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 & Upcoming Events
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.
- Saturday, May 13th Noon – 3 PM: Open house starts at Noon and 2:00-3 PM Granary Tour(Winthrop 49er weekend). Sign up HERE if you plan to attend.
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.
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.