Juncos and chickadees usher in the new year, chatting away as they visit the feeder, then hop atop the snowbanks, or zip over to the elderberry bush where a shrike lurks nearby hoping to catch one off guard so he/she can peg it to a rosehip thorn, or barbed wire fence. Administrations change, viruses come and hopefully go, but the ole’ moon still cycles 28 days regardless, and Mother Nature rolls on in mid-winter glory. Unless you happen to be one of the unlucky juncos!
We entered winter in a drought here on the East Slope of the Cascades, despite some nice late fall rains. However, now we have a very solid accumulating snowpack that has been building up since November. As we close the first month of the year out, moisture recovery looks very promising indeed. The snowpack not only has some good depth but it contains excellent density. This bodes real well for soil profile recharge. Mother Nature, once again, seems to know how to even things out.
Mind you, winter storms add plenty of complications to the Bluebird workday up here in the foothills. Aside from icy roads and many hours of “moisture relocation” (snow removal!), cold temps themselves can slow up the pace. That said, we’ve only had to pull out a couple of freight trucks so far, and the steady crew here at the granary dresses up warm and puts in honest days with little gripe while the crop fields sleep.
Everyone here had a nice break over the holidays, and we are pleased with all the gift orders you all put in. We’ve noticed since the turn of the year that many of you gifters and giftees have eaten all your goods already and are onto more! Local bakeries have also been ordering steadily, and one of our great hopes in the near-term is that some of our good restaurants will begin to open back up for real. I know it has been a long, long haul for too many. We are here to help you in the ways that we can.
A big thing I’ve been working on, in and around daily operations, is nailing down our new facility layout and building that we are on target to start this spring. We’ve assembled a good team, and we’re finally pulling the trigger on this much-needed/anticipated move down to our highway 20 property so that Bluebird can operate more efficiently and effectively. As well, we want to be set up to better welcome all interested folks for visitation. This has been a multifaceted process that we’ve run various scenarios on, and we feel there is no better time to do it than NOW. Our new granary will not only open up more market for our organic growers, but we hope it will serve as an educational exhibit as well. Stay tuned…
First, we’ve got to hope we can get this pandemic booted down the road while retaining all the important lessons we’ve learned over the past almost year now. So many are still affected even as vaccinations begin to circulate. Vaccinations are looked to as the way out of this. At the same time, it seems there remain lots of unknowns with the vaccinations, and therefore we all need to still act very respectful to one another by practicing the basics that have proven to help damper the spread. Individuals not adhering to these protocols show nothing but selfishness, if not stubbornness, for contrarian sake and that sake alone. So…
Let’s hang in there. Mask up, buck up, and help those that we can to get through this. This is going to be another trying year. However, there is a lot of good within us, and in unison effort, I believe a smoother road lies somewhere ahead.
Yours, Farmer Sam