November Farmer Notes

Farmer Notes

Ahh… If I could start every frosty November morning walking the dogs over this deep, bare, fresh land, complaints of any sort would be hard to come by. And so it was this dandy of a morning, with the peaks winter-white, the bunch grasses autumn tan, the sky almost fake blue cut only by a soaring harrier. The sharpness of the seasons hits home, albeit bittersweet this quiet time of year.  Home indeed we’re lucky to call this place…

I was wrong about an early winter but right about the Royals winning the World Series (I did predict that, didn’t I?). The bird feeder is hung again with care outside the kitchen window and so far chickadees, finches, and chipping sparrows have been frequent there. Finally, with a couple 20 degree nights, we are done picking tomatoes! Perhaps best of all, the end of October and early November brought us rain! Real rain, to the tune of at least a couple inches. This has softened up the ground before freeze up which sets up a better profile come spring. Now spring snow melt will be able to infiltrate our once parched soil here. Truth to tell, the snow pack has begun to build in the North Cascades. Reports of a healthy 2 feet at Washington Pass were confirmed by a group of our daughter’s sledding buddies just yesterday – Veteran’s Day. Speaking of Veteran’s Day, by now, I hope everyone has had a chance to acknowledge at least one veteran that they know.

The rains kept us from getting the plowing done we’d hoped to, but it is a fair trade indeed. To be sure we desperately needed the rain.We could use a couple more inches, too. All our farm equipment is put away for the winter and full focus now turns to the lively granary, filling the bountiful orders and preparing for the holidays.

The emmer we’re running right now may just be the best crop we’ve grown. Our wheat looks very good and our einka is hulling nicely and milling into a light, tasty flour that our daughter Larkin enjoys making cookies out of.  As I’ve mentioned in the past, so many variables play into each crop year it truly is difficult to know which things  pays off. That said, we certainly had the growing temperatures this summer, with perfect curing conditions.  We also applied as much fertility as we ever have.  Maybe this is why the grains are so dense?  I’d like to say yes but it would be untruthful if I said for sure.  For now, we’ll just take it.  And be grateful not only for this, but for the moist air and the only smoke now coming from various wood stoves.

My favorite holiday is coming on the 26th.  I believe we’ll be having our holiday granary tours soon thereafter and look forward to seeing some of you then.  Brooke will fill you in on specific dates. I’m hopeful we can help out with any of your baking and cooking needs, as well as gift baskets  we make with our fresh grains and flours that we ship daily or that you can make arrangements to collect up here at our granary.

It has been another year of loss here in Okanogan county and plenty of loss elsewhere. At the same time, I hope we can all find things to be thankful for and take some time to reflect on these things as well.  Here at Bluebird, of the many things we are thankful for certainly the continued patronage of so many of you makes our short- list.

Thank You, Farmer Sam