Spring is (finally) heating up here in the Methow Valley! We spent April and early May tiptoeing around rainstorms that (mostly) kept our fields a little to wet to work. We were able to plant a little emmer in our Barron fields, but now the sun is out and the race is on to get the remainder of the emmer and all the einkorn in the ground. Spring is always a crazy time for us, but we relish the challenge and are excited to be outside working again.
Farmer Sam has also been busy helping Classroom in Bloom expand their educational garden at Liberty Bell High School. This awesome non-profit does great work helping children understand where their food comes from and how farming connects us to the land. Sam tilled up a new plot and sowed a cover crop back in April; the peas have since emerged and are growing well! He’ll till those in this fall to build organic matter in preparation for growing vegetables next spring.
Earlier this month, Brad attended a Methow Valley farmer/buyer gathering put on by the Methow Conservancy and the WSDA. It was great to connect with old friends at meet some new ones at this event! The local business and farming community here in the valley is incredibly supportive of each other; we are blessed to be a part of it. Thanks to the Conservancy for hosting this event; we look forward to more in the future.
Washington Pass on Highway 20 is now open, so you western Washington residents should come out for a visit. Check out this fascinating video showing some of the techniques that WSDOT uses to clear the highway. The skiing at the pass is excellent, and the wildflowers are amazing down in the valley. We always love visitors so feel free to stop by the granary and say hi.
Sam reports that our new tractor implements are working well. In particular, our minimum-till seed drill has been allowing us to get seed into the ground with less field prep work. This saves time and tractor fuel, which we are always happy about. It also proved to be useful last fall when we sowed our fall pea cover crop directly into the remaining emmer straw in our Big Valley fields. We are still fine tuning our tine weeder (that we reported to you on last fall). This implement is used to organically kill weeds after the grain is planted, but proper adjustment and is critical to make sure we don’t damage the crop! We also need dry weather for it to effectively kill the weeds, so the break in the rain will give us an opportunity to test it further over the next few weeks.
Congratulations to The Willows Inn on earning the number 1 spot on the Opinionated About Dining national restaurant list! The Willows Inn has long been considered one of America’s best restaurants; we’re excited they’ve earned another top honor. The Willows Inn is a big supporter of Bluebird Grain Farms and uses our Methow Hard Red Wheat Flour regularly in their menu. If you’re looking for the meal of a lifetime, you should check them out!