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Experience the wonderful farms of Whidbey Island T he Whidbey Island Farm Tour is a chance to experience the Island’s rural character and to connect with the farmers who provide locally grown food, fiber and other products for purchase. Set for Saturday, Sept. 17 and Sunday, Sept. 18, the free event encourages families to wander through 18 different farms, checking out everything from horses, cows, alpacas, llamas, chickens, turkeys and ducks to all types of herbs and produce – wine grapes, lavender, strawberries, blueberries, garlic, apples and honey, just to name a few. “We want to make it easy for our community to know which of their neighbors are farming, what they are growing, and how they are doing it,” said Karen Krug of Spoiled Dog Winery. This year is the farm tour’s sixth year, and it’s sure to be a big hit with families. “It’s exciting to see the 3,000 or so people visit the farms on the Island, particularly families with children,” said Karen Bishop, who serves on the farm tour committee. “The tour is so effective at raising awareness of issues that impact our local farms, but it also connects families and educators to new kinds of resources available to them.” Throughout the weekend, the farms welcome visitors for tours, demonstrations, children’s activities and, at some locations, hands-on experiences. With the wide variety of farms on the tour, there’s something for everyone. Kids will enjoy riding in a wagon

Contributed photo

M-Bar-C Ranch near Freeland provides special-needs and other children with opportunities for learning experiences with horses. The ranch also offers a kid-sized Westernthemed cowboy town that children love to explore. pulled by majestic Percheron horses at A Knot In Thyme or feeding carrots to the horses at Laughing Ducks & Barking Dogs Farm, both near Oak Harbor, petting the soft alpacas at four different alpaca ranches and taking part in scavenger hunts at M Bar C Ranch near Freeland

and Fern Ridge Alpacas near Clinton. Animals of all kinds can be found at the farms, including horses, of course. Penn Cove Horsemanship Center near Oak Harbor (open on Saturday only) and M-Bar-C Ranch near Freeland are among the best places to see horses, although a

number of the farms on the tour are home to equine residents. Special children’s activities are planned at many of the farms, including M-BarC Ranch, which has a kid-sized cowboy town. Families can take a tractor-pulled trolley ride through the pumpkin fields at Sherman’s Pioneer Produce near Coupeville, and enjoy a horse-pulled wagon ride at M-Bar-C Ranch or A Knot in Thyme. And of course, a number of the farms feature fresh, seasonal produce. Bell’s Farm near Coupeville also will offer grassfed beef products from 3 Sisters Farm. Laughing Ducks & Barking Dogs Farm near Oak Harbor offers eggs, whole chickens and turkeys. And depending on the harvest, Strawfield House and Farm may have lavender-garlic bouquets for sale. On Saturday evening, you can help celebrate the bounty of our community at the farm-to-fork Whidbey-grown harvest dinner hosted by Greenbank Farm. At an auction later in the evening, participants can bid on Stacey Neumiller’s original painting of Bella, a Whidbeythemed alpaca, along with baskets filled with Whidbey Island specialties. Proceeds go toward next year’s farm tour. Tickets are $45, available in advance at locations around Whidbey Island. The Whidbey Island Farm Tour is a family-friendly event, with children’s activities at several farms and plenty to see at all the rest. The tour is about much more than farms and food. It’s also about community.

Experience Greenbank Farm Sponsor of the Farm Tour Dinner! WALK our extensive scenic trails. SHOP at our art galleries. EAT & DRINK at our wine shop, café & cheese shop. CULTIVATE our organic p-patches. INTERACT with our farmers-in-training. EXPERIENCE wildlife amidst beautiful habitat. VISIT us for First Friday at the Farm, from 5-8 p.m. on the first Friday of each month, with wine, art and more!

Hwy 525 & Wonn Rd. • 360-678-7700 • greenbankfarm.com

Live the Island dream… Janet’s unique blending of diligence, diplomacy and persistence made all the difference in our successful purchase transaction. Thanks for making it happen! - Jim & Catherine Thanks, Janet, for helping us find our little “Rain Shadow Farm”. Life is good! - Harry & Terry

FRONT STREET REALTY

Call or drop by my office next to the Coupeville Wharf 22 NW Front St., Suite B • Coupeville, WA 98239 360-678-6100 • 206-387-1924 • www.janetburchfield.com

Page 2    A special publication of The Whidbey Examiner  •  The Whidbey Island 2011 Farm Tour Guide 


Farmers share passion for fuzzy, gentle alpacas By Betty Freeman Examiner Staff Writer

W

hat’s the appeal of alpacas? A visit to two of the four alpaca ranches on the 2011 Whidbey Island Farm Tour yields similar answers. LeeAnna Jorgenson of Pronkin’ Pastures Alpaca Ranch in Greenbank wanted to raise animals, but wasn’t interested in bringing them to slaughter. Gentle alpacas, with their butter-soft coats, are expensive to purchase, she said, but they live a long time and are easy to feed and maintain. Annual shearing of the animals produces versatile fiber, which is spun into rovings, yarn, and felts valued by weavers and knitters. “Alpaca fiber is beautiful, soft, and warm. It’s hypoallergenic, lightweight, and wicks away moisture,” Jorgenson said. Lynn Sheffield of Olympic Mist Farm in Freeland has a similar view. She too shied away from the idea of killing animals she’d raised. As a weaver, she values the wonderful fiber her small herd provides. When Jorgenson and her husband Ron bought 10 acres on North Bluff Road in Greenbank, they originally thought they’d focus on breeding alpacas. But the sour economy and the loss of her job in the construction industry changed their focus to raising alpacas for fiber. Now Jorgenson devotes full time to the herd and the farm store the couple

Betty Freeman / The Whidbey Examiner

LeeAnna Jorgenson nuzzles baby alpaca Tinkerbelle, the newest addition to the herd at Pronkin’ Pastures Alpaca Ranch, one of four alpaca ranches on this year’s farm tour. opened at the property in 2010. The name Pronkin’ Pastures is derived from the springy, leaping gait called pronking, which alpacas – particularly young ones – often do just before dark, presumably to bring their body temperature up before nightfall, or when they’re just plain happy. “We frequently see the crias (baby alpacas) and weanlings pronking in play,” Jorgenson said.

The ranch provides informational signage to educate visitors in alpaca lore. Alpacas are gentle but shy, and will slowly move away if a human gets too close. Visitors who stop by the ranches during the Whidbey Island Farm Tour will see newborn alpaca crias at both Pronkin’ Pastures and Olympic Mist Farm. Momma alpacas, baby alpacas and weanlings share fenced pastures at both farms, while the males live in their own

pasture nearby. Olympic Mist Farm offers visitors a chance to observe weaving and spinning demonstrations and a large selection of yarn, rovings and products made from alpaca fiber in the farm store. Sheffield proudly displays her own beautiful weaving and felting work in the store, as well as the work of several other local fiber artists. Six years ago, Sheffield left her job as a consultant with IBM to focus full-time on her alpaca farm. She and her husband Dale Schmidt were drawn to Whidbey as the ideal place to build their retirement home, and after careful research and the mentorship of others familiar with alpacas, the plan evolved to include raising their own herd of the shy, gentle animals. Sheffield had always enjoyed sewing and crafting, and became involved in weaving about the same time she started her alpaca herd. For her, raising alpacas has always been about the wonderful fiber they provide. “Other Island alpaca farmers have been good mentors, “she said. “And I learned quickly that the active fiber arts community here was a wonderful way to meet fellow weavers and spinners. I joined the Whidbey Weavers Guild right away.” “I love that I can produce a product like a scarf and know the fiber I used came from an animal I care for,” Sheffield said. “It’s a labor of love from start to finish.”

Local Farmers = Local Food Look for the name you can trust.

Support Local Agriculture Look for this Brand • Become a Member at WhidbeyIslandGrown.com Cabbage seed produced at Sherman Farm near Coupeville

Livestock hay for sale.

Alf Christianson honors Whidbey Island’s long tradition of farming and the families whose farms have produced the vegetable seeds that feed the world.

Wilbur & Karen Bishop Clark Bishop & Lauren Hubbard Growing Hays and Grains on on the Historic Ebey’s Prairie 225 Ebey Road • Coupeville, Washington 360-678-4855 / 360-929-0349 ebeyroadfarm@frontier.com

The Whidbey Island 2011 Farm Tour Guide  •  A special publication of The Whidbey Examiner

Mount Vernon, Wash. • 360-336-9727 Page 3


Where to go, what to do

and products, hand-spun yarn and fiber for hand-spinners and fiber artists. Spinning, weaving, felting and other fiberprocessing demonstrations will take place throughout the day. Visitors can hand-feed the animals and feel their fabulous fleece. Directions: From Hwy. 20, turn East on Fakkema Road and drive about 1.5 miles, then turn south on Taylor for about 1 mile. The farm is at the corner of Taylor and Mounts, just south of Silverlake.

The farms on this year’s tour offer a wide variety of things to see and do, plus local produce and farm products – and fun activities for kids.

4. Case Farm

2. Laughing Ducks & Barking Dogs Farm (Saturday only) Karry Brooks - 3100 Hunt Road, Oak Harbor 360-679-2914 www.laughingducksbarkingdogs.com The farm was established in 2006, starting with five breeding turkeys, a small flock of six laying hens that has since grown to 45 hens, and seven of the farm’s namesakes, Call ducks. The farm raises pastured poultry, including heritage turkeys and one of the oldest hog breeds, the beautiful Berkshire. Whole chickens and turkeys are available for purchase. Children enjoy seeing the hogs, watching the silly antics of the chickens and feeding carrots to the horses. Sho ‘Nuff Barbecue of Oak Harbor will be serving barbecue made from meat produced at the farm. Directions: Hwy. 20 to Fakkema Rd, turn right on Hunt Road, second driveway on the left. Follow drive all the way to the back; the farm is on the right.

Dina Blackstone - 2839 Taylor Road, Oak Harbor 360)-420-7130 • www.IslandBlissAlpacas.com Island Bliss Alpacas is home to 37 alpacas and three llamas. The farm focuses on breeding alpacas with fine, dense and crimpy fleece characteristics and gentle dispositions. Alpacas are available for purchase, from fine breeding stock to fiber animals to companion males. The farm offers self-guided tours and plenty of informational signs. The farm store features alpaca-related clothing TREE TOP BAKING

See Farms, page 5

LIT TLE BROWN FARM CHEESE

All Things Delicious COUPE VILLE 678.6608 OAK HARBOR 675.6600 www.bayleaf.us

LO C A L

O R G A N I C

S C R E A M I N ’ B A N S H E E

B R E A D

EVENTS

Eating fresh fruits and vegetables can contribute to lifelong health. That’s why Whidbey General supports the Whidbey Island Farm Tour. Preventive medicine is the best medicine.

3. Island Bliss Alpacas

Mike and Sheila Case-Smith 98 Case Road, Oak Harbor 360-675-1803 Case Farm is a very rustic 113-year old family farm. Purchased in 1898, it continues to be home to multiple generations of Case descendants. The farm raises beef calves, hay, grain and fresh vegetables and plants for sale at local farmers markets in season. In the fall, the farm celebrates the harvest season with a u-pick pumpkin patch and a variety of winter squash, onions and other produce, along with a chance to see the many animals on the farm. No credit cards are accepted. During the farm tour, visitors can take a self-guided walk around the growing fields. The family will be available to discuss farm history and production methods. Directions: The farm is just north of Oak Harbor, off Hwy 20 at mile marker 34 near the intersection of Hwy 20 and NE Regatta Dr. Follow Case Road .5 mile to the farm. Parking is on the left.

W I L L O W O O D FA R M P R O D U C E

Eat Healthy, Eat Local!

Kasia Pierzga / The Whidbey Examiner

Hogs are among the many kinds of animals that can be seen at farms on this year’s Whidbey Island Farm Tour.

Discover

This working horticulture family farm includes a 75-year-old holly orchard and a number of specialty gardens. The Quilted Garden is an intricate pattern of fruit, vegetables, herbs and flowers; the Vertical Garden explores raising gardens in small spaces; the Miniature Garden is a child’s delight; the Courtyard Garden connects gardens with lavender, herbs and flowers. Walk the orchard and enjoy a ride in a horse-drawn wagon through the farm with special musical entertainment. New features this year are the Rose Garden, cold frames and greenhouse. Demonstrations at the farm include drip irrigation, mulching, wreath-making, holly growing, vertical gardening and edible landscaping. Children’s activities: Transplant a seedling for fall/winter gardening. The botanical and gift shop, open yeararound, features our dried floral arrangements, herbs, teas, jams and treats, décor, birds, nests, our homemade soap, healthy

plant starts, Amish furniture, and more. Directions: Located 2.9 miles south of Deception Pass or 4.2 miles north of the Oak Harbor Navy jet display. From Hwy.R 20, turn west onto DeGraff Road. The farm is the first place on the right.

C AT E R I N G

(10 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday, 1 p.m. – 4 p.m. Sunday) Jack & Wendy Rawls 4233 DeGraff Road, Oak Harbor 360-240-1216 • aknotinthyme.com aknotinthyme@verizon.net

WHIDBEY ISLAND WINERY

1. A Knot In Thyme

Helping You Put Knowledge to Work . . . Master Gardeners, 4-H Youth Development, Beach Watchers, Shore Stewards, Waste Wise Volunteers, Livestock Advisors, Admiralty Head Lighthouse Docents, Weather Network, Land Stewardship, Climate Stewards & Agriculture Sustainability For more information visit county.wsu.edu/island

Page 4    A special publication of The Whidbey Examiner  •  The Whidbey Island 2011 Farm Tour Guide 


Farms, from page 4

8. Sherman’s Pioneer Farm Produce

5. Penn Cove Horsemanship Center

Dale Sherman - 172 S. Ebey Road, Coupeville 360-678-4675 shermanspioneerfarmproduce@frontier.com Take your family for a tractor-pulled trolley ride out to the pumpkin patch. Pumpkins and squash are available every weekend in October. Directions: From Oak Harbor, follow Hwy. 20 south, and just before Coupeville turn right onto Ebey Road. From the south, take Hwy. 20 north through the light at Main Street in Coupeville, then turn left onto Ebey Road. The farm is the third house on the right, with lots of old farm equipment in the front.

(Saturday only) Jennifer Roberts - 27569 Hwy. 20, Oak Harbor 360-969-1135 • www.pchorses.com The Penn Cove Horsemanship Center offers horse boarding and riding lessons. Visit the farm to learn about mud management and manure composting. Trainer Jennifer Roberts is the only certified barefoot trimmer on Whidbey Island and also practices the Mist Method, a form of equine bodywork that promotes emotional and physical healing in horses. Guided and self-guided tours available. Directions: Located on Hwy. 20, 3.5 miles south of Oak Harbor or 6.5 miles north of Coupeville. Find the farm between the Rolling Hills housing development and the small white church.

9. Prairie Bottom Farm

Kasia Pierzga / The Whidbey Examiner

6. Bell’s Farm (Saturday only) Dorothy Mueller - 892 West Beach Road, Coupeville 360-678-4808 • www.farmfoody.org This family-run farm was founded in 1946 and has been producing fresh market strawberries since 1948. The farm sells fresh, sustainably grown vegetables at the farm and at local farmers markets. During the farm tour, the farm will have potatoes, spinach, chard, corn and other fresh vegetables available – and even some everbearing strawberries – depending on weather conditions. 3 Sisters Cattle Company will offer its grass-fed beef products for sale. Directions: From Hwy. 20 north of Coupeville, turn west onto Libbey Rd.

Running around the hay-bale maze at Sherman’s Pioneer Produce pumpkin patch near Coupeville is a favorite fall activity for kids. (look for the Fort Ebey State Park sign). Turn right on West Beach Road and drive .5 mile to the top of the hill. The farm is on the right. Watch the signs for parking.

7. Lavender Wind Farm Sarah Richards - 2530 Darst Road, Coupeville 360-678-0919 www.lavenderwind.com • sarah@lavenderwind.com We sell lavender in lots of forms, including dried lavender, essential oil, food items, lotions & soaps and offer nursery plants that include lavenders, herbs, and flowers. Come collect tips on how to grow

and use lavender, and learn how to prune plants, process dried lavender, and watch us distill lavender essential oil. Lavender snacks will be available as you view the Strait of Juan de Fuca from the lavender labyrinth. Additional activities may be planned for farm tour weekend. Directions: About 3 miles north on Hwy. 20 after the light at Coupeville (or about 6 miles south of Oak Harbor) turn on Libbey Rd. Turn right on West Beach Road and drive .5 mile to the top of the hill, then take a left on Darst Road. Then you’ll see the sign for Lavender Wind Farm.

Wilbur and Julieanna Purdue 293 Engle Road, Coupeville 360-632-5762 • www.prairiebottomfarm.com Prairie Bottom Farm is a small, familyrun, market garden located in the heart of Ebey’s Landing National Historical Reserve. The farm provides locally grown, handcrafted seasonal produce (from artichokes to zucchini!), free from pesticides and herbicides, to local farmers markets, CSA members and local restaurants. During farm tour weekend, the farm will offer seasonal produce, storage garlic, potatoes, beans, squash, pie and eggs. Demonstrations and activities include thrashing Rockwell beans and other drying beans, garlic planting, pumpkin scabbing, a tour of the garden and an opportunity to feed the chickens and geese. See Farms, page 8

Where will you . . . plant your roots? If home is where the heart is, then community is where you’ll find your soul. We can help you find your next neighborhood or introduce new neighbors to yours. Stop by our office or visit Windermere.com to learn more.

Open daily from 7:30 AM, at the end of Pier, Coupeville Coffee, Conversation, Local Foods and Hide-out

Whidbey Island Conservation District “helping landowners with conservation practices”

2011/12

Native Plant Sale

Coupeville 5 S Main Street 360/678-5858

Order from our beautiful assortment of bare root native plants (very reasonably priced). Pre-orders will be accepted October through January and ready for pick up March 3.

Oak Harbor 32785 SR 20, Suite 4 360/675-5953 Freeland 5531 Freeland Ave. 360/331-6006

• Order early for best selection! • To receive a plant sale order form in October, join our plant sale mailing list at our website: www.whidbeycd.org or call 1-888-678-4922.

The Whidbey Island 2011 Farm Tour Guide  •  A special publication of The Whidbey Examiner

Windermere Real Estate/Whidbey Island

Langley 223 Ssecond St. 360/221-8898

Page 5


R E S TAU R A N T G U I D E

To Mount Vernon, Burlington & I-5

BBQ JOINT

Texas brisket, chicken, Memphis ribs. Lunch & dinner. Eat in & Take-out. 601 NE Midway Blvd., Oak Harbor 360-679-3500

CHINA CITY

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2011

Excellent Chinese cuisine. Open 7 days a week. Great Happy Hour specials, 11 am-7 pm, open till 9 pm. 33505 State Route 20, Oak Harbor 360-279-8899 1804 E. Scott Rd., Freeland 360-331-8899

1. A Knot In Thyme TROXELL RD. D.

Saturday & Sunday, September 17 & 18 10 am to 4 pm

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Featuring fresh, creative Northwest cuisine and a variety of local wines. Lunch: M-F 11:30-2 pm, Sat 12-2:30 pm. Dinner nightly at 5 pm. 103 NW Coveland St., Coupeville 360-678-5480 • christophersonwhidbey.com

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Rustic Italian cuisine. All local ingredients. We support local growers! Open 11am-8pm daily. 701 N. Main St. , Coupeville 360-678 -0800

THE COVE THAI CUISINE

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Across from the Keystone Ferry. Fish & chips, espresso, soups, salads, Cascade Glacier ice cream, sandwiches and chowder. 12981 Hwy. 20, Coupeville 360-678-5396

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At the Greenbank Farm, offering handmade pies, hearty soups, quiche, seasonal salads and artisan breads. Open daily. 765 Wonn Road, Greenbank 360-678-1288

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“Rufous the Rooster,” an original painting by Whidbey artist Stacey Neumiller, is among a number of items to be auctioned at the Whidbey Island Farm Tour dinner, set for 5:30 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 17 at Greenbank Farm. Tickets are $45. Call 360-678-7700.

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Whidbey Island’s only locally owned, independent newspaper

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The Whidbey Island Farm Tour Guide is a special supplement to The Whidbey Examiner, Whidbey Island’s only locally owned, independent newspaper. On-Island subscriptions are $19.50/year; off-Island, $23/year. To subscribe, call 360-678-8060. Read the Whidbey Island Farm Tour Guide online at www.whidbeyexaminer.com.

16. Comfort Farm & Vineyard

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New this year is a scavenger hunt for kids at M-Bar-C Ranch near Freeland and Fern Ridge Alpacas near Clinton.

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The tour is free, and you can start anywhere and take in as many farms as you like. Please note that some farms offer activities at specific times, and some are open for one day only.

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Enjoy the chance to visit with the farmers, purchase locally grown food, fiber and other products, and soak up the rural character of our island home.

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Working hard to keep eating locally affordable. Try our Whidbey Island pasture-raised beef burger! 14485 Hwy. 525, Langley 360-321-4120

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The 18 farms selected for this two-day event will provide you with a glimpse of the variety of agricultural endeavors on Whidbey Island.

GREENBANK FARM

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Welcome to the sixth annual Whidbey Island Farm Tour!

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Comfortable family setting, large menu selection, lunch counter, 30-item salad bar, daily specials, and our popular Sunday breakfast buffet.  405 S Main St., Coupeville 360-678-6616

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Fresh steamed mussels, seafood, great burgers, clam chowder daily. Open 7 days a week. 8 NW Front St., Coupeville 360-678-4222

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Specializing in chili featuring 3 Sisters grass-fed beef, gumbo, sandwiches and quiche. Open for breakfast and lunch. 12 NW Front St., Coupeville 360-678-2900

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Located on Coupeville’s historic wharf. Pho, stir-fry dishes, soups, burgers and more. Eat in or take out. 26th Front St., Coupeville 360-678-4924

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Authentic Thai food in a historic Victorian home. 11am-9 pm daily except Monday. 602 N. Main St., Coupeville 360-678-6963

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Serving authentic Thai cuisine. Open 7 days a week. Happy Hour 4:30-6:30 pm. 885 SE Pioneer Way, Oak Harbor 360-679-8268 R

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Steak, burgers, seafood, pasta, pub fare. Always fresh. Always local. Featuring fresh, local produce. 32295 Hwy. 20, Oak Harbor 360-675-5858

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raw fiber and roving for hand-spinners, commercial and handspun yarns and alpaca-related clothing and products. The farm offers self-guided tours, educational displays, spinning and fiber processing demonstrations and great photo opportunities. Directions: From Hwy. 525 north of Greenbank, turn east at Wonn Road. Turn left on North Bluff Road and continue about 1 mile. Turn left up the gravel easement road just before the Pronkin’ Pastures alpaca sign.

Farms, from page 5 Directions: From the traffic light on Hwy. 20 at Coupeville, turn south on South Main Street and drive about 1.15 miles. South Main Street becomes Engle Road at the flashing red light. Drive out of town and out into the fields, and look for the gray barn on the left.

10. Greenbank Farm & the Greenbank Farm Agricultural Training Center Sebastian Aguilar, Farm Manager 765 Wonn Road, Greenbank 360-222-3171 • www.greenbankfarm.com

12. Strawfield House

The historic 1904 Greenbank Farm represents an Island community’s values of conservation and preservation at its 150-acre farmsite managed by the nonprofit Greenbank Farm Management Group. Today, 119 acres of the 522 acres are zoned for agriculture. The farm provides a place to explore opportunities in sustainability, including renewable energy, low-impact development, and sustainable agriculture. At the Greenbank Farm Training Center, aspiring farmers engage in a full-time, seven-month training program in sustainable land stewardship, organic crop production and small business administration. Also offered is a shorter course for farm apprentices and local gardeners. The training center farm raises produce for a 50-member CSA program, the farm’s Sunday Market and other outlets around the Island. The farm also is host to seed crops and variety trials in partnership with the Organic Seed Alliance. During Farm Tour weekend, volunteers and farmers will provide tours, self-guid-

Kasia Pierzga / The Whidbey Examiner

Seasonal produce is available at many of the farms on the tour. ed walks, information about Greenbank Farm, tours of the training center garden and a booth selling seasonal produce. Directions: From Hwy. 525 north of Greenbank, turn east on Wonn Road, then left into the farm.

11. Pronkin’ Pastures Alpaca Ranch Ron and LeeAnna Jorgenson - 2582 North Bluff Road 360-678-0481 • www.pronkinpastures.com Pronkin’ Pastures is home to 25 huacaya alpacas and one rescued llama. Raised as breeding stock and fiber animals, alpacas are considered earth-friendly and the ideal small farm animal. See how alpaca fiber is harvested, sorted and processed, and how alpaca manure is composted and used in the garden. The farm store features alpaca products including

(Saturday only) John and Aracely Knox 2604 North Bluff Road, Greenbank 360-678-1747 • www.strawfieldhouse.com Strawfield House and Farm is a new farm on 5.5 acres of south-facing meadows surrounded by woods. The previous owners built the house using a straw-bale design. The current owners purchased the property in 2006 to develop a micro-farm with a wide diversity of crops, including a small orchard, a table-grape vineyard, berries, roses, an herb garden, a small field of lavender and a field of row crops. The farm has laying chickens and heritage Bourbon red turkeys. The farm garden includes onions, garlic, lavender, squash, flowers, herbs, tomatoes, potatoes, dry heirloom beans and herbs. Depending on the harvest, the farm may offer lavender-garlic bouquets, fresh eggs, fresh and dried herbs, dried beans and winter squash, as well as its signature “House Spice.” Directions: From Hwy. 525, turn east on Wonn Road. Turn left on North Bluff Road. The farm is less than a mile from

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13. M-Bar-C Horse Ranch Dale Kerslake - 5264 Shore Meadow Road, Freeland 360-331-6019 • www.m-bar-c.org Home to the Forgotten Children’s Fund, this beautiful 50-acre ranch is in the business of producing smiles. Its Ranch Experience program is open to special-needs children and other qualifying groups. The ranch offers horseback riding lessons and summer equestrian camps. An old-fashioned Western village and children’s educational garden provide a fun place for children to explore. The ranch is home to miniature horses, draft horses, a donkey and a mule. The ranch is developing its extensive pastureland to produce its own hay crop. Directions: From Hwy. 20, head west on Bush Point Road in Freeland. Just as you go down the hill into the valley, Shore Meadows Road is on the right. Follow the signs down and to the left.

14. Olympic Mist Farm Lynn Sheffield and Dale Schmidt 5105 Tuition Place, Freeland 360-331-1998 www.alpacanation.com/olympicmistfarm.asp Take a self-guided tour of pastures, outbuildings, composting bin and smallspace kitchen garden. The farm shop, “The Whorling Dervish,” sells a variety of alpaca and other fiber animal products as well as unique gifts, and is also home to a working fiber studio complete with loom, spinning wheel and workspace for felting and fiber dyeing. Some of the Island’s best fiber artists will be available to answer questions and demonstrate their craft. Directions: From Hwy. 525, turn north at the traffic light at Main Street in Freeland. At the stop sign near the U.S. Post Office, turn left at East Harbor Road and drive about 2 miles. Turn right at Goodell Road, then right at Goss Ridge Road. At the top of Goss Ridge Road, turn right at Tuition Place. The farm is at the first home on the left. Parking is along the street; please leave room for cars to pass. 15. Chocolate Flower Farm Marie Lincoln - 5040 Saratoga Road, Langley 360-221-2464 • www.chocolateflowerfarm.com Chocolate Flower Farm is a specialty nursery with an emphasis on dark-colored plants. The farm has display gardens and a shop offering products made on the farm. Visit the candle-making shed to see where the farm’s famous chocolate candles are made. The farm also has a gift shop on First Street in Langley. Products for sale during Farm Tour weekend include plants, seeds, candles, chocolate-infused body products and other items. The display gardens include a chocolate vanilla swirl garden, a Neapolitan garden, a chocolate-chocolate-chocolate garden, a chocolate French kitchen garden with chocolate corn, chocolate bell peppers and edible chocolate flowers. Directions:  From Hwy 525, turn at Bayview Road and drive about 3 miles to Langley. Turn left on DeBruyen (at the church) and then turn left onto Saratoga Road. Drive four-tenths of a mile and turn left into the farm. See Farms, page 9

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Farms, from page 8

16. Comfort Farm & Vineyard

Carl and Rita Comfort - 4361 Witter Rd., Langley 360-221-4912 • www.comfortsofwhidbey.com Comfort Farm and Vineyard is a 22acre farm growing four acres of wine grapes that are use to make the farm’s estate wines. All wines are 100 percent local Whidbey Island wines. The winery and tasting room will be open during the Farm Tour. A grass picnic area is available, so bring a lunch and enjoy. The rest of the farm is open pasture and some trees, and is home to cows, chickens and llamas. The farm has a number of beehives, and honey may be available for sale. Directions: From Hwy. 525, turn onto East Surface Road and drive 1.5 miles. Take a slight left at Bob Galbreath Road, which will become Wilkinson Road. Drive 2 miles; farm is on the right between Witter Road and View Road.

17. Langley Vineyard Farm / Spoiled Dog Winery (Saturday only) Karen Krug - 5881 Maxwelton Road, Langley 360-661-6226 • www.spoileddogwinery.com Langley Vineyard Farm is a 25-acre working family farm and home of Spoiled Dog Winery. The farm produces awardwinning wines from its Pinot Noir grape vineyard and apple and pear heritage orchard (Pomo di Moro wine). The farm also raises grass-fed beef (fattened on apples and alfalfa), hay and chicken eggs. Visitors can see cows, llamas, bees, chick-

ens and horses and learn about best-management practices in use. Enjoy children’s activities, sample Little Brown Farm goat cheese, buy local produce from Whidbey Green Goods and enjoy live music. Directions: Take Hwy 525 to south on Maxwelton Road. Drive .25 mile to farm road entrance (marked with a rainbow flag) on the left.

18. Fern Ridge Alpacas

Gretchen & Hal Schlomann - 7343 Holst Road, Clinton 206-778-9619 • www.fernridgealpacas.com Learn about raising alpacas and how their fleece can be used. Visitors can pet and feed the friendly alpacas and guard llamas and watch how raw fiber becomes yarn and yarn becomes cloth with carding, spinning and weaving demonstrations. Visitors can try their hands at needle felting. The farm store – in a yurt – is stocked with yarn, rovings, socks, hats, gloves, scarves, blankets and duvets, all made from luxurious alpaca fiber. Also available are works by local fiber artists, including hand-spun, hand-dyed artisan yarn and rovings by Fibermorphosis. The farm is in the historic Glendale logging camp area and features a 1900-era cabin. Learn about pasture management, composting techniques and practices that can be used to help protect your own watershed. New baby alpacas are expected in time for the farm tour. Directions: From Hwy. 525, turn south on Deer Lake Road and drive about 1.5 miles to where it joins Holst Road. (Deer Lake turns sharply right). Continue straight on Holst Road about 1.9 miles, turn left onto the gravel road and follow it through the trees to the farm.

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360-678-4708 • 888-678-4922 • www.whidbeycd.org The Whidbey Island 2011 Farm Tour Guide  •  A special publication of The Whidbey Examiner

Page 9


Come See Mother Nature’s Work Zones. Celebrate the bounty of Whidbey Island on the 6th annual Whidbey Island Farm Tour. With 18 participating farms showing everything from heritage turkeys, to organic vegetables, to alpacas, there’s something for everyone.

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‘Whidbey Grown’ brand supports local farms F or Whidbey Island farmers, finding ways to make their agricultural products stand out is an important aspect of building a market for what they sell. That’s where the Whidbey Island Grown brand comes in. Whidbey Island Grown was established in 2009 by local farmers and supporters of local agriculture as a way to increase awareness of local farm products. Whidbey farmers who sign up for the program pay a fee in exchange for the use of the brand on their produce and value-added farm product, and money raised through the program goes back into promoting the Whidbey Island Grown brand. The grassroots effort to organize and launch the program was organized and funded by the Northwest Agriculture Business Center. As a consumer, when you see the brand, you know that it was either grown on Whidbey or, if it’s a processed product, a large portion of the ingredients come from Whidbey. But there is more to the brand than meets the eye. Vicky Brown is Whidbey Island’s only producer of goat cheese. She makes her cheeses from milk produced by her herd at Little Brown Farm near Freeland. One reason she appreciates the Whidbey Island Grown brand is that it helps connect her with other local farmers who have a

Sherrye Wyatt photo

A growing number of farmers are using the Whidbey Island Grown brand to set their products apart. similar philosophy about farming and who maintain similar high standards with their products. Brown has been able to reach her goal of using local products in her cheeses by connecting with other Whidbey Island Grown brand participants like Willowood Farm and Lavender Wind Farm, which supply herbs used in her cheeses. Even the hay for her goats comes from a member of the Whidbey Island Grown brand, Ebey Road Farm of Coupeville. Brown said she likes how the brand supports and connects Whidbey farmers. See Brand, page 11

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Open all year for your lavender needs. www.lavenderwind.com Lavender Wind Farm I 2530 Darst Road, Coupeville I 360.678.0919

Page 10    A special publication of The Whidbey Examiner  •  The Whidbey Island 2011 Farm Tour Guide 


Need a Barn? We Can Build It! Top quality pole structures built by a local company.

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Willowood Farm near Coupeville, located on the historic Smith farmstead in the heart of Ebey’s Landing National Historical Reserve, is among 18 local producers that have become members of the Whidbey Island Grown brand. Farms, from page 10 “I need them to be successful and do well so they will keep farming and provide us the products we need to be successful. We are all pieces of that puzzle.” Sarah Richards of Lavender Wind Farm near Coupeville also values the Whidbey Island Grown community. “We depend on Whidbey Island farmers for so much, not only to supplement our business, but also to feed us, too,” Richards said. “The brand is important to our farm because it shows we are all part of the farming community, working together to make and grow food and farm products that you can depend on. I also buy Whidbey Island Grown produce and I’d like all the Whidbey produce I buy to

Manny Rojas & Joe Rojas Owners

be part of this brand.” Agricultural areas are an important part of what makes Whidbey Island such a special place. To preserve these areas the Island needs an economically vibrant farm community. To join the effort to promote local products and help preserve the rural character of the Island, look for the brand label, become a member and follow Whidbey Island Grown on Facebook and Twitter. “Whidbey Island Grown helps to nurture the relationships that keep our community alive and well, and the program provides marketing assistance, resources and other tangible benefits,” Richards said. “But for me and my farm, it’s the Whidbey Island Grown relationships I value most.”

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The Whidbey Island 2011 Farm Tour Guide  •  A special publication of The Whidbey Examiner

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Page 11


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2011 Whidbey Island Farm Tour Guide