Apr 30, 2020
Bluebird Grain Farms wins Nexty’s ‘best new organic food’ award
During this global crisis, when more people cook at home and the supply chain is strained nationally, Bluebird Grain Farms has quietly won the “Best new organic food” NEXTY award for its Organic Whole Grain Einka, Emmer Farro and Einka & French Lentil Blend. This honor comes at a time when small farms and custom mills like Bluebird Grain Farms have pivoted, almost overnight, from operating as wholesale businesses to become online direct retail businesses.
Bluebird co-founder Brooke Lucy said, “We are a working organic farm. The award came during the onset of the pandemic. Since then we have been tremendously grateful to have customers calling and ordering and we’ve been laser-focused on serving our neighbors here in the Methow Valley and beyond.”
With much of the nation following a Stay-at-Home recommendation, Bluebird is meeting demand by offering CSA Monthly Grain Delivery Farm Plans, including Baker’s Plans with monthly flour shipments, and online ordering. The farm is able to operate because it has a small group of dedicated employees who are able to practice safe social distancing while meeting consumer demand. Recent interest in Bluebird Grain Farms products has increased the wait time on orders. “We’re thrilled and a bit overwhelmed by our customers’ support and are working hard to deliver orders in a timely manner. The foundation of our business has always been “milled to order” which sets our product apart from other grain companies. Freshness, nutrition, and flavor should never be compromised,” said Lucy.
Bluebird Grain Farms is one of the original farms to grow under organic regenerative practices and bring the ancient grain powerhouses Einkorn and Emmer to the national market. Brooke and Sam Lucy sow, grow, harvest and sun-cure their grains, and mill them to order on their farm in the Methow Valley in northern Washington. The vertically integrated farm business, as both producer and processor, sells directly to the consumer. Most grains travel through 10 to 12 hands prior to reaching the end consumer, while Bluebird’s travel through one to three hands (when sold direct or through distribution). Unlike most grain which is processed and sits for months before being sold, Bluebird fresh-mills everything to order for better flavor and more nutrition. And Bluebird’s grains are never pearled for a reason: nutrition and freshness.
Bluebird Grain Farms, as BEST NEW ORGANIC FOOD, joins a list of NEXTY-winning brands that “inspire a healthy, sustainable future for people and planet.” The 2020 Natural Products Expo West NEXTY Awards judges wrote, “Einka, or einkorn, is the most ancient wheat we know of. Bluebird Grain Farms in Winthrop, Washington, specializes in such things. They also specialize in plow-to-package production and organic agriculture. We love this product, which combines not just the sweetness of Einka with savory French lentils, but also the way they’ve combined the ancient grain with its complementary nitrogen-fixing rotational crop. ‘Our goal,’ they wrote in their nomination, ‘is to cultivate and mill the most irresistible, nutrient-rich grain we can, while leaving this land healthier for the next generation.’ Amen to that!”
Brooke Lucy said, “We’re humbled and thank the NEXTY team for highlighting our farming practices, how our food is produced, and how our crops complement each other for optimal soil health and nutrition. You have no idea how much validation this gives us! The tireless hours of building our farm business literally from the ground up for the past 15 years are paying off. We look forward to sharing more about our farm and hope to inspire more ecological-minded eaters and farmers. We want to bring agroecology to the broader public and make meaningful connections between land practices, climate change, and nutritious food. Being here to serve during this challenging time is magnifying the need for vertically integrated farm businesses such as ours.”
In January Bluebird Grain Farm’s Einka & French Lentil Blend won the Good Food Award in the Grain category at an event with speaker Michael Pollan and host Alice Waters. That competition involved a blind tasting of nearly 2,000 entries by an esteemed group of grocers, makers, farmers, journalists and chefs, and a rigorous vetting regarding ingredient sourcing and environmentally sound agricultural practices.