“ Not yesterday I learned to know
The love of bare November days
Before the coming of the snow…”
And so the final stanza in Robert Frost’s “My November Guest” begins. A more appropriate beginning, and now ending of November can not be found. Indeed this November began with “silvery mist and sodden lane” as wonderful days of rain settled into our little valley next to the North Cascades. Settled in and dislodged many of the brown leaves; softened the summer-bristled bunchgrasses; quieted the entire countryside. Perfect for the soil before the coming snow indeed. Perfect as only Nature is.
No valley snow this November, but following the rain the clouds lifted, northern breezes stirred and the nights grew crisp and the days brightened as a very different November saw us through the Thanksgiving holiday. Now as the full Beaver Moon begins to wane, skies hang heavy once again. Like the beavers who are said to take to their winter lodges for the winter, we, too, may wish to “hole up” during this sort of weather. But Lo, not here at Bluebird!
As orders roll into the Farm the liveliness of our processing and packing rooms reminds me more of the chickadees up in our home orchard. These sing-songy little bundles bring to life the damp trees, and the gray skies, as do the south-bound geese and the squirrels who remain busy collecting crabapples, wizened elderberries, and fir cones – adding to their winter stash.
The winter field peas loved the late fall rains and are thriving. As temps now begin to lower, hopefully we will get a nice blanket of snow before the temps get too cold – 0 or lower. I do not want to test their hardiness too much. The geese and a few ducks have been enjoying the leafy greens, as have the deer – both mule deer and whitetail deer. Wild turkeys, meanwhile, climb all over our hull piles enjoying the feast there while we enjoyed roasted turkey inside by the fire!
Indeed, it is good eating weather! As one of my Uncle’s more was known to say: “It’s getting awfully hungry out.” Cold out, eat in; the comfort is palatable. As fields rest, so must the farmers. Ha! Many farmers remain plenty busy even after the crops are all in. One main reason we began Bluebird and started a processing and milling line together, was to spread the summer crops into year-round income. We wouldn’t want to get too much rest! And so during this dark, most austere time of the year, the bustle around the mill adds energy to these otherwise leaden days.
We appreciate all of our customers both long-time customers, and those brand new. Some of whom I recently met at our November Open House here at the Farm. It is always rejuvenating to see new faces, and hear new questions. During our November tour some folks visited from Texas, others from Alaska, and many from right here in the Northwest.
Our next Open House here is Saturday December 9th. There will be another Open House with granary tour again the final Saturday of the year on the 30th. I look forward to seeing you there!
Until then, try and enjoy this time of the year. I am always reminded that when there are 18 hours of daylight in June – 12 hour workdays are easily the norm. So 8 hour work days in December should be okay, in return!
As the seasons go round and round there are so many things we are thankful for here at Bluebird – mostly our great customers and our loyal employees. We realize that there are other companies you can get sorts of ancient einkorn and emmer from but we know most of you come to Bluebird because of our highest standards in quality and consistency. This begins with our experienced, hard working US grower-base, and is finished in our customized processing by a caring staff here at our family farm.
We are aware there are many out there who do not have the good fortune that some of us have. I encourage us all to reach out not only this time of year, but year-round to lend a helping hand, go the extra step for a neighbor in need, or anyone else that can use some random kindness. If we are ever to have World Peace, it still needs to begin next door.
Peace. And good will to all –