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Using biodynamic and permaculture practices, Juniper Jungle Farm strives for beyond organic standards to grow the freshest heirloom produce and meat in Central Oregon. Our products are available at local farmers markets or through our 18 week CSA.

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2017 CSA and Farm Update

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ONLINE SIGN UP FOR 2017 CSA

 

We have some exciting news for the upcoming season!  Rainshadow Organics and Juniper Jungle Farms will be partnering to bring you outstanding local, organic food in your CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) box and at farmer’s market. This unique partnership is unprecedented in our area and is an exciting opportunity for farmers to play to their individual strengths, in order to grow and deliver more food to the Central Oregon community.

Chris Casad of Juniper Jungle Farm is moving to Madras where he can take advantage of more acreage and a longer growing season.  He will be growing staple crops of carrots, beets, onions, squash, garlic, corn, broccoli, cabbage, and the ever-famous potato in higher volume than before. Sarahlee and the crew at Rainshadow, are continuing to diversify their crop mix and will offer specialty items such as tomato, eggplant, pepper, cucumber, ground cherries, tomatillos, greens of all kinds, herbs, turnip, radish, ginger, peanut, melon, beans, and much more in our CSA and at the farmer’s market.  Growing practices of both farms include biodynamic methods as well as certified organic.

The strategic addition of a certified kitchen at Rainshadow Organics, to be completed by early summer, will allow for value added products  (pickles, kale chips, sauerkraut, etc) to be processed on farm. This is a huge opportunity to incorporate wholesale products from Juniper Jungle farm and mitigate on farm food waste. The facility will also serve as a teaching kitchen to educate customers and the public at a wide array of cooking classes they will be offering.

This year Juniper Jungle Farm will no longer be offering a CSA. Instead, Rainshadow will continue to offer their CSA and include Juniper Jungle Farm products, which will be available for pick up at both the downtown and Northwest Crossings Bend farmer’s markets or home delivery in the Bend City Limits.

Please go to www.rainshadoworganics.com for all the CSA and market options.  When you’re ready, click the “Sign-up” button on the main page.  We very much look forward to feeding you!

BEND BULLETIN ARTICLE ABOUT FARM MOVING AND COLLABORATION

Teaming up for Central Oregon ag

Two organic farmers look to expand and diversify

By Joseph Ditzler, The Bulletin, @josefditzler

MADRAS —

Chris Casad stood in morning sunshine on a recent Tuesday, talking wheel lines and irrigation with two farmhands at the edge of the Casad Family Farm on the Agency Plains just north of the municipal airport.

Five beef cattle and a large pig idled in an enclosure nearby as birdsong mingled with Tom Petty, “Runnin’ Down a Dream,” emanating from a radio in the barn nearby.

Casad is chasing his own dream, making fresh, locally grown organic produce available and affordable to consumers and commercial customers alike on a broad scale.

“When you see Safeway now, or Fred Meyer, they have permanent organic sections now. That wasn’t there five years ago,” he said. “It’s convenience. That’s what we’re fighting.”

For about eight years, Casad ran Juniper Jungle Farm, 58 scattered acres centered on a 10-acre farmstead on Erickson Road, east of Bend. This year, he moved the operation to 90 acres his family purchased in Jefferson County, a mile west of U.S. Route 26 on NW Elm Lane.

He also teamed up with Sarahlee Lawrence, of Rainshadow Organics, an 80-acre farm 15 miles northeast of Sisters, to expand and diversify their operations. Lawrence has also built a commercial kitchen and storefront near the farm, where she expects to make a variety of value-added products out of surplus crops, like pickles, kale chips and sauerkraut.

They described their collaboration as an informal cooperative created to complement each others’ operations.

“I think it has mostly to do with trying to be more efficient with getting more food to Central Oregon,” Lawrence said. “We’ve been friends and peers for a long time but now we’re just kinda trying to work together.”

Both farms are familiar to regulars at the Bend summer farmers markets at NorthWest Crossing and on Brooks Street. And both provide weekly boxes of produce to subscribers of their community-supported agriculture services, or CSAs. Subscribers typically pick up their boxes at the farmers markets.

Bringing local produce to consumers’ shopping baskets and into the kitchens at local restaurants is a constant challenge for small farms in Central Oregon. A short growing season, limited crop variety and competition from corporate grocers that carry their own line of organic produce, as well as the notion that locally grown produce costs more, are typical hurdles. Especially for farmers like Casad and Lawrence, the cost of organic methods, such as weeding by hand and crop rotation, are typically higher, they said.

Nonetheless, interest in locally sourced foods in restaurants and in CSA subscriptions, is growing in Central Oregon. At Juniper Jungle, Casad said, he added subscriptions each year for four years, from 15 to 27 to 64. Two years ago, they topped out at 112, he said.

“One hundred twelve was way too many boxes for our farm at the time to manage,” Casad said. “And that’s why we did 40 last year. It was a lot better for us.”

Likewise, the number of small farms growing produce and raising animals for meat, eggs and dairy products also grew. A directory of Central Oregon farms growing food for local consumption, compiled by the High Desert Food & Farm Alliance, grew from 21 farmers and ranches listed in 2012 to 61 this year, wrote Jane Sabin-Davis, alliance board chairwoman, in an email.

Many of those farms are small but productive, she said.

“We don’t have many hobby farmers,” Sabin-Davis said. “Ninety percent are all people who want to make a living.”

Lawrence and Casad said they expect to expand the number of CSA subscriptions the two farms support.

Casad is suspending his own subscriptions this year, he said, while he brings the new farm up to speed and supplies Rainshadow, where patrons may sign up for weekly deliveries of produce. About half his acreage is leased for another year to a farmer who grows hay there, Casad said.

The move to Madras will change the way Casad farms, he said. He’ll try to grow more staples such as carrots, beets, onions, squash, broccoli, garlic and potatoes. Lawrence will continue producing herbs, greens, ginger, peanuts, cucumbers, peppers and other specialty crops.

“Hopefully, we have a pretty much frost-free summer being out here, and we’ll be 5 degrees warmer,” Casad said, “so that’s going to make a huge difference on our gardens and fields and inevitably where we can start thinking about trying other things.”

Casad also plans to ramp up production for commercial buyers, looking for economies of scale and to continue working through broker Liz Weigand of Agricultural Connections to market produce. Reliable, affordable transportation for his produce is a problem Casad said he needs to solve.

He also foresees trucking produce to farmers markets in Portland, where he can increase sales significantly.

Even though the number of CSA subscriptions and small farms appears to be growing, Casad said, overall the small-farm and CSA movement may be at a plateau. That’s why expansion into new markets and finding new opportunities to add value to produce is important, he said.

Nonetheless, Weigand said Agricultural Connections in the past year has doubled the wholesale side of the business, which significantly outweighs the consumer side.

“We work with about a dozen core commercial accounts buying produce multiple times a week,” she said.

Those accounts include restaurants like Jackson’s CornerBad Wolf Bistro and Lone Pine Coffee Roasters, she said.

“We found that a lot of the time, growth, at least for restaurants, depends on setting up a lot of contract arrangements ahead of time,” Weigand said. “Consistency helps me stay in business, and helps farms stay in business.”

Lawrence, at Rainshadow Organics, said the cooperative she and Casad have formed is a work in progress, a multi-pronged venture designed to grow and strengthen both their farm operations. Underneath it is the idea that consumers want fresh, nutritious food grown locally and organically. They sometimes need a nudge in that direction, she said.

“I guess it’s just a hope,” Lawrence said. “I feel like this is the best I can do. People say they would love to buy this stuff, but the proof is in the pudding. We’ll see if people come through.”

— Reporter: 541-617-7815,  jditzler@bendbulletin.com

JJF 2016 Fall CSA Share Pickup

Hello 2016 CSA members,

I hope you all have been enjoying the mild fall this year. It has been
pleasant work weather as we prepare the farm for winter. We have our last
weekly share for this years CSA coming up this week.

Pick Up Dates
Tuesday 11/15/2016 – At the farm 3 PM to 6 PM
Sunday 11/20/2016– At the farm 10 AM to 2PM

Farm Address
22135 Erickson Road
Bend, OR 97701

I can also place produce boxes in a cooler at the end of our driveway for
dates/times other than the listed dates with plenty of notice from you if
the schedules times don’t work.

Produce Boxes will be a burlap bag filled to the brim of potatoes, storage
onions, garlic, winter squash, leeks, and ill see what other goodies are
still hiding out in the field.

Please reply email or call to confirm your date

Sincerely, your farmer

Chris Casad

541 815 6483

juniperjunglefarm@gmail.com

 

Our 4th annual Sunset Supper is on August 21, 2016!

For ticket availability please call 541-480-9273, we are under 5 tickets available so online signup is strut down, thanks!

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2016 CSA Shares are now available!

Secure your 2016 CSA Share now!

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Sunset Supper tickets On Sale NOW!

Buy tickets HERE for Sunset Supper! 

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Save the Date! Farm Dinner is 8/30/15.

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Farm Movie Night!

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A big thanks!

 

A big thanks to our community of supporters signing up and getting the early bird discount. It is already shaping out to be a record year on many fronts of the farm. Our word of mouth growth has been outstanding, but we also have a creative CSA Manager, who also happens to make our website and awesome social media ads! Allison Murphy gets it done and has an awesome farm collection building! See below,

Your Farmer, Chris Casad

 

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Farmer Chris’ Notes 10/27/14

Well, fall is here and only up until last week would you have known it. This mild autumn time has really made for a productive October as the plants have been responding with vigor. It has pushed back a lot of the potato harvest because we need them to cure for a few weeks after a top killing frost, but the potatoes are plenty and I hope you and your families can enjoy JJF spuds all winter long! The cows and pigs are getting fat and are enjoying the fall field cleanup as any edible scraps are all theirs! We have also been busy collecting seed and over winter will process and package them for your backyard food forest and garden needs in 2015. A big thanks to my crew and committed volunteers for a milestone year.

 

Farmer Chris’ notes 4/14/14

4/14/14, a good day! I’m a proud farmer; this year is the earliest I have had a crop ready and harvesting out of the field under row cover and not a greenhouse. A big step in my mind for the thought of local food security. Arugula will be for sale this Saturday at earth day; spinach available here shortly.

Your farmer, Chris

 

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