Ahhhhh….autumn at long last! And as mellow of a September as this, I can not recall. Which is a strong statement given that September is presumed by many as the mellowest month on our calendar. I can’t get enough of the slow evenings. Evening begins much earlier now and almost suddenly however, evening in of itself takes a very measured tilt toward dusk in these quiet foothills. Truth to tell, as this year’s Full Harvest Moon peaked up behind the eastern ridgeline, on queue, our resident pack of young and old coyotes began to yip and ki-yie. The other sounds were late summer crickets and easy footsteps of deer beyond the orchard fence and robins rustling to bed.
The only light more than evening this time of year is the light of dawn. But just before first – light is when I hear the poorwill down below the creek. Then deer rustling in the brittle grasses, then the stirring of waking robins and more recently, the return of chickadees. There always is the daylight flight of ducks over the house, and often the purr of quail. Why can’t every month be like September! Well, without the rest, none would be the same. Yes, I suppose, we even need July!!
I completed the harvest this year before the Harvest Moon. As I mentioned in last month’s notes, we had our spring wheat left to cut and I had perfect weather to do that the first couple days of this month. Despite the early excessive heat, the yield on our hard white wheat was less compromised than I guessed – about 15 percent – and the quality stayed very good with 13.5 protein and strong falling numbers. We sacrificed about 3 acres worth to a resident flock of Canada geese who must have known that we barely had room in our granaries for what they left us! As you’ve heard me say so often, Mother knows best.
The seedstock from our winter red that we cleaned up and set for planting, is coming up nicely.
Our killer Washington Heritage winter rye that we barely got harvested back during the heavy fire activity, we are just now beginning to clean and it is looking very good. We will be milling up the first batch of rye flour from this year’s lot directly. I hope you rye aficionados out there are ready to hoot in joy as this stuff is the real deal and has been grown in Washington for over 100 years.
Orders have flooded us this month and we are doing our best to keep them rolling out accordingly. Our systems have been taxed up here on the hill for some time now, but we’ve got to get through one more winter up here before we make the big, overdue move to… our new facility down on the highway! Finally. What a push. It is going to be awesome and like lots of things that one looks forward to, it is hard to get too excited so far in advance for fear of disappointment, yet we are so ready to make the move.
This site will be so much better for everybody: owners, employees and most of all, you customers! Capacities and efficiencies are going to make a world of difference as we bring our brand into the next phase of growth after 17 years of your loyalty. Please please have patience with us during this time of transition. We didn’t even know the term “just in time delivery” when we began Bluebird in 2005 and now, we are the epitome of just-in-time milling. Which means, fresh fresh product! As with the supply chain with everything else this past year and a half, our chain has been tested. That said, we have very good inventory for all our grains, just a bit short handed as many other businesses.
Our goal within this new platform for operations is to celebrate the Bluebird standard on multiple levels and for years to come. We are keeping the shine on and look forward to all sorts of things in our new facility. That said, the cornerstone to Bluebird will remain the celebration of nutritious and fresh organic grains, grain dry products and true organic farm practices.
So… we will keep you updated while we wait for fall moisture so that we may perform fall tillage on our fields. I’ve plans to do another podcast series with Don this fall/winter, and this one will be more focused on the storage and processing particulars of our grains and flours and how we preserve their integrity from raw to package.
Stay tuned, and enjoy my favorite season upcoming!
Yours, Farmer Sam