OUR fARMING STORY
Meet the farmers:
Rachel Ashley & Elias Silvernail
or, the section entitled:
This is what we look like in black and white and color, accompanied by an informative narrative.
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 moved to Corvallis in 2008 after apprenticing on several different farms. We knew there was good water and soil here, so we trusted that we would be able to find a piece of ground that we could steward and farm. We moved in with Elias's brother Ian, whom enthusiastically joined us in tearing up his yard and planting food. We quickly ran out of space there and started looking for other land. We meet Anna Jolles and Dave Lytle seridipidously through a friend of a friend, pitched them our farming plan, and they said "Yes!" That was the start to our south town neighborhood farm.
The farm started small, about 1/2 an acre, and it took us a whole season just to put in all the necessary infastructure (fencing, irrigation, drilling a well, wash station, and 2 greenhouses). We made lots of friends and gained many loyal vegetable eaters over several years, growing from 1/2 acre to over 3 acres.
After 6 years of farming and learning at this unique urban location, we decided to move to the country and expand our family farm. We will continue to grow Rainshine, as well as cultivating our new family orchard business, Silvernail Farm & Orchard. We are excited about where our lives are going!
PUTTING THE FAMILY IN FAMILY FARM
In January of 2012, we chose to have our first child at home with 2 wonderful midwives (who are now part of our CSA family). Calla is 5 now, and she is herding sheep, climbing trees, writing letters, and planning out her flower garden. Watch for her bouquets at market this year. She has enevitablly changed everything. Especially our need for other helping hands on the farm.
Now, with the birth of our new farm, we have joined forces with Elias's family, the Silvernail's, to co-create Silvernail Farm & Orchard. We will live and work together on this land.
We consider not only our famililes, but our landmates, our employees, CSA members, and our incredibly supportive community as family. It takes a village to support a farming family, and we are thankful for ours.
~Rachel & Elias
Rainshine Family Farm (541)602-9988 38560 Kings Valley Hwy, Philomath OR 97370