Category: News & Announcements

Bluebird Brand has launched in South Korea. We have partnered with a Korean company, who is bringing our products to the Korean food marketplace. We are grateful for Washington State USDA Korean trade representatives in helping us forge this relationship. It is inspiring and enlightening to learn from another culture’s perspective and share ideas on how to use ancient grains can be used in different cuisines.

Here’s what they have to say in Korean about Bluebird Grain Farms Whole Grain Emmer Farro:

통곡물 엠머파로는 행복의 상징인 파랑새가 찾아오는 천혜의 환경을 가진 미국 북부 곡창지대에 위치한 청정 농장에서 재배됩니다.

매년 봄, 파랑새가 찾아오는 청정지역에서 미국 USDA ORGANIC 기준으로 재배된  블루버드 통곡물 엠머파로! 파랑새 마크를 확인하세요!

Join us for a field and granary tour May 25th from 2-4. Learn about our farm systems and how we process our organic ancient wheats. Memorial day weekend. Please RSVP Here.

Our New Website should be launching in the next month. Keep your eye out for a new look and feel and a whole new online shopping experience. Please give it some patience as I know it can take time to learn how to navigate new sites. Feel free to reach out if you have any issues logging into your account.

Need mulch? We have ancient grain husks for sale. We charge $10 per trash can or $50 per truck load. Give us a call 509-996-35626 to arrange a time to pick up- be prepared to shovel ( they are light). These straw like husks are great for mulch, chicken bedding, compost, and soil building!

Whole Day for Whole Grains

Bluebird Grain Farms joined in the Whole Grains Day event on March 27th, organized by the Whole Grains Council. This global celebration aims to encourage people to enjoy whole grains in various ways. We shared over 200 lbs. of our tasty whole grain samples with different businesses and institutions across the country. We were excited to share our Spelt, Emmer, and Einkorn with Washington State University.

Martha Flores, the health and wellness coordinator at WSU, shared her thoughts and experiences with us. She thanked us for supporting their “Grain Week” vision and mentioned how students enjoyed trying out different grains. They even played a game called “Guess the Grain” and were excited to take home samples to incorporate into their meals. Martha noted that students were particularly thrilled to learn that these grains were locally grown in Washington. We’re delighted to have been a part of such a positive and educational experience!

Salmon Safe Certification

Bluebird Grain Farms has just renewed our Salmon Safe Certification. This certification signifies our commitment to environmentally sustainable farming practices. Salmon Safe is a program that promotes habitat protection and restoration to ensure the health and vitality of Pacific Northwest watersheds. By adhering to Salmon Safe standards, we’re not only safeguarding water quality but also preserving vital habitats for salmon and other wildlife. This certification underscores our dedication to responsible agriculture and our role in protecting the delicate ecosystems that surround our farms. We’re proud to be part of the organizational work involved in promoting healthy habitats and sustainable farming practices.

Larkin and Brooke immersed themselves in the culinary world at the Vegas Fancy Food Show last week. Surrounded by top-tier food brands, they enjoyed discovering industry trends and connected with remarkable individuals in the food sector.

Farmer Sam has a new fiction piece called “Jack” that was published in Montana Quarterly. Check out this bold publication that covers everything from creative fiction to environmental and local stories from the big State of Montana.

February 14-15, 2024 The Methow Conservancy is hosting a a free two-part forum on agricultural issues facing Methow Valley farmers. Our friend David Montgomery is coming back to the valley. David Montgomery is the author of the books What Your Food Ate, Growing A Revolution, The Hidden Half of Nature, Dirt, and others. Professor Montgomery will explore an inspiring vision in which agriculture becomes the solution to environmental problems.

He will be joined by Three-term U.S. Senator Jon Tester who is a third-generation Montana farmer. Senator Tester will tell the story of his family farm and the choices they have made to adapt to a changing world and economy. He will also share his insights into what he sees for the future of farming.

Amidst the Methow Valley’s changing climate and shifts in agricultural land ownership, the ongoing conversation becomes increasingly relevant. The choices made by large landowners hold substantial influence over small communities, shaping the impact of these transitions on the local landscape. If the future of agriculture is important to you in this valley we encourage you to share your voice and join the conversation.

Happy February!

 

Bluebird Grain Farms Team

Here we are already in the swift current of 2024, thankfully still afloat- paddling to keep the canoe balanced and paddles synced. The river is flowing.  Bluebird spent the majority of 2023- AHEAD, the nautical term for, forward, full steam ahead.  We got established in our new building, worked on our new systems, learned about our equipment, and re-evaluated the not-so-simple task of cost of goods (thank you crewmate Janice).

Bluebird Grain Farms New Facility

New space, new cleaning line, new public interface, new packaging- we had a lot to work through.  Sam and Brooke underestimated the time it would take to get re-adjusted in our new location. We came into last year on beam ends, canoe tipped on its side.

Our stellar crew was critical in getting through 2023, they helped us get back in the flow. We are grateful for our employees who show up every day to paddle the boat.  The support from our community and organizations such as The Methow Conservancy helped us with local tours and open houses and helped us get the word out regarding our new location- thank you to their volunteers (that’s you Keith) and staff (Sarah, Bridger, Ashley).

Partnering with Friends of the Winthrop Library to bring David Montgomery and Anne Biklé to the Methow Valley was a  highlight for 2023.  With over 100 community members present, they shared their knowledge and passion for organic regenerative agriculture and why it matters. A big shout out to Craig Seasholes for his steadfast support in making this happen. Fingers crossed that their presentation inspired decision-makers to see the “agricultural potential” that the Methow Valley holds.

Sam Lucy and David Montgomery discuss the benefits of Organic Regenerative Agriculture

The autumn winds brought our much-anticipated new packaging, a culmination of years of design and implementation for 100% recyclable bags. Backpaddle- a sudden engineering issue emerged, causing some serious inconvenience. Buoyed by the promise of our supplier to rectify the situation, we navigate this challenge with optimism, actively working towards a solution. Let’s hear it for good relationships!

As we set our course for 2024, our compass points toward the horizon. We hope to continue to be your choice for premium, organic whole grains, flours, and dry product blends. We look forward to forging new connections and exploring fresh possibilities. Our motto this year: Flow 2024.

 

Brooke Lucy shows Bluebird’s new packaging

 

 

 

It’s gifting season. Our gift boxes are the perfect holiday gift for anyone in the family: the foodie, the baker, the chef, the bread connoisseur, and don’t forget kids LOVE pancakes!  All gift boxes include a personalized handwritten note to the recipient!  Want to personalize your gift boxes? Make your own gift box on Saturday, Dec. 9th, 10am-2pm at our granary in Winthrop or order via our online store. We can ship it for you right from the store with $9.99 flat rate shipping! We don’t have a formal tour scheduled for the 9th, sign up for our next tour on the 30th, below.

Bluebird goods can also be found in all Methow Valley grocery stores, PCC Markets, New Seasons Markets, and many independent natural food stores in Washington State.

Next Granary Tour & Open House: Saturday, December 30th.

Visiting the valley: learn about how Ancient Grains are grown and processed.  The tour begins at 10 am and our retail store is open from 10-2. RSVP for the tour here or email larkin@bluebirdgrainfarms.com.

Upcoming Tours & Holiday Open House

Bring your friends and family to tour our granary and learn about how we grow and process our ancient wheats. We will have our store open and gift options available for purchase. Tours last approximately 1 hour and start promptly at 10 am. We welcome all ages! Sign up HERE for our granary tours.

  • Saturday November 25th- 10 am Tour and Open House
  • Saturday December 9th – 10 am-2pm Open House and Gift Building
  • Saturday December 30th- 10 am-2pm Tour and Open House

See us at Gobble UP Northwest- Seattle, November 18th

COME DISCOVER THE BEST CRAFT FOOD MAKERS IN THE PACIFIC NORTHWEST AT URBAN CRAFT UPRISING’S PREMIER NORTHWEST FOOD SHOW. Bluebird Grain Farms will be at Magnuson Park Hangar 30 selling our products for the holiday Please join us at this fun and festive food event from 10-5pm.

WHY COME TO GOBBLE UP?

  • It’s FREE to attend!
  • You’ll get to sample and enjoy delicious foods all day long
  • You’ll have dozens of chances to win FREE raffle prizes, donated by some of our favorite local restaurants and small businesses
  • You’ll discover new products and ingredients that you can use in your own home kitchen
  • You’ll find GREAT gifts for the holidays, for anyone who likes cooking or food (who doesn’t?!)
  • You’ll discover over 80 local crafty food and beverage vendors that you may have never heard of before…or who may be one of your favorite vendors that you can stock up with in person!

The Giving Season

We are happily selling our gift boxes for the holidays! Our new packaging sure looks nice in our gift boxes. Take advantage of our $9.99 shipping rate and send your items anywhere in the lower 48. Hand written gift card is included.

You will see our NEW packaging rolling out this week. All of our 2 lb., 4 lb. and 5 lb. packages will start showing up on the shelves with our beautiful bright new packaging and color schemes (which correlate with the variety of grains). Einkorn- Orange, Emmer- Yellow…. you get the point. We have also modified sizes: all flour and grain blends are now in 2lb. or 4 lb. ( no more 4.5 lb). All whole grains come in 5lb. and 25lb. sizes. And totes if you are really hungry!

Caleb and I had fun attending the UNFI Winter Show in Vegas last week where our whole grains were a ray of sunshine amidst a sea of protein bars, seaweed corn puffs, and instant meals. While it’s a bit perplexing to see how the natural food industry sometimes portrays health food, we’re super excited to be connecting with grocery buyers in the West. And kudos to those buyers who recognized the unique attributes of our vertically integrated brand AND those who purchased our product because it actually is a whole food. This dynamic is perhaps one of the most challenging aspects of navigating the natural food industry.

What drives sales in this industry? Snack food, argh! Don’t get me wrong I loved eating the crispy seaweed puffs but the health of our (national) food system is a growing issue. Literally. There is so much work to do to improve the health of soil, food and access to those who need it most. If you happen to be a grocery buyer and value true whole foods, don’t hesitate to give us a shout. AND if you are hankering for our products in your local grocery store PLEASE let the store buyer know. It takes a village to get real food to the people and I cannot emphasize enough how important it is that you advocate to your local food buyer.

Speaking of soil health! We are partnering with friends of Friends of Winthrop Library to bring David Montgomery and Anne Bikle to the Winthrop Barn on October 21st for a lecture and discussion about how to heal our land and reclaim our health. Please note, due to popular demand the location has moved from the Winthrop Library to the Winthrop Barn.

What Your Food Ate takes evidence from recent and forgotten science to illustrate how the health of the soil nourishes crops, livestock, and ultimately us.  Join us as we delve into the book and collectively share insights on the profound connection between soil health and human well-being.

Reserve your seats

 Zoom available for remote viewing. Email FOWL98862@gmail.com for access.

On October 22nd from 10:30 to Noon, Bluebird will host a informal walk and talk in the field with David and Anne at our farm in Winthrop. Please RSVP to brooke@bluebirdgrainfarms.com if you would like to attend the farm walk.

  • Stop in and see us in our new digs at 19611 Hwy 20 Winthrop. We are open to the public Monday through Friday from 9-4.
  • Coming Soon: New Website and Online Store. We will be upgrading to a new website and online shopping experience in October! We are really excited to bring you a better platform and store front. Stay tuned for a new look in October + we will have a stellar site for our Wholesalers to order from.
  • SAVE THE DATE: Bluebird Grain Farms is partnering with Friends of Winthrop Library to bring David Montgomery and Anne Bikle’ to the Winthrop Library on October 21st for a lecture and discussion about how to heal our land and reclaim our health. What Your Food Ate takes evidence from recent and forgotten science to illustrate how the health of the soil nourishes crops, livestock, and ultimately us.  Join us as we delve into the book and collectively share insights on the profound connection between soil health and human well-being. More information on the book can be found on the authors’ website: https://www.dig2grow.com/. If you are in our What Your Food Ate book group, we will be meeting this Thursday, September 7th at 4:30 in the Winthrop Library. Bring a dish to share.

Organic Sonora Heritage Wheat Back in Stock

Harvest has started. Sonora heritage soft white wheat berries and flour are back in stock in both retail and wholesale channels. We are now offering Sonora heritage wheat in 2000 lb. totes to our wholesale customers. You can find our Sonora online or give us a call: 509-996-3526

Emmer Flour and Hard Red Wheat Flour lands on PCC shelves!

Look for our 2 lb. Emmer flour and 2 lb. Methow Hard Red Flour- it should be landing on the shelves in the next month. Our organic Whole Grain Emmer, and Hard White and Red Wheats should also be found in your bulk sections. Don’t see the products you would like to? Please let your local grocery store buyers know what Bluebird products you would like to see. Reach out to us also: we keep a list of customer requests.

New Packaging!

We have new packaging for all of our 2, 4, and 5 lb. products. You will see the new packaging in your orders starting in September. This has been a multiple year project that Brooke Lucy has been working on with her design and packaging team. We are delighted to offer a #4 recyclable package. All of our flour, cracked grains and handcrafted blends will transition to 2 and 4 lb. units. Our whole grains will remain in 5 lb. units.

New Podcast!

In episode 6 Deputy Don and Farmer Sam discuss how harvesting, storage, and the processing of ancient wheat profoundly impact the quality and flavor.  Join them as they uncover the nuances behind processing emmer wheat.  Click HERE to listen now.

Join us, October 21st.

Bluebird Grain Farms is partnering with friends of Friends of Winthrop Library to bring David Montgomery and Anne Bikle’ to the Winthrop Library on October 21st for a lecture and discussion about how to heal our land and reclaim our health.

What Your Food Ate takes evidence from recent and forgotten science to illustrate how the health of the soil nourishes crops, livestock, and ultimately us.  Join us as we delve into the book and collectively share insights on the profound connection between soil health and human well-being. More information on the book can be found on the authors’ website.

 

Vegas or Bust

Our daughter Larkin and her friend Rupert Dyer saved my bacon a few weeks ago; the day before I was to travel to Las Vegas to the Fancy Food Show I tested positive (yes for the first time) for COVID. With a Bluebird Grain Farms booth set up and product waiting in the wings, Larkin and Rupert raced to my rescue. Before I had a chance to consider canceling the show, Larkin responded “I got this Mom,” and off they went to Vegas from Eugene, Oregon.

While in Vegas, Larkin and Rupert connected with many long-time customers and made new connections. Larkin took on the networking role, while Rupert, with pen and paper in hand, was the chief documenter. They sent a notebook back to me, full of leads, business cards, meticulous notes, and funny comments like “looks like Steve Martin” and “Hot lead, needs Einkorn ASAP.”

I am so grateful for my daughter and Rupert, for stepping up to the plate. This was a big ask. They worked three long days and it made me realize how much Larkin has absorbed by growing up in our family business. She has come a long way from her days of selling emmer cookies at the farmer’s market. This situation has helped me reflect on how important it is to engage and include children in what you do. Bluebird has been 30 steps from our front door throughout her entire childhood-Larkin really didn’t have a choice to not be involved. We have never “formally” trained our kids on the business. As they come into adulthood I am reminded (as are they) how much they have absorbed by just “being around,” it truly is a silver lining.

Public Hours at Bluebird

Our granary at 19611 Hwy 20, between Winthrop and Twisp, is open to the public Monday through Friday from 9-3 pm. Stop in and say hello and pick up an order of whole grains and freshly milled products. We love connecting with our customers. If your order is over 100lbs of freshly milled products we kindly ask that you call ahead and place your order in advance- we don’t have a lot of milled products sitting around- we want them delivered fresh to you. If you are not able to make our public hours to pick up your order- you can always place your order via phone or online (select “local pick up in the shipping tab”). We have a drop box outside under our porch, you can pick your order up any time of the day- we will send you an email when it is ready for pick up.

Upcoming Events

The Next Farm Bill Must Be a Climate Bill: It’s Time to Take Action

Climate change is an urgent challenge. Re-defining agriculture must be part of our bold climate action. The future of food security and resiliency will heavily depend on the next steps that congress takes in re-writing and voting on the Farm Bill. The current Farm Bill was enacted in December 2018 and expires in 2023. Nationally, there is momentum in rewriting our antiquated agricultural policies and moving toward soil health and a climate-focused future. There are a few organizations that are doing some great work in this space. If you truly care about getting good food on the table and encouraging and supporting organic regenerative agriculture, it’s time to take action. Below are three important organizations that I would like to bring to your attention:

Nationally, The National Sustainable Agricultural Association is doing some hard work. NSAC advocates for federal policy reform for the sustainability of food systems, natural resources, and rural communities. They are located in Washington DC and are actively working on making policy changes to the Farm Bill to include:

  • Advance racial equity across the food system
    • Improve access to USDA funding and programs for farmers of color
    • Increase funding for programs and policies that support farmers of color
    • Strengthen data collection and analysis to inform racial equity-driven decision-making
  • Build a climate-resilient future
    • Advance land stewardship through conservation program funding and access
    • Increase funding for sustainable and organic agriculture research programs
    • Prioritize research that helps farmers adapt to and mitigate climate change
  • Invest in healthy rural and urban communities
    • Strengthen resilient local and regional food systems
    • Expand and enhance USDA procurement programs and practices
    • Rebuild local and regional meat processing capacity
    • Ensure access to locally produced, nutritious, culturally-relevant food
  • Level the playing field for small and mid-sized farms
    • Support beginning farmers’ access to land and capital
    • Fix the flawed farm safety net and improve access for diversified farmers
    • Address corporate consolidation and restore fair competition 

Take Action: Go to the National Sustainable Agricultural Association website and Sign up online to send a direct message to congress to make these changes to the Farm Bill.

In Washington State, Tilth Alliance has a program called Coalition for Organic and Regenerative Agriculture (CORA). CORA’s Website states:

CORA is a unifying force, bringing together the multiple interests represented within the organic and regenerative community. CORA serves as a strong voice for this community, assertively advocating for policies and programs that are inclusive of all represented interests and that promote equity, inclusion, diversity, and anti-racism. CORA is actively involved in policy making at the Washington state and national level that promote and support adoption of organic and regenerative practices.

Coalition for Organic and Regenerative Agriculture

Take Action: Support Tilth Alliance and become a member of CORA. Individual memberships start at only $10.00 annually. Sign up and let your voice be heard.

In Okanogan County: Methow Valleyx Council has taken the lead in creating a Resilient Methow and the Climate Action Plan. Their website states:

Over the past year and a half the Citizens Council and over 45 other local organizations, agencies, and community leaders have been working to develop a Climate Action Plan for the Methow Valley. This is a community-driven, collaborative effort involving representatives from the agriculture, health and emergency services, infrastructure, natural systems, and economic sectors of the valley. To learn more about The Methow Valley Climate Action Plan, please visit www.resilientmethow.org.

Methow Valley Citizens Council

Take Action: Stay informed and sign up for MVCC’s mailing list. Check out their incredibly informative Pacific Northwest Climate Toolbox to see the breath of research on how climate change has and will affect agriculture, water, and fire. Consider becoming a member of MVCC. Memberships start at $25.00 annually.

Ashley Lodato

About 13,000 years ago the last of the Missoula floods swept across Eastern Washington and down the Columbia River Gorge. Glaciologists estimate that the glaciers in the Methow Valley were up to a mile deep. When the ice receded, the First People arrived and inhabited the Methow Valley. 

For at least 10,000 years the banks of the Methow River have been home to 375 generations of the Methow People, as evidenced by pit houses in at least 18 different sites around the valley, earthen ovens, and tools like arrowheads, mortars & pestles, and tomahawks. 

When the first white settlers arrived in the Methow Valley in the late 1800s, most of the Methow People (sp̓aƛ̓mul̓əxʷəxʷ–“blunt hills around a low valley”) were forcibly relocated to the Moses-Columbia Reservation, formed in 1879. In 1884, the Moses-Columbia Reservation was dissolved and most of the Methow People were moved to the area east of Omak, becoming one of the twelve tribes of the Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation. Others in this diaspora refused to enter the reservations and simply stayed or dispersed. There has been a consistent presence of Methow People in this valley since Time Immemorial.

The traditional territories of the Colville Tribes is vast, covering 39 million acres–the homelands of the Chelan, Chief Joseph Band of Nez Perce, Colville, Entiat, Lakes, Methow, Moses-Columbia, Nespelem, Okanogan, Palus, Sanpoil, and Wenatchi Bands in what is now eastern Washington, and parts of Oregon, Idaho, and British Columbia. The Colville Reservation encompasses 1.4 million acres. Learn more about the Methow People and the Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation HERE.

Throughout the 1900s, various families of the settler community homesteaded and farmed the piece of property where the new Bluebird Grain Farms facility is located. The parcel is part of a 65-acre conservation easement, initiated by former landowners Nancy Farr and Dale Sekijima in 2002. The conservation easement protects the agricultural and open space condition of the property.

In the recent past, most of the agricultural land was used to grow alfalfa and oats, and before that, potatoes. In 1999, long before he knew he would one day own the land, Farmer Sam grew dryland triticale (a cereal feed grain) and annual rye.

In 2017, Bluebird Grain Farms bought the 32-acre parcel with the intention of expanding the processing facility, which–as you can see–we have done. Now we are ready to welcome the community to visit our new operations headquarters! We hope you’ll join us on Saturday, November 19th, from 9am-3pm for our Grand Opening: tours, samples, and easy access to our freshly-harvested grain products. Learn more about our Grand Opening HERE.

This event is now closed for RSVPs.