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Farm Tours: Whatcom and Whidbey feature diverse stops

Sep 7th, 2012 | Category: Farms, Features

The annual Whatcom and Whidbey Farm Tours are welcoming the public this month, offering residents and visitors a chance to enjoy and learn about local farms, wineries, dairies and more.

Whatcom

The Whatcom Farm Tour, organized by the Food & Farming Program through Sustainable Connections, takes place Saturday, Sept. 8. This event is a highlight of Eat Local Month, which also includes a Whatcom Harvest Dinner, restaurants offering farm to table dishes, two barbecues, and more. (For a complete schedule of events, visit sconnect.org.)

Cows graze at the Edelweiss Dairy in Everson. PHOTO BY DIANE PADYS PHOTOGRAPHY

Stops include:

Vartanyan Estate Winery at 1628 Huntley Road in Bellingham. This small winery by Margarita Vartanyan produces limited edition Armenian-style wines.

Bellingham Country Gardens at 2838 E. Kelly Road in Bellingham is owned by Sam and Donna Grubbs. Their family farm offers fresh-picked and U-Pick vegetables, flowers and strawberries – all chemical free.

Outer County Nut Farm, located at 6103 Roberts Road in Bellingham, is owned by Mark & Susan Richardson. Take a tour through the orchard, see a processing line demonstration, and open some hazelnuts.

Cloud Mountain Farm Center, located at 6906 Goodwin Road in Everson, is operated by Cheryl and Tom Thornton. Known for rare, heirloom and hard to find fruits and vegetables, Cloud Mountain  is 20 acres of orchards, vineyards and research fields at the foot of Sumas Mountain. Small Potatoes Gleaning Project will be on site, showcasing the “plant a row for the hungry” project.

Edelweiss Dairy: Hans and Colleen Wolfisberg operate this certified organic dairy at 1519 Timon Road in Everson. The dairy is a member-owner of Organic Valley Cooperative, and not usually open to the public. Guided tours will be offered at 10 a.m., 1 p.m. and 4 p.m.Bellingham Country Gardens owner Sam Grubbs picks corn. PHOTO BY ASHLEY BENNETT

Farmer Ben’s, owned by Ben and Jessica Elenbaas, is located at 1461 Van Dyk Road in Lynden. Learn about the rotational pasture grazing for cows and pigs, and see many animals on the farm including baby piglets, turkeys, hens, horses and more. animals safe from eagles and coyotes. The WSU Carbon Masters will be present with a composting demonstration.

Bellewood Acres and Distilling, operated by Dorie and John Belisle, is located at 6140 Guide Meridian in Lynden. The new location features an apple tasting bar, farm store and distillery (tasting room is open for guests 21 and over). Representatives of the Whatcom farm to School program will be on site.

Nooksack Delta Ranch is operated by Leah VanderStoep and Randall Reinders at 5295 S. Church Road in Ferndale. Visitors will learn about raising, and take tours of the ranch and historic barn. Scratch & Peck Feed will be on sit to discuss animal feed and nutrition.

Back in Thyme is located at 7247 Everett Road in Ferndale. Owners Dennis and Patty Whitaker grow lavender and herbs. Visitors can harvest and process plants for later use.

Bellingham Farmers Market at the corner of Railroad and Chestnut Avenues in Bellingham.

For a complete farm tour map, visit sconnect.org.

Whidbey

The 7th annual Whidbey Farm Tour takes place the weekend of Sept. 15-16 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. each day.

Participating farms include:

Huntersmoon Blueberries is a 10-acre, late season, organic blueberry farm owned by Joe and Pennie Janousek. Located at 935 Bunch Lane in Oak Harbor.

Tour goers at Rosehip Farm. COURTESY PHOTO

Wildwood Farm, located at 2326 Happy Valley Road in Oak Harbor, is a breeding, training and educational facility focusing on the care and education of horses and students. Operated by Heather Carder.

Hummingbird Farm is owned by Lee and Lori Spear, at 2319 Zylstra Road in Oak Harbor. This farm has display gardens, a certified backyard wildlife sanctuary, and garden gift shop.

3 Sisters Family Farms is operated by the Muzzall family, and offers grass-fed beef, pork, hay, eggs and more from their 800-acre farm at 938 Scenic Heights Road in Oak Harbor.

Frosen Acres Alpacas is a family-run alpaca farm at 1340 Penn Cove Road in Oak Harbor.

Lavender Wind, operated by Sarah Richards, makes a variety of lavender products and more at their Coupeville shop at 15 Coveland Street.

Prairie Bottom Farm is a small, family-run, market garden located in the heart of Whidbey Island’s Ebey’s Reserve. Owned by Wilbur and Julieanna Purdue, the farm is located at 293 Engle Road in Coupeville.

Rosehip Farm & Garden is a small-scale, diversified farm producing organically grown fruits and vegetables. Operated by Linda Bartlett and Valerie Reuther at 338 Fort Casey Road in Coupeville.

Owner Sarah Richards of Lavender Wind Farm. COURTESY PHOTO

Greenbank Farm is home to the Agriculture Training Center, and hosts activities around agriculture, recreation and more. Owned by the Port of Coupeville, Greenbank Farm is located at 765 Wonn Road in Greenbank.

Pronkin’ Pastures Alpacas is home to 31 alpacas at 2582 North Bluff Road in Greenbank.

Sonshine Farm, owned by Pamela Uhlig, raises Kiko meat goats and alpacas at 5662 Crawford Road in Langley.

Whidbey Island Vineyard is operated by Gregory and Elizabeth Osenbach at 5237 Langley Road in Langley. The vineyard has been growing winegrapes and producing wines since 1986.

Comfort Farm & Vineyard, owned by Carl and Rita Comfort, is a 22-acre farm that grows 4 acres of wine grapes at 4361 Witter Road in Langley.

Paradise Found Fiber, operated by Mary Donaty, has been raising llamas on Whidbey for 13 years. Located at 4081 Springwater Lane in Clinton.

Fern Ridge Alpacas is home to 17 alpacas, operated by Gretchen and Hal Schlomann at 7343 Holst Road in Clinton.

Quail’s Run Farm grows vegetables for market and raises grass-fed beef at 3460 French Road in Clinton. Operated by Loren and Patty Imes.

Glendale Shepherd is a family owned and operated Grade A sheep dairy farm at 7616 Glendale Heights Road in Clinton.

Many farms will be hosting other farmers, food purveyors, and entertainers. The tour is free. For a complete map, or more information, visit www.whidbeyfarmtour.com.

Published in the September 2012 issue of Grow Northwest.

Update: Silver Springs Creamery was included in this article in our print edition as a stop on the Whatcom Farm Tour, but has since pulled from the event due to a family emergency.

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