Farm Tour - Whidbey Island Farm Tour 2013

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10 am to 4 pm • Saturday, Sept. 21 & Sunday, Sept. 22 Farm Tour Guide Whidbey Island

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Transcript of Farm Tour - Whidbey Island Farm Tour 2013

  • 10 am to 4 pm Saturday, Sept. 21 & Sunday, Sept. 22

    Farm Tour GuideWhidbey Island

  • A special publication of The Whidbey Examiner The Whidbey Island 2013 Farm Tour Guide Page 2

    By Janis Reid

    Today, it was the story of apples.

    Sherrye Wyatt was de-scribing to res-

    tauranteur Scott Frasier how ciders are complex blends of multiple types of apples, pro-ducing a complex yet light fu-sion of bitter and sweet.

    Every blend is different and presents a different pallet of flavors that range from the hoppiest of beers to the light-est of wines.

    And unlike the craft beers, a movement which started small and then got picked up by the big-box breweries, Wyatt said, ciders continue to be made on a small scale with ever-growing interest and varieties. Cider apples are now at a premium.

    Its a good story.Wyatt visited Frasier at

    his restaurant recently for a cider tasting to promote Washington Cider Week, Sept. 5-15.

    Frasier seemed inspired by the various ciders they tried and started creating on the spot a three-course par-ing meal to be served for the 10-day celebration.

    While she wears many hats as Whidbey Islands point person for the North-west Agriculture Business Center, Wyatt also serves as executive director of the Northwest Cider Associa-tion, which is now managed by NABC.

    Established in 2006, the NABC provides north-west Washington farmers with training and resources required to profitably and efficiently supply their prod-ucts to consumers, retailers, wholesalers, foodservice op-erators and food manufactur-ers. Its main office is located in Mount Vernon in the heart of Washingtons Skagit Valley farm region.

    She feels her main job, while supporting farmers and the businesses that sell their products, is to tell the farmers story.

    The connection (to the consumer) is only made by thinking about the people who made it, what they grew

    and why they do it, Wyatt said. Its not quite the same as going to work for some-one. This is their lives, and they are all in. I feel like I have a responsibility to the story.

    With the Northwest Cider Association, Wyatt helps the trade association increase the market for hard cider and represents cidermakers in Washington and other West-ern states. She seeks potential for expanding the market for cider and she hopes to gener-ate interest in growing more apples locally and creating a cider culture on Whidbey, similar to the wine industry.

    But the NABC does much more than apples.

    Next on Wyatts list was the story of Whidbeys horses with a stop at Wildwood Farm.

    The islands growing horse farms, along with al-pacas and goats, and many other animals fall under the interest and umbrella of the NABCs Whidbey Island Grown program, which pro-motes local farmers in local markets.

    When consumers see the Whidbey Island brand, it means something. It means that farmers have strived to achieve a higher set of production standards, said Wyatt.

    I hear what Georgie Smith [Willowood Farm] and Vicky Brown [Little Brown Farm] say WIG has meant to them. This program has cre-ated collaboration, a network of like-minded farmers who share the same goals.

    Wildwood owners and operators Gregg Lanza and Heather Carder are members of WIG and are dedicated to the idea of breeding horses and growing grass on Whid-bey for local markets and, in turn, purchasing produce and dairy for their bed and break-fast from local farmers.

    One thing that strikes me is that the island establishes a natural physical bound-ary which creates a commu-nity that can cooperate and network to promote itself in such an authentic, meaning-ful way, Wyatt said. We can do more together than we can do separately.

    The NABC is also work-ing with the Whidbey Island Conservation District by act-ing as the fiscal agent, helping to launch the first season of the North Whidbey Commu-nity Supported Agriculture program. The sold-out North Whidbey CSA program is currently providing fresh pro-duce from a Whidbey farmer group to eager subscribers.

    NABCs administration and marketing supports the Island Grown Farmers Co-operatives annual Meat Cut-ting Workshop sessions. The classes not only create more trained butchers, the course fees allow IGFC to retain the highly-skilled butchering staff during slack production times and ensure adequate professional resources for the

    IGFC member farms when processing time arrives.

    The Nourishing Com-munities program is aimed at connecting farms to insti-tutions, leading to local farm-ers selling product to institu-tions such as preschools and senior centers.

    Over 8,000 servings of 3 Sisters Cattle Company hot dogs found their way on to King County school menus, Sherrye said.

    In addition, NABC worked with East Coast en-terprise Local Orbit to devel-op a food hub management tool with an online inven-tory, invoicing and ordering platform that would facilitate sales from northwest Wash-

    ington famers to volume buyers. The Farm To Table partnership with Seattle pro-vided the first test of the new system.

    Buyers now can quickly identify farm-of-origin and production methods, then place an order with just a few clicks and receive delivery through the food hub facil-ity. As many as 70 farms sell product through the online system to such institutions as United General Hospital, Overlake Medical Center, Tiny Tots Childcare Center and Educare Early Learning Center.

    For more information, visit www.agbizcenter.org

    Helping cultivate Whidbey Grown

    Provided photo

    Whidbey Island Grown signs are displayed by producers at farmers markets both on and off the island such as at Bur Oak Acres in Langley.

    Left: Sherrye Wyatt tastes regional ciders with restauran-teur Scott Frasier as point person for the Northwest Agri-culture Business Center which promotes local and regional products (Photo by Janis Reid). Above: Mark Laska, owner of Ciao Restaurant, promotes Whidbey Island Grown (Pro-vided photo).

    NW Agriculture Center aims to help local producers

  • A special publication of The Whidbey Examiner The Whidbey Island 2013 Farm Tour Guide Page 3

    Enjoy Walking Tours Family Activities

    Pick Veggies Pet Our Goats

    Meet Our Farmers

    EXPERIENCE

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

    Alf Christianson, a subsidiary of Sakata America Holding, honors

    Whidbey Islands farming community and invites them to join us in celebrating

    the 100th anniversary of Sakata.

    Cabbage seed produced by Whidbey Island farmers

    Burlington WA. 360-336-9727

    Huntersmoon BlueberriesJoe & Pennie Janousek 935 Bunch Lane, Oak Harbor, WA 98277 (360) 279-2804Organic blueberries Blueberry honey, chocolate covered blueberries Preserves, syrup, vinaigretteBlueberry tea Blueber-ry muffin soapDirections: From SR 20, turn right onto Fakkema if heading north or left if head-ing south. Turn right onto Taylor, turn left onto Silver Lake and turn left onto DeVries. At the bottom of the hill, turn right onto Bunch Lane. The farm is the first drive on the left.

    Wildwood FarmHeather Carder 2326 Happy Valley

    Road, Oak Harbor, WA 98277 (360) 679-3474 www.wildwoodfarm.comHorse breeding Boarding, training, and lessons Arabian English Pleasure, Saddle seat Sport horse disciplines Dressage, hunter/jumper Special Weekend Activity: $5 pony rides Directions:From SR 20, turn right on Whidbey Ave. if heading north or left if heading south. Turn left onto Regatta and turn right onto Crescent Harbor, which becomes Reservation Road after a sharp turn to the right. Turn left onto Happy Valley Road and continue up the hill and through the gates to the farm.

    Where to go,what to do

    Its a Case of family love for farmingBy Jim Waller

    Sheila Case-Smith has dirt in her blood.Case-Smith is a fourth generation farmer on Whidbey

    Islands Case Farm, which was established in 1898 and is the islands oldest.

    Alonzo Case began the family enterprise when he pur-chased 320 acres on the northern edge of Oak Harbor over 100 years ago. The farm has varied in size and function over its life, battled through the Depression and struggled through re-cessions, but it thrives today through the hard work of a long line of Case and Case-Smith family members.

    From the 1930s to 1960s, the farm was all things turkey, Sheila Case-Smith said.

    The farm, then called Case Brothers Farm, produced tur-key eggs to hatch, turkey chicks to sell and finished birds for market.

    After disease problems ended the profitability of selling turkeys in the mid-60s, the farm turned to raising chickens for several years, then to raising beef and hay and ran a custom baling business.

    In 1975, Henry Case planted two acres of raspberries for his daughter Sheila and new husband Mike as a cash crop. The Case brothers soon retired, and Sheila and Mike took over and renamed the operation Case Farm.

    By 1982 they were growing 35 acres of crops for U-pick and market sales.

    Over the years, the Cases scaled back their U-pick business because it was a killing pace, Sheila said. They now grow crops for direct market sales at two Whidbey Farmers Mar-kets, the 3-Sisters Market, North Whidbey Community Sup-ported Agriculture, a local buyers club and individuals.

    The only U-pick crop remaining is pumpkins, and the farm is visited by several children groups and families throughout October, hosted by Mike, who colors his hair orange and is known as Mr. Pumpkin.

    Mike is famous in the 5-and-under set, Sheila said.

    The Case-Smiths also run a cow/calf business and sell about a dozen each year.

    Mike handles that responsibility, Sheila said. He does all the big things. He was raised on a 1,000 acre ranch in Mon-tana.

    But for Sheila Case-Smith, it is all about the crops.I really enjoy producing something special for someone; it

    is gratifying, she said.We dont make a lot of money, but it is nice to make some-

    thing that is healthy and good to eat.It is also nice, she said, to find those who will pay her to do

    what she loves to do gardening.The farm has shifted from berries to sweat onions and Ital-

    ian vegetables.Onions are our claim to fame, she said, noting they pro-

    duce Whidbey Whoppers and Case Candy.Someone mentioned to her it was difficult to raise good

    tomatoes on the island, so she decided to prove them wrong, pointing out her lush harvest.

    She added, I also like to try new things, weird things.This year those include black gonzo beans from Afghani-

    stan.While the island is noted for its rocky soil, she said, it is

    also fertile and is a world leader in providing seed cabbage, spinach, beets and other cole crops.

    She said the farm is not certified organic, but that has more to do with lack of time and interest in paperwork than growing methods.

    Sheila added, All crops are grown without the use of chemical pesticides or herbicides using sustainable production methods.

    Along with Peter, who is a senior at Oak Harbor High School, Mike and Sheila have a married daughter, Elizabeth, living in Oakland and another, Jasmine, attending Pacific Lutheran University in Tacoma. All like to farm, but none are sure they want to take over the family tradition once Mike and Sheila decide to retire.

    Jim Waller photo

    Mike, Sheila and Peter Case-Smith are the latest generation to work the Case Farm purchased in 1898.

    Continued page 10

  • A special publication of The Whidbey Examiner The Whidbey Island 2013 Farm Tour Guide Page 4

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    Farm tour is perfect timing for blueberry farmBy Jessie Stensland

    Its hard to imagine any-one who knows more about growing blueberries than Joe Janousek.

    A retired engineer, Ja-nousek has taken a very sci-entific approach to growing the azure gems, from choos-ing the property to analyzing the leaves and soil and even picking the berries in a scientifically sound manner.

    Joe and Pennie Janousek started Huntersmoon Blue-berries on North Whidbey just six years ago. They are dedicated to growing late-season blueberries; their ber-ries ripen after the bounty of blueberries has faded on other Northwestern farms.

    Which makes the Whid-bey Island Farm Tour perfect timing. Visitors will be able to eat fresh, delicious berries by the fistful.

    They are hard to de-scribe, he said of the late-season berries. They are like eating candy. The sugar con-tent is going to be higher the later you go.

    Janousek explained that he and Pennie were living in California when a change in his job prompted them to consider a big life change. They decided to become farmers.

    They researched agricul-ture in California, Oregon and Washington. They con-sidered different properties and looked into different fruit.

    They focused on blueb-beries because they are one of the most profitable, he said.

    They discovered Whidbey Island, which he said is per-fect for growing blueberries. They orignally wanted to live on South Whidbey, but found a great property on North Whidbey though the house needed some work.

    I took soil samples and water samples, he said. The

    soil is ideal for growing blue-berries expect for iron and boron.

    They decided that late-season berries would give them a competitive edge. They purchased 5,000 plants from a nursery in Oregon.

    The Aurora variety, he explained, is both rare and new. Its extremely late sea-son, which puts it at a risk if theres an early freeze. But he said the sweet, floral flavor is worth it.

    Legacy is variety thats not normally grown com-mercially, he said, because the plants are leggy and a pain in the butt. But again, the pain is worth it because of the sweet reward. Janousek said the sugar content of the berries is an amazing 20 to 22

    percent.We have some customers

    who only want this variety, he said.

    The Elliot is a more tradi-tional blueberry, he said.

    Its good for bakers, good shelf life and a very heavy bearer, he said.

    In addition, the Janouseks planted an earlier variety just for themselves.

    Janousek said the pick-ing season is about 10 weeks long and the ripening of the different varieties overlap. They offer U-pick as well as already-picked berries. He said they are extremely picky about picking. The berries are picked at the peak of ripe-ness, when they are packed with the most flavor and sugar.

    Besides fresh berries, Huntersmoon also offers a variety of products made from the farms berries. Ja-nousek said they hired a local processor to make products from their berries using his wifes recipes.

    They offer a barbecue sauce thats shockingly deli-cious as well as a tasty mus-tard and preserves. They also have honey that comes from the bees of a beekeeper they hired to pollinate their bushes.

    Janousek said he loses count each year of how many cartons of berries they pick, but its a lot.

    We wont get any sleep for 10 weeks, he said.

    Nevertheless, he said hes never gotten tired of eat-

    ing the flavorful, amazingly healthy berries whether theyre in cobblers, pies, jam, covered with chocolate or

    fresh from the field.I make great scones,

    he said. I have a recipe I worked out long ago.

    Jessie Stensland photo

    Above: Joe Janousek stands about the rows of bushes on the Huntersmoon Blueberries on North Whidbey. He and his wife, Pennie, run the late-season, or-ganic blueberry farm. Below: Huntersmoon Blueberries growns mainly late-season berries, which start ripening after other blueberry crops are long gone.

  • A special publication of The Whidbey Examiner The Whidbey Island 2013 Farm Tour Guide Page 5

    By Ron Newberry

    As Kylie Neal carefully steps between rows of car-rots, a text appears on her iPhone.

    Its from Georgie Smith. A new restaurant order has come in.

    We need 50 pounds of carrots, Neal calls out.

    If all goes according to schedule, those baby carrots will be picked from the field at Smiths Coupeville farm, loaded in a truck, delivered and, perhaps, even served on a plate at the Seattle restau-rant.

    All within 24 hours.Its part of a quick turn-

    around orchestrated by Smith and other Whidbey Island farmers to meet the growing demand from res-taurants and grocery and specialty stores that aim to offer the freshest of products to their customers.

    Some restaurants such as

    the Oystercatcher in Coupe-ville will change its menu regularly based on whats in season locally.

    I just heard the average produce travels 1,500 miles, said Scott Fraser, owner and chef at Frasers Gourmet Hideaway in Oak Harbor. Would you rather have something that travels only a mile or two or something that travels 1,500 miles?

    The idea of serving the freshest fruit and vegetables is a desired goal because of the taste, but not always at-tainable. Still, several island restaurants team up with lo-cal farms to foster a beneficial relationship for both parties and for the consumer.

    Smith, a fourth-gener-ation farmer, has accounts with at least two dozen res-taurants and stores on the island and more in Skagit County and in Seattle. Her business is known as Willo-wood Farm of Ebeys Prairie.

    The demand for fresher products shifted her opera-tion to a twice-a-week deliv-ery this year after she pur-chased a refrigerated delivery truck a year ago.

    Grown on Smiths 15-acre mixed row crop farm are 12 varieties of potatoes, lettuce, radishes, garlic, spinach, carrots, beets, beans, mixed greens and more.

    She and her crew of eight

    workers pick on Mondays and Thursdays and deliver on Tuesdays and Fridays.

    The switch to more fre-quent deliveries has impacted the menu at Christophers on Whidbey in Coupeville.

    Its really helped us, said Andreas Wurzrainer, chef and owner of Christo-phers. In the past, I would only get once a week delivery and I would only be able to

    have some local produce for like three or four days a week maximum. Now Im able to have her stuff seven days a week.

    Smiths clients also in-clude the Front Street Grill, the Oystercatcher and Ciao in Coupeville; Frasers Gour-met Hideaway and the BBQ Joint in Oak Harbor and Gordons on Blueberry Hill in Freeland.

    I so value the restaurants that buy from me, Smith said. I feel very strongly about building relationships together. I try to be reli-able and responsive to their needs.

    Wurzrainer said dishes served at his restaurant are made up of roughly 60 per-cent local ingredients. Smiths crew frequently delivers to him braising greens used for cooking, mesclun and baby lettuce mixes for salads, on-ions, potatoes, carrots and squash.

    I wouldnt be able to source exclusively locally be-cause its not feasible, Wurz-rainer said. Not because they cant grow as much, but its also my menu. Im limited in how much I can source lo-cally unless I would change my menu very regularly.

    Bigger supply companies often can offer more variet-

    ies at better prices, but local growers are getting more competitive and growing a lot more than in the past, Wurz-rainer said.

    However, when it comes to taste, theres usually no contest. Thats where the lo-cal suppliers set themselves apart.

    The bonus is you cant get any fresher, Fraser said. They pick it in the morning and they drop it off in the af-ternoon. The challenge is the longevity of the time. Some-times, the season is very short like the strawberry season can be a very short season. We all want locally grown strawberries. Some have later ripening so we can get them from Skagit. They have later ripening strawberries. The challenge is to do the year-round thing. That comes with our climate and where were situated. We try to use as much as possible seasonally.

    That sort of demand keeps Smiths work crew picking in Coupeville and de-livering on and off the island.

    I like being a part of something like this, said Morgan Savage, 25, of Oak Harbor, who works on Smiths farm. Its a job where I feel like Ive really ac-complished something at the end of the day.

    Ron Newberry photos

    Above: Kylie Neal goes over a list of produce orders from restaurants while fellow workers Krishna Mays (hat) and Morgan Savage harvest carrots at Georgie Smiths farm in Coupeville. Below: Paige Handy pours a leafy blend of greens, known as mesclun mix, into a bin to be weighed. The produce from Smiths farm is delivered twice a week.

    Feasting on FreshnessFarms work to meet growing demand for island produce

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  • A special publication of The Whidbey Examiner The Whidbey Island 2013 Farm Tour Guide Page 8

    Megan Hansen photos

    Linda Bartlett, left, and Valerie Reuther operate Rosehip Farm and Garden in Coupeville. The Central Whidbey farm offers a variety of produce, flowers and eggs.

    By Megan Hansen

    At Rosehip Farm and Garden, Lin-da Bartlett and Valerie Reuther really focus on establishing a sus-tainable way of farming.Whether its utilizing natural products to

    repel insects or turning beds over by hand, the Central Whidbey farm tries to find a natural method for farm-ing practices.

    Bartlett said she con-siders the farm beyond organic, and while they arent a certified organic farm, they go above and beyond organic practices.

    They work on building up healthy soil, which then produces healthy plants, Bartlett said.

    They also proactive exclusion to keep pests out.

    Prevention is most of our philosophy.Some of Bartletts crops are grown inside

    greenhouses while others are grown outside in the elements.

    Rosehip is what Bartlett calls low mechanized. She uses minimal machinery and does not own a tractor. Most beds are turned by hand.

    We invest more in people than petro-leum, she said.

    At the farm, located on Fort Casey Road, there are a variety of products cultivated from fresh produce such as greens, tomatoes and carrots to more specialty crops such as pea shoots and basil especially produced

    for local restaurants.The farm also plays host to a group of

    ducks that are let out of a pen each morning to roam and greet visitors.

    Rosehip also has a rotating system of hens.

    Both fowl provide eggs the farm also sells.

    The chickens also provide assistance in breaking down bed, by eating old produce, till-ing and fertilizing the land in one of Bartletts natural methods.

    All of Rosehips pro-duce is sold only in the local community, en-suring produce can be picked at the optimum ripeness.

    The farm also has a system in place to ensure it can sell through December, offering late season crops.

    One of the reason Barlett said she got into farming was to be able to feed people healthy, high-quality food.

    In 2005 they started a CSA and currently have 35 members.

    In addition to the CSA, they also have a farm store that works on an honor system. They also sell at the Coupeville Farmers Market.

    Rosehip started as a nursery and the farm still grows an abundance of flowers, which are used a lot in weddings.

    Barlett also provides opportunity for fu-ture farmers, utilizing 2-3 interns each grow-ing season.

    Rosehip focus on natural, sustainable

    We invest more in people than petro-leum.

    Linda Bartlett, Rosehip Farm and Garden

    Above: Bartlett shows how she utilizes chickens to help break down beds. Left: Reuther and Bartlett check out some plants in one of several greenhouses on the farm.

  • A special publication of The Whidbey Examiner The Whidbey Island 2013 Farm Tour Guide Page 9

    We love your pets almost as much as you do!

    Mon - Sat9 am ~ 6 pm

    Sunday10 am ~ 5 pm

    A Full Service Farm & Garden CenterSR 525 at Bayview Road

    [email protected] (360) 321-6789

    Bloom Where Youre Plan

    ted!

    Excellent Selection of Raw & Frozen Pet Food

    U.S. Sourced & U.S. MadeDry & Wet Cat & Dog Food

    Organic Livestock Feed Including Locally Sourced & Made

    Quality Eastern Washington Hay

    Live Chicks in Season

    For Your Pets

    For Your Livestock

    Organic Products

    Non-toxic Solutions

    331-6799 | 1609 E. Main FreelandMon-Sat 8-5:30, Sun 9-5:30

    Coupon Good Until Oct 11, 2013

    By Nathan Whalen A 5-acre pasture nestled in the

    woods near the Greenbank Farm is the home of the Knox family, which is working to ensure the farm remains a family one.

    Aracely Knox, who has been farming at her property, known as Strawfield, for five years, grows ev-erything from fruit and spices and grows a small, but diverse selection of fowl and pigs.

    My first goal is to feed my family, Knox said.

    Several different types of fowl currently live on her five acres. She raises chickens, peking ducks and guinea fowl, which originate from Africa.

    She is hope to expand her guin-eas into a flock and sell their eggs, which are small and have a buttery flavor.

    Strawfield is also home to ap-ple, pear and plum trees along with berry bushes.

    She also planted hops along the fence line of her property.

    Volunteers will be on hand to offer tours of her farm during the Whidbey Island Farm Tour that takes place from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Sept. 21 and 22.

    The farm is located off North Bluff Road near the Greenbank Farm on Central Whidbey Island.

    During the tour, she will press cider and promoted her house spice made from plants that she grows at her farm.

    Knox, who is a professionally trained cook, also produces pick-led vegetables, relish and a steak sauce.

    I want to continue the food traditions of our ancestors, Knox said.

    She sells eggs and other items out of an honesty stand located near the entrance of her farm.

    Strawfield is one of more than a dozen farms participating in this years farm tour.

    Knoxs farm is located near two other farms participating in the farm tour.

    Pronkin Pastures Alpaca Ranch is located next door to Strawfield. It features llamas and alpacas along with a farm store.

    Strawfield and Pronkin Pas-tures is located north of the public-ly owned Greenbank Farm, which is also participating in the tour.

    The farm, which is part of the tour on Sunday, is home to the agriculture training center that provides schooling to a handful of students looking to become farmers.

    For more information about the Whidbey Island Farm Tour, go to www.whidbeyfarmtour.com

    Strawfields ducks, spices sure to draw folks

    Nathan Whalen photos

    Above: Aracely Knox stands behind the huge leafs of her gunera plant which grows at her farm, Strawfield. At right:

    CUTLINE IN-COMPLETE

  • Page 10 A special publication of The Whidbey Examiner The Whidbey Island 2013 Farm Tour Guide

    Case FarmMike Smith & Sheila Case-Smith 98 Case Rd, Oak Harbor, WA 98277 (360) 675-1803115 year old farm Beef Poultry Hay & Grain Veggies U-Pick pumpkin patchDirections: From SR 20 at mile marker 34, turn right onto Case Road if heading north or left if heading south. Continue 1/2 mile to the farm.

    Lavender Wind Store (shop and manufac-turing kitchen in town, not the farm!)Sarah Richards 15 Coveland St, Coupe-ville, WA 98239 (360) 678-0919 www.lavenderwind.comManufacturing kitchen for the farm and for outside producers Dried herbs, fruits, and vegetables Teas Baking mixes and baked goods Preserved products Laven-der Wind Farm products Other produc-ers productsDirections: From SR 20, turn right onto Main Street in Coupeville if heading north or left if heading south. Continue on Main Street for 0.6 miles and turn left onto NW Coveland. The shop at the corner of NW Coveland and NW Alexander.Willowood FarmGeorgie Smith 399 South Ebey Rd, Coupeville, WA 98239 (360) 929-0244 www.facebook.com/WillowoodFarmofE-beysPrairieFourth generation historic farm Veggies - over 200 varieties! Sells both on and off-island Supplies restaurants from Whidbey to SeattleDirections: From SR 20, turn left onto Ebey Road if heading north or right if heading south. Stay to the right when the road curves left, turn right onto Cook Road for about 1/4 mile and turn left onto the farm drive. NOTE: Willowood Farm is not accessible off of Ebey Road.

    Rosehip Farm & GardenLinda Bartlett & Valerie Reuther 338 Fort Casey Rd, Coupeville, WA 98239

    (360) 678-3577 Find us at www.localharvest.org [email protected] Program Farm stand Veggies Or-chard Flowers Nursery plants Chicken and duck eggsDirections: From SR 20, turn left onto Terry Road if heading north or right if heading south. Turn left onto Fort Casey Road and continue for 1 mile. The farm is on the right.

    Greenbank Farm & Agriculture Training Center

    Judy Feldman, Executive Director, Sebas-tian Aguilar, Training Center Director 765 Wonn Road, Greenbank, WA 98253 (360) 678-7171 www.greenbankfarm.orgVeggies Seed crops Cover crops Food and wine shops Solar energy project flower gardens, rain gardens trailsDirections: From SR 525, turn right onto Wonn Road if heading north or left if heading south. Turn left into the first driveway. The Agriculture Training Center is at the north end of the parking area near the Jim Davis House (Building E).

    Pronkin Pastures Alpaca RanchLeeAnna & Ron Jorgenson 2582 North Bluff Rd, Greenbank, WA 98253 (360) 678-0481 www.pronkinpastures.comAlpacas and llama Alpaca fiber Fiber activities Compost facility Farm store Spinning and other processing demon-strationsDirections: From SR 525, veer right onto North Bluff Road if heading north or, if heading south, turn left onto Wonn Road and then left onto North Bluff Road. Continue about 1 mile and turn left onto the gravel road just after the Mercer sign on the right and before the Pronkin Pas-tures sign on the left. The farm is on the right.

    Strawfield House Aracely & John Knox 2604 North Bluff Rd, Greenbank, WA 98253 (360) 678-1747 [email protected], guinea hens, chickens, turkeys Pigs, goatsRow crops, grains Herbs and House Spice Berries, orchard fruit, grapesDirections: From SR 525, veer right onto North Bluff Road if heading north or, if heading south, turn left onto Wonn Road and then left onto North Bluff Road. Continue about 1 mile and turn left onto the gravel road just after the Mercer sign on the right and before the Pronkin Pastures sign on the left. Strawfield is on the left at the end of the drive.

    Whidbey Island Distillery Bev & Steve Heising 3466 Craw Rd, Langley, WA 98260 (360) 321-4705

    www.whidbeydistillery.com Unique, owner-designed and built distill-ery Free tasting Farm store Loganberry liquor Raspberry liquor Rye Whiskey coming soon!Directions: From SR 525, turn left onto Coles Road if heading north or right if heading south. Turn right on Craw Road. The distillery is the first driveway on the left.

    Sonshine Farm Pamela Uhlig 5662 Crawford Road, Langley, WA 98260 (360) 321-5772 www.SonshineFarmofWhidbeyIsland.com [email protected] meat goats Oberhasli & British Guernsey dairy goats Alpacas Free-range chickens Demonstration Square Foot Garden Farm StoreDirections: From SR 525, turn right onto Crawford Road if heading north or left if heading south. The farm is the first drive-way on the left.

    Whidbey Island Vineyard & Winery Gregory & Elizabeth Osenbach 5237 Langley Road, Langley, WA 98260 (360) 221-2040 www.whidbeyislandwinery.comTwenty year-old vineyard Wine produc-tion facilities Three varieties of white grapes Wine tastingDirections: From SR 525, turn right onto Langley Road if heading north or left if heading south. Continue 2 miles. The farm is on the right.

    Paradise Found Fiber FarmMary Donaty 4081 Springwater Lane, Clinton, WA 98236 (360) 579-1906 www.paradisefoundfiber.comLlamas Alpacas Pygora goats Chickens Fruit trees Farm Store Fiber ShackDirections: From SR 525, turn left onto Cultus Bay Road if heading north or right if heading south. Continue 2.7 miles and turn left onto Springwater. The farm is the 3rd driveway on the left.

    Glendale Shepherd Stan, Lynn, & Erik Swanson 7616 Glendale Heights Road, Clinton, WA 98236 (360) 579-1955 www.glen-daleshepherd.drupalgardens.com/homeGrade A DairyCheese room Handcraft-ed sheeps milk cheese Farm-raised lamb Directions: From SR 525, turn left onto Cultus Bay Road if heading north or right if heading south. Continue 3.5 miles, turn left onto Glendale Road for 1.5 miles, turn right onto Roseberry for about 300 feet and turn left through the Swanson Tree Farm gate onto the gravel road. Stay to the right for 0.75 mile to the farm. Note: the farm road is one lane and may require us-ing a turnout to allow others to pass.

    Find a variety of local produce and products during on Whidbey Island

    From page 3

    Helping farmers, ranchers, and rural residents thrive for more than 90 years.

    Northwest Farm Credit Services

    is proud to support theWhidbey Island Farm Tour.

    800.548.2699 | farm-credit.com

    Helping farmers, ranchers, and rural residents thrive for more than 90 years.

    Northwest Farm Credit Services

    is proud to support theWhidbey Island Farm Tour.

    800.548.2699 | farm-credit.com northwestfcs.com

  • A special publication of The Whidbey Examiner The Whidbey Island 2013 Farm Tour Guide Page 11

    By Celeste Erickson

    For three days a week, Lynn Swanson does a balancing act calculating the time and tem-perature of her product farmstead sheeps milk cheese.

    Ive got to watch it like a hawk, she said of the day-long process.

    Swanson is the cheese maker at Glendale Shepherd, located in Clinton and featured in this years Whidbey Island Farm Tour.

    Glendale Shepherd has been in the family for three generations.

    The farm was purchased in 1949 by Stan Swansons family and has remained in the family ever since.

    Today, the farm is a three-person opera-tion. Her husband, Stan, is in charge of raising the sheep, their son, Erik, milks the sheep and Lynn makes the cheese.

    All three are licensed milk processors at the Grade A Dairy.

    In the 1990s, the family used the farm as a summer camp. Lynn said there werent many activities for children in the summer at the time, so they decided to open the area as a camp with more than 20 attendees. Many of the buildings on the farm today are recycled from the camp days, she said.

    At the tour, people will be able to view the products at Glendale Shepherd and browse the newly built tasting room. The family will take guests through the milking parlor, though the sheep will already be milked, and let them check out the equipment used for cheese making. Activities will also be offered

    for children. Last year, children made drawings of the

    sheep and named them. Lynn said they decid-ed to use the names for the sheep and ended up with names like Olive, Letee and her favor-ite - Pickle Jar.

    Three main cheese with sheeps milk are available at the farm: Island Brebis, Saratoga Passage and aged feta.

    The brebis features a sweet, nutty flavor that develops as the cheese ages, three months to a year. The Saratoga Passage is a deep and rich nutty flavor, aged three to nine months. The feta cheese has a rich complex flavor. Lamb cuts are also available on the farm.

    The farm is Animal Welfare Approved, a label that ensures the animals are raised and slaughtered humanely. The lambs are raised by their mother for the first weeks of life and then raised on the pasture. The farm uses the butcher services of the Puget Sound Meat Producers Cooperative.

    Products are sold locally at the Bayview Farmers Market, Second Street Market and Clinton Thursday Market.

    The products are also available at several Seattle locations such as the University Dis-trict Farmers Market, The Calf & Kid, an ar-tisan cheese shop, and DeLaurenti, a specialty food and wine store.

    Prices range from $4 to 20 for cheeses de-pending on the size.

    All products will be available at the farm during the tour. The farm also added yogurt and cream cheese to their product line this year.

    Curds &

    whey

    From milk to wheel: Farm makes sheeps milk cheese

    Celeste Erickson photo

    Lynn Swanson, cheese-maker at Glendale Shep-herd, makes Island Brebis, a sheeps milk cheese, in a 30-gallon container. The milk is high yielding and makes nine wheels of five pound cheese, she said. The liquid drained from the process is also used to make ricotta cheese. After draining, Swanson pours the curds into a wheel container and continues to squeeze any remain-ing liquid by using a press and the weight of the oth-er wheels. She flips each wheel and rotates the them in the press every 15 min-utes for the first hour and once an hour afterward. The cheese dries and ages from three months to a year before sale.

  • A special publication of The Whidbey Examiner The Whidbey Island 2013 Farm Tour Guide Page 12

    By Ben Watanabe

    Sipping the sweet logan-berry liqueur by Whidbey Island Distillery on a hot day is hard to beat.

    The smooth, dark liquid has a strong scent of the tart berry that was mashed into distilled liquor. Its also a strong spirit at 23-percent al-cohol by volume.

    Visitors to the distillery on owners Bev and Steve Heisings nine-acre Langley property can expect a tour of the grounds. The Heisings re-stored a barn and sheds that are used for tasting rooms, storage and batch collection. Theres also the bunker, the distillerys pseudo-under-ground laboratory where Steve monitors the distilla-tion process inside the still he and son Jim Heising designed and built.

    We dont just taste and send them away, Bev Heis-ing said We try to create an experience.

    Being in the Bunker, as the Heisings call it, is quite an experience. From the parking lot above the bunker, visitors can walk down a steep grade of a dozen stairs into the temporary whiskey-brewing

    room. Yes, Whidbey Island

    Distillery is working on a rye whiskey, likely to be named Whidskey.

    Through a small doorway, the bunker opens into a cot-tage with several rooms and

    a large kitchen. Beyond that is the distillerys store, lined with 35-milliliter bottles of the dark maroon liqueur. There are also Whidbey Distillery T-shirts, hats, lo-ganberry liqueur chocolates, loganberry jam and copper

    ornaments. To the right of the store is

    the still, the heart of the Heis-ings lab. Thats where Steve and his son, Jim, spend most of their time tinkering with their specially designed stills.

    As a craft distillery, Whidbey Island Distillery is required to use 51 percent of its produce from Washing-ton. The Heisings surpassed that requisite with 87 percent of the liqueurs produce from

    Washington, including all the wine used in the distillation process. Only the sugar is from outside of the Evergreen State.

    The upcoming Whidskey will not be ready in time for the farm tour. Davin Dok, the head brewmaster, said Whidskey is made with 49 percent rye from outside of Washington, 3 percent from Washington and 48 percent barley from Washington.

    We wanted to show our kids that we could make a U.S. product from the ground up, Bev Heising said.

    We feel like Whidbey Is-land owns this product.

    Being part of the farm tour, despite the distillery not sowing and reaping a crop in the traditional sense of say, wheat, was not an issue for Steve Heising. The legaliza-tion of craft distilleries by the Washington state Legislature was designed to be an eco-nomic boon to farming and agriculture, which could use excess crop to make spirits.

    It was a simple idea, farmers have always done it, Steve Heising said.

    Whidbey Island Distill-ery Loganberry Liqueur is a hit at bars around the island such as the Saratoga 76 at Village Pizzeria in Langley. A bottle from the distillery costs $32.80 and the raspberry li-queur costs $34.21.

    The distillery opened in 2009, sold its first bottle in 2011 out of two batches of loganberry liqueur. This year, the distillery pumped out 14 loganberry batches, about 500 bottles per batch, and 4,000 bottles of raspberry liqueur.

    Take in the process of turning tart berries into a sweet spirit while walking around the distillery grounds, including a pond, picnic tables and a trail.

    Distillery displays loganberry liqueur process

    Ben Watanabe photos

    Tiffany Waters labels bottles of Whidbey Island Distillerys loganberry liqueur.

    Matt Heising works on some of the distill-erys equip-ment.

    Steve Heising, Tiffany Waters, Davin Dok, Bev

    Heising and Jim Heising

    present a recent batch of bottled

    loganberry li-queur, Whidbey

    Island Distill-erys specialty.

    We OurLocal Farmers!

    Gifts from the Heart Food Bank would like to thank our local farmers who donate thousands of pounds of

    fresh, healthy, locally grown produce to the food bank each year.

    Thank you!Gifts from the Heart Food Bank

    P.O. Box 155Coupeville, WA 98239

    360-678-8312giftsfromtheheartfoodbank.com

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