OUR FARMING STORY
MEET YOUR FARMERS!
Rachel Ashley, Elias Silvernail
BE WELL - EAT WELL
We met in Portland when we were 20. We ranted and raved and marched. Many of the issues that moved us then still influence us now. The difference now is we believe we are part of a healthy solution.
In 2002 we moved out of the city, to Breitenbush Hot Springs, an intentional community that runs a holistic retreat center in the Cascade Mountains. It was there that we reconnected with nature and found our farming inspriration, and a man named Sun. Growing food was and still is, Sun's spiritual practice. His constant evaluation of what sustainable living really is, challenges many people. He had over 20 years experience growing organic food. He gave us a crash course in soils, seeds, ammendments, and a plant positive approach. We still find ourselves often asking, "What would Sun do?" We left Breitenbush in 2005 intent on learning how to grow healthy food and eventually starting a farm of our own.
We spent the next 2 growing seasons interning on other farms to gain more experience. In 2008 we were ready to go out on our own and we started Rainshine Family Farm. We began on a 1/2 acre lot in Elias's brother's back yard. We had a 12 member CSA and sold to Breitenbush that year. We quickly cultivated all that space and began looking for more land. We fortuitously ended up farming on 3 acres in south-town Corvallis, where we grew our skills, our CSA, our community, and partnered with local eateries..
and then came Calla.
After 6 years of farming in south-town Corvallis, we again were wanting a bigger land base in order to farm using more sustainable techniques. In 2014 we joined with Elias's family to purchase a property in the foothills of Kings Valley. It's a beautiful property that includes a creek, a river, forest, pasture, an organic orchard, and good soils. Here we were able to grow Rainshine, as well as get a crash course in organic orcharding. It took us a year to set up infrastructure and move all our farm gear and home. In 2016 we jumped back in and started attending the Corvallis Farmer's market.