past month has had some long days in store for us so we’re feeling ready for a change of pace, the cooler weather and shorter days.  But, in the meantime, we’re charging through these heavy, productive harvests and enjoying the fruits of our labor.   With hard work comes the bountiful harvest and we enjoy sharing the bounty/labor of love with all of you.

Speaking of seasonal bounty… have you guys perused the member’s facebook group lately?   The pictures, the public service announcements, the recipes, the new ideas, the sweet thoughts!  If that doesn’t capture the spirit and essence of the WHF CSA then I don’t know what does.  We’ve been so inspired by all our members through the meals, the recipes, the encouragement, thoughtful emails, farmer ‘check-ins’ and gestures throughout the season.  You all are the cream of the crop and we are so proud and honored to feed our community the best possible food that we can…no matter what ol’ mother nature throws at us.

Smoky hazy sunshine naps, colored bell peppers and one fiesty jalapeno pepper!  

We’ve had quite the bountiful (and tasty!) CSA season so far.  The last 4 weeks of melons (3 weeks were double melon) in the CSA shares (the best we’ve ever grown) was super exciting!  You know it’s peak summer when the melons come to town in the Willamette Valley.  The tomatoes have been going bonkers with all the heat and the heirlooms are some of the sweetest we’ve grown!  At the same time the pumpkins are ripening and the winter squash are beginning to cure in the field.  Everything is happening all at once.  And how about that sweet corn for the last 7 weeks and those colored sweet peppers… and the tomatillos… and poblanos…. and….onions… and carrots…. and greens!  Man, oh man, we’re feeling pretty proud of all the bounty and it’s incredibly rewarding to see all the plans and hard work come together.

The last few weeks of August proved to be a crazy farmer marathon.  Last week was extra filled to the brim.  It feels like every moment of daylight is precious.  The ‘do all the things’ song sure has made the rounds lately.  Our non-harvest days have been dedicated to planting and we’ve made some huge progress.. more winter crops were planted in the ground (over 5,500 purple sprouting broccoli, overwintering cauliflower, early winter broccoli, romanesco and cauliflower).    Fall and winter crops are getting weeded.  Beds have been composted, fertilized, tilled under and dibbled for transplants and direct sown crops.  Old crops are being mowed in anticipation of cover cropping later this month.  We’ve begun prepping our garlic block in anticipation of planting next years garlic in October.  We hope to pre emergence flame weed the beds multiple times before we get the garlic in.  I’ve been busy seeding the last crops of the season in the propagation house.  Not to mention the weekly 4,000lb harvests!

Finger weeding overwintering crops for winter csa, the bulk onions curing in the barn and some giant fall kale…

Two weeks ago we brought in the first of our storage crop harvests.. storage taters, storage onions, shallots, cippollini onions that are all curing in the barn for a few weeks before their ultimate destination in our cooler.  At times it felt as though we were caught in the “thick of it” while harvesting and we’d head inside because the air was literally thick and oppressive (a sweat while standing kind of heat).  But we got it done and both the barns are full to the brim and we’ve had our best onion crop to date!  We felt pretty proud after that harvest that’s for sure!

In the next few weeks it’ll be time to harvest and cure the winter squash, sweet potatoes, first round of fall carrots and beets and we are looking forward to beginning that process.    It’s been a great season for winter squash and most of our pumpkins have already turned orange (it’s going to be an early Halloween this year!)  And next thing ya know we’ll be planting garlic for next season!  It’s crazy how time flies…

September-October we will be slowly transitioning into our cooler weather crops. The summer crops are still performing but as the days get shorter and the nights get cooler the Fall veggies will start to shine. The summer harvests have been so plentiful… we’re looking forward to the shorter days, to give these farmer bodies a little bit of re-coop time. This is the time of the season where our backs feel it the most – 50 lb -70lb harvest crates x 3 days (and 150+ shares) can add up to a lot of pounds of produce being harvested, washed and displayed.

Some fun new (to us) varieties of winter squash are growing out in the field for Winter CSA, the remnants of sweet corn making fall feel closer each day…

WINTER CSA!  We’ve had an amazing response for our upcoming Winter CSA and we are almost full (we only have a few shares available!)  There are still a couple shares available and we’d love for you to join us for the Winter season! To read more about the Winter CSA details visit this link:  https://workinghandsfarm.com/wintercsa/

  • The WHF Winter CSA will run from November 28th – April 11th – a total of 18 Weekly Shares or 9 Bi-Weekly Shares!
  • We’re offering two Winter CSA options: Weekly for $756 & Bi-Weekly for $490.
  • CSA pick ups will take place on Tuesday’s & Wednesday’s at the farm from 3:00-6:30pm.  *note: There will not be a CSA pick up the week of Christmas (12/26 & 12/27) or January 1st  (1/2 & 1/3)

How to Sign Up?  Fill out the Winter CSA Member Agreement here: https://workinghandsfarm.com/wintercsa-sign-up/

Spread the good word!  Word of mouth is the best way to help us grow and sustain our small farm. Please share the link, forward this email and encourage interested friends, family, neighbors & community etc… in signing up for their CSA share.  Many thanks for your help from all of us at Working Hands.

“Solar Flare” tomato, Farmer B and a slice of “sweet favorite” watermelon and so many ripe maters!  


Our Bulk Tomatoes are still available for those that are interested!  (the lack of rain + heat is really excellent for this crop!)  We have two kinds of tomatoes available: Mixed Varieties of our “Seconds” (@$2/lb with a minimum order of 25lbs) and Classic Roma Sauce Tomatoes (@$3/lb with a minimum order of 20lbs)  How to order? Send us your order, pick up day/time via email.  Pick up works best for your famers on Thursday, Friday or Saturday after 10am.  (We will not have orders available on CSA pick up days).  Depending on availability, we will confirm pick up day, total cost, etc.  (Remember to keep a close eye on our minimum orders.)

Farmer’s tip:  A super simple way to put up tomatoes without the canning/processing is… FREEZING!  These bulk maters are great for freezing whole in gallon bags to enjoy the summer bounty year round!

Enjoy the week and we will see you all soon!

All the best,

Your farmers

Jess & Brian

dirty hands, clean hearts