October 27, 2016

Local farm hosts Great Potato Harvest

From Rainshadow Organics

Rainshadow Organics, Sisters School District partner for 'Great Potato Harvest'

   Rainshadow Organics and Sisters students are teaming up to get locally grown, organic food into the Central Oregon community. Rainshadow has donated 20 tons of potatoes as a fundraiser for the Interdisciplinary Environmental Education (I.E.E) Program at Sisters High School.

   I.E.E. helps students get first hand experience in project-based learning for several disciplines including science, language arts and physical education. The course is composed of a community of learners working together to gain a balanced, in-depth understanding of the world around them.

   This year represents Rainshadow Organics 4th Annual Great Potato Harvest. In the past, community members have been able to come to their farm and help harvest the potatoes - this year it’s being run a bit differently. Sisters High School students in both the Agriculture class and I.E.E. will go on a farm tour led by Seed to Table, participate in farm based science activities and learn what it means to be a farmer by helping harvest the potatoes.

   The potatoes students harvest will be packed into 50 pound boxes and sold to raise funds for clothing and gear for the I.E.E. program. Community members can purchase 50 pound boxes of potatoes for $50 (that’s $1 a pound) on Friday, October 28th from 3:30-7 in the Sisters High School Parking lot. 

   “We have so many potatoes we are asking 800 families to swing into action and buy a 50-pound box of organic potatoes at a wholesale price of $50,” says Rainshadow Organics owner Sarahlee Lawrence. “If students sell all the potatoes, IEE could get upwards $20,000 for their program! Help them meet their goal!”

   At the sale, there will be hot drinks provided by Sisters Coffee Company and chili from Willow Camp Catering. Also, Benji Nagel and friends will be playing music!
 
   Worried you won’t be able to go through 50 pounds of potatoes? Potatoes will keep in a cool, dry place for a few months. Or find a friend, neighbor, or colleague and share a box with them - what a way to build community. You can also buy a box and donate it directly to Neighbor Impact, which I.E.E. will facilitate.

   “A family can quickly go through a 50 pound box by Christmas,” says Seed to Table coordinator Audrey Tehan. “Thanksgiving mashed potatoes and Christmas roasters will be the best tasting yet!”

   The potatoes that will be for sale are heirloom, organic varieties. Viking Purple potatoes are a purple skin, white-fleshed potato that is particularly outstanding as a masher with incredible fluffiness. They hold together great in soups and stews. 

   They roast, bake, and boil splendidly. Their skins hold their color and are full of nutrients. Desiree potatoes, the #1 gourmet potato in Europe is a light red skin and yellow flesh, it has a distinctive flavor and is a versatile, fairly waxy variety which is firm and holds its shape, and is useful for all methods of cooking, from roasting to mashing and salads.

   "Load up your car, give them as gifts, donate them to your church,” Lawrence. “Storage is our biggest challenge, so we are hoping to have one big ‘potato sale day’ and everyone can take them home and enjoy!”

For more information check out www.rainshadoworganics.com or call 541-279-0841.

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