Bluebird Grain Farms

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Being a certified organic grain producer and processor involves working with nature each step of the way.

Brooke and Sam Lucy started Bluebird Grain Farms in 2004.  Sam had become a certified organic producer in 2000 and soon after he began growing out emmer seed stock, as well as a couple varieties or hard wheat and rye for harvest.  In 2004 we built our original wooden granaries attached to a work building and put in a small de-hulling and cleaning line, and added our first flour mill.  Our primary goal was to process our own grains, flours, dry mixes and sell them farm direct and fresh to order under our Bluebird label.  At the time, we could not source regionally grown (Pacific Northwest) organic grains anywhere. A secondary goal was to offer a fair market to other interested organic grain farmers in hopes of expanding organic  grain production with sustainable pricing here in Washington, beginning here in Methow.

In 2022 we finally moved off the Rendezvous foothills and down to a brand new facility, surrounded by our cropland just south of Winthrop along highway 20.  Over the years our Bluebird logo may have changed some, but our goal and dedication to offer the highest quality organic ancient grains and flours remains much the same as we expand and service a wider range of customers.

For our family, staff, and many of our wonderful customers, great taste, real nutrition and thriving soil go hand and hand.  We believe the true premise of organic and organic farming is to raise nutritious crops while leaving the soil and countryside in better shape for the future generations .  This land ethic that we adhere to has not changed either.  In fact, it has become ever more important and has led us to other farms that share similar values. 

Farmer Sam and Farmer Blaine examining our crops on Big Valley fields, Winthrop Washington.

Our farm base has now expanded well beyond the Methow Valley as we seek to cultivate this land ethic, and reduce our carbon footprint through organic farming practices and increased efficiencies.  Growing crops close to home has its virtues but we are a small farm with an increasing customer base.  Over the past few years we’ve been fortunate to have found and begun work with other accomplished organic growers who love the land and love our brand.  Their dedication to the land and belief in soil health has been the cornerstone of their success much the way it has been to ours.  By applying serious crop rotations, cover crops and in cases true regenerative agricultural practices on a much bigger scale than we can, these partner farms have helped spread the good soil ethic while reducing agriculture’s generally heavy footprint.  Meanwhile, they’ve helped Bluebird by assuring a consistent supply of nutrient dense grains, while Bluebird has assured them  a sound market for all their hard work.  We can now take some of our land and concentrate on growing out seed-stock of these rare and ancient wheats as we continue to select what we feel are the best seeds.  Sharing and believing in our founding principles has been paramount for all.  We love a good plan!!

Living soil best propagates life.

There are a variety of ways and numerous details involved in keeping soils healthy.  In the end it all comes down to biology.  Soils that are heavy with biological activity are heavy with life.  Without live soil, we can’t expect to reap living food.  On our own farm we have relied on cover cropping with legumes  primarily to grow back nitrogen.  We’ve grown out mid-summer buckwheat to increase available potassium.  We’ve fed cold pressed liquid fish and some compost to both our crops and the soil to boost biology.  We’ve accompanied this with other organic minerals to maintain and boost crop nutrients.  At harvest, we leave all crop residue behind and do not take straw or anything else off the fields.  Residue, with correct biology, becomes future soil.

One of our partner farms has supplemental irrigation as do we,  grows massive cover crops or green manures, and has equipment that enables them to incorporate these crops – as much as two tons to the acre – into the soil with just one pass.   Reduced tillage is another great way to increase biology.  By minimizing tillage one minimizes damage to soil structure and all the fungi and other creepy crawlies are allowed to wander around at will.  This farm grows most of its fertility on site.

Another partner practices true Regenerative Agriculture – the definition of which means closing the loop completely.  Nothing from off-farm comes from outside in terms of supplemental nutrition – other than mob-grazing cattle on cover crops.  This partner has a very large, non-irrigated, multi crop organic farm that has built up their soils and soil biology through vast rotations that include cover crops, minimum tillage and grain harvesting techniques which maximizes leftover straw and straw height.  By doing so, the tall straw protects the soils with shade for following crops, while capturing more moisture and  reducing most soil erosion.  This does not happen overnight.  Truth to tell, this process takes many, many years and endless experimentation, investing and innovation.  Did we mention dedication!  However, once the pendulum swings past a certain point most investment may be realized and in many cases, eased.  Like us, none of these farms would ever consider doing it another way.

Larger farms of all kinds have the ability to be either more efficient or less efficient .  The much larger farms that we work with always strive to be more efficient and work as close to Nature as possible while still growing a crop.  But hey, remember, innovation and certainly organic is seldom subsidized!  Regenerative practices and true organic farms reduce the carbon footprint on a larger scale than Bluebird can with our practices on our small acreage here in the Methow.  We remain the only larger scale farm in our valley that is certified organic.

Sharing the love of the land is one thing.  Equally as great, however, is the sharing of knowledge and the sharing of interest.  We feel blessed indeed to have followed this path and to be working with these other growers.  We think it is showing with our consistently nutritious products.  Which leads to… whole grains/whole foods

Always Whole Grain, Never Pearled

Bluebird’s nutrient rich Whole Grain Emmer (left) compared to imported pearled spelt (right). You can see the red pigments in the Emmer (left), are the Carotenoid pigments, particularly β-carotene and lycopene, vital to maintaining health.

Bluebird Emmer and Einkorn are both planted and harvested in the hull.  These ancient wheats propagated themselves for thousands of years this way.  Like most all fruits and vegetables, the “skin” or outside of the food holds the most nutrition.  This being the case, the hulls of these ancient wheats are a nutrient pack we want to keep on the actual berries at planting, and by harvesting them with the hull intact, this extends storage life as the hulled grains don’t pack as densely as naked berries from modern wheats do.  When it comes to hulling these grains, we still do our best to hull them on an as need basis –  the hull acts as sort of a time capsule.  Once that capsule is opened, so begins that grain’s life.  This is what we mean when we say “fresh grains”.

Similarly, when we go to hull, or de-hull the emmer, einkorn or spelt we do this in a way where we are careful not to “skin” the actual kernel.  If we were to damage, or take away the bran – the outer surface of the actual grain kernel – then we have not only compromised its shelf life and freshness, but reduced the nutrition and flavor.  

Farro is an Italian term for ancient hulled wheat. The three hulled wheats are Einkorn, emmer and spelt.  Before Bluebird began the “emmer project” as our friend Blaine calls it, most Farro sold in the USA was often from Europe and was always pearled or “semi-pearled.”  Pearling the grain means that the grain has been scarified during the dehulling process, and thus it has lost the outer integrity of the kernel and no longer is a “whole grain”.  Pearled grain or “skinned grain” oxidizes much faster than whole grain and is not nearly as shelf-stable.  Pearled grain cooks much quicker than a whole grain, but not only does it lack the nutrition, it also loses flavor and will not hold up after cooking.       

At Bluebird we go to great lengths not only to grow hulled grains in nutrient dense soils, but to then process them in a fashion that keeps all that integrity intact.  Organically!  Why shave off the nutrients that we work so hard to produce?  The photo above exhibits the deep rich color of our whole grain emmer farro (left), compared to a brand-name imported pearled farro with the bran and germ removed (right). You can see the red pigments in the Emmer (left), are the Carotenoid pigments, particularly β-carotene and lycopene, vital to maintaining health. β-carotene is known to quench singlet oxygen and can have potent antioxidant activity. Pearled grains have the outer layer of the grain (the nutrient pack) shaved off- exposing the grain to air, making it susceptible to rancidity.

Milled to order

Fresh Milled Spelt Flour

Our flour is milled to order, in our USDA organic processing facility, each week in small batches on our trusty hammermill, so you get the freshest, whole grain flour.  Our flours are not sifted, we pride ourselves in delivering a 100% wholegrain product, keeping the nutrition in your food. It’s a difference you’ll taste in every bite of the pasta, bread, sweets, and other foods you make with Bluebird Grain Farm products.


Bluebird Grain Farms is located at 19611 Highway 20, Winthrop Washington 98862.  Our grain processing facility is located at the edge of our farmland smack on the Winthrop/Twisp town line.  We have a small retail shop and welcome visitors Monday – Friday between 10 and 4. If you are interested in a farm tour or group tour please feel free to reach out to us and we will do our best to accommodate you. We are an equal opportunity employer.  Come visit!