September Farmer Notes

Farmer Notes

September… the mellowest month of the year.  The land itself exhales from a summer of constant work.  That sigh of relief fairly infiltrates the countryside after a season spent growing vast varieties and quantities of both wild and domestic foods.  Calm, warm evenings are followed by cooler, quiet mornings.  Hillside grasses fade to gold like the harvested grain fields, while the trees and bushes begin to turn yellow, red, and crimsons.

Coyotes have filled the past few nights around here.  They’ve been competing for “air time” with a pair of Great horned owls down along the creek, and a couple of long lasting poor wills.  We’ve no fewer than 3 chatty coveys of quail that are visiting the lusher green of our small fruit orchard just beyond the porch.  They begin to stir at dawn and rustle about the adjacent evergreen trees each morning, and are just as restless come evening as they settle back to roost.  A family of mountain bluebirds enjoys the bird bath from time to time.  Bear “sign” can be found around anywhere there is fruit, forage and water.  As seemingly quiet, and relaxing as September appears to me, I guess Nature is never really that quiet. 

Oh, I had fun harvesting our winter rye!  Monstrous stuff, this ole’ Treebeard winter rye is.  Had I been a little wiser I may have swathed the stand, first.  Rye that grows 7-8 feet tall with big, droopy heads always seems like it should combine easily.  Not so.  It was plenty ripe, but the strange rains in early August took a toll on it and it was still a bit punky when I first thought I could thresh it.  Even after I began, I could see the straw was tough and there is always so much of it!  Alas, I worked my way through the stand Labor Day weekend.  We had fun, also, hauling it to our granary in our trusty old grain wagon.  Almost too much fun when one of the front tires blew with a full load.  Alas, now it is all safely binned with credit due to Bluebird’s Steve White and valley friend Jerry Laverty who happened to be passing by and stopped to see how he could help.  Neither of these gents had anything better to do on a Friday evening, I’m certain!

We’ve certainly had the drying weather lately.  The nights are shorter and cooler but the days are still full of sharp sun and into the 80’s!  Summer may have officially ended according to the calendar, but not really.  Good weather still for drying anything and perfect for harvest although most all grain harvest around the Northwest is wrapping up.

I turned under our buckwheat stand that I’d grown out after the peas and have decided to go to spring grain in the field right here at Bluebird’s new location.  I will take soil samples and see how well the nutrient levels responded to the cover crops.  I plan to get the seedbed pretty well prepped this fall once we receive some moisture, and in so doing, will be able to sow grain as soon as soil temps warm in the spring.  Here it is barely fall, and I’m already excited about next year’s crops!

We are in 100% operations at our new location with our new processing and packaging lines running full tilt!  Such credit is due to all our staff for how they managed to make the complete move down to the new site, get it up and flowing while never having to shut down operations for one day!  Big compliments to all involved.  This feels so good to us and we hope that the updated equipment and efficiency is easily reflected in our finished goods.

September was a solid month for sales and the uptick as we get into real fall can already be felt.

Our crew is ready!  Alas, real autumn edges nearer.  With that, comes the month I enjoy even more than September – the pumpkin month October; the month of the “Hunters Moon”.  The month of real colors and my guess, our first frost?  These lazy days of September too, shall come to an end.  Bittersweet as that is, without the close to one season, one can never truly appreciate the next.

And the next season involves a lot of preserving, preparing and EATING! Meanwhile, I hope you all make time to stow away some of summers’ bounty, and we hope to see you at our grand opening on November 19th!

Yours, Farmer Sam

Sam combining the rye