Notes from the Farmer

Farmer Notes

To be sure the Methow is catching up on moisture. Since the later part of October,I’m not sure we’ve experienced such swings in weather here and this has been true right up into the second week of December. As happened 2 years ago, later October ended up too wet to finish all the little field chores we’d hoped to. None of the work was critical. That said, we were lucky to get the weather earlier on to complete the major fall tillage, planting etc. Because we never got back on the fields after that 3rd week.

By the time November dried out, the temperature dropped to single digits and nothing but lovely blue skies,essentially freezing up the ground. The fortunate October rains thus proved paramount as the soil profile was now saturated before freeze-up this year. I’ve mentioned how important this is to have the soil’s “pores” opened up prior to freezing. Come spring and snow melt, “open pores” generally foster greater soil/moisture absorption capacity. Some of the issues with the very dry profile last spring and summer,despite an eventual and even snow pack, can be attributed to the fact that 2013’s fall was parched and cold.

This November’s cold broke and more moisture returned into Thanksgiving when we received rain, then, as heavy of a snow as seemed possible – about 16” here at the granary. Yes, we lost power once again and the fun began! A great beginning to the snow pack and some earlier skiing once it cooled. But it didn’t just cool. No, back to below zero again! Aah, but our soil was now protected.

The dark, starry nights of December’s start, and snappy, clear days of just a week ago seem a distant memory now with the southerly flow returning this week. It has been raining ever since! What sort of wardrobe Santa should pack this year is anyone’s guess? Trench coat, snowshoes, a propane heater…  Time will tell.

None of this wacky weather has thwarted our customer’s enthusiasm nor, I hope, our service here at the granary. My… Santa’s workshop has been busy! I’ve had the luxury of being in the granary cleaning grain, milling and shipping these past couple weeks and bustling business has sure kept me warm. Thank you!

As I noted earlier, our crops took quite a hit this past summer.  We’ve made some equipment adjustments in our cleaning line that have helped us deal with these stressed crops.  Although there is still loss, we think we’ve improved our quality and take of whole grains. Hardest hit was our biggest emmer field. However, we’ve been able to cut down on our broken grian and are delivering the sort of quality we aspire to. Being a “do it all” farm, we get to see the different fields first hand.  Consistency is sometimes tricky as different lots run differently.Our quality goals never changes and I suppose if aesthetically consumers might notice some variation in grains, I suppose that can be the beauty in an “organic” process. We hope you appreciate this. So far, all of this year’s crop is cooking, baking and tasting good as ever.

Alas, that fast, another year comes to close. Speaking for the Bluebird Farm Family, we sure appreciate all your support. It has been our best year in sales. We also appreciate our hard working, what have become “tenured” employees!  Through all the challenges that this year has given from fires to hail to mudslides to power outages, I truly believe our service has remained excellent. This would not be possible without our wonderful little elves. My biggest thanks go to my business partner and sparkly wife Brooke.  She makes this nice website possible, and keeps all the “fires” burning when necessary, and under control otherwise.  As of midnight on the 31st, we will have been married 15 years!  And in business together two thirds of that time with two blossoming little elves of our own…

Wishing you all warmth, peace, and good health throughout the holiday season and for the coming year. Please be generous to the many in such need. This season, if no other, should remind us to give.

Yours, Farmer Sam