Farm Tour - Whidbey Island Farm Tour 2014

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Transcript of Farm Tour - Whidbey Island Farm Tour 2014

  • A supplement to the Whidbey News-Times, The Whidbey Examiner and South Whidbey Record

    10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 20 & Sunday, Sept. 21

    Farm Tour GuideWhidbey Island

    Central Whidbey farmer Bill Smith, foreground, plants Rockwell beans while Clark Bishop rototills coriander in Ebeys Prairie.

    Photo by Karen Bishop

  • Page 2 WHIDBEY ISLAND FARM TOUR SEPTEMBER 2014

    By RON NEWBERRY

    When the winds pick up and whip through Ebeys Prairie, plastic packing material used at Georgie Smiths farm has been known to go airborne.

    Once it lands and sticks somewhere on the prairie, Smith usually hears about it.

    Wilburs always mad at me because my plastic bags are always blowing out of here and blow into his fields, Smith said of her farming neighbor, Wilbur Bishop. Were always trying to pick up our garbage.

    The banter is not contentious.When you work in such close proximity

    to one another and come to depend on one another in a small agricultural community such as the one in Central Whidbey Island theres a little leeway given for such infrac-tions.

    Especially on Ebeys Prairie, where farm families have plowed the soil together since the 19th century.

    There have been people here whove been here their whole lives, said Dale Sherman, who runs Shermans Pioneer Farm Produce. We do help each other when we can and sup-port each other. That works really well in this community.

    The Sherman family is represented all over the prairie and is among the farm families with the deepest roots, joining the Engles, Smiths and Bishops.

    Most of the primary farming operations on the prairie feature a Sherman family connec-tion, including two of the biggest Sherman Farms (owned by Don and Deb Sherman) and Ebey Road Farm (owned by Karen and Wilbur Bishop).

    Karen Bishop was formerly Karen Sherman.

    You cant say anything in this community because you might be talking about some-bodys cousin, joked Dale Sherman, who is a cousin to Wilbur and Julieanna Purdue, who operate Prairie Bottom Farm.

    Whether its leasing more suitable land for a specific crop or borrowing heavy equip-ment, farmers on the prairie do lean on one another.

    Smith, a fourth-generation farmer who grows vegetables on 20 acres at Willowood Farm, said she used to take some of the produce from Prairie Bottom Farm to the Coupeville Farmers Market when the Purdues just started out. Now, Smith said, the Purdues are returning the favor while she focuses on delivering vegetables to restau-rants and other sites.

    Smith also leases land from the Bishops and has borrowed their tractor from time to time to help transport heavy fertilizer.

    Dale Sherman leases a patch of land from the Bishops to grow additional squash.

    We all do work together, which is nice, Smith said, because, historically, on the prai-rie the farmers always collaborated together.

    Smith pointed to the wheat harvests in the early 1900s on Central Whidbey when a threshing machine, devised to separate grain from stalks and husks, would stop at each farm and all farmers would converge and help.

    We just had a historic precedent of always working together, Smith said.

    Bob W. Engle, who helps run Engle Family Farms on Fort Casey Road, said that farmers are generally an independent group but often are there for each other when theres a need.

    If something were to happen, wed jump in, he said.

    After all, its family.Everyone right here in Coupeville whos

    serious into farming, Im related to, said Engle, whose family has farmed land longer than any other currently on the prairie.

    But theres no relation to Smith, whose family has farmed on the prairie since 1890s.

    Smith, 43, jokes that her family was always kind of the blacksheep as their cows used to get loose and head for greener pastures at Sunnyside Cemetery, leaving unwelcome deposits.

    We were always famous for borrowing stuff, Smith said. My grandfather had a say-ing, If you go to all the trouble of borrowing it, why the hell would you ever take it back? He was always famous for borrowing equipment and not taking it back.

    I remember Dale Sherman was over when I was building my house. We unearthed this old rusty, rotting thing. He was like, That was my dads! Your grandfather borrowed it and never brought it back!

    If home is where the heart is, then community is where youll nd your soul. We can help you nd your Heart and Soul or introduce new neighbors to the ones next door! Stop by our of ce or visit WindermereWhidbey.com to learn more.

    Windermere Real Estate/Whidbey Island

    Oak Harbor32785 SR 20, Ste 4360/675-5953

    Coupeville5 S. Main Street

    360/678-5858

    Where will you . . .Where will you . . .Where will you . . .Where will you . . .plant your ro s?

    Windermere Real Estate/South WhidbeyFreeland5531 Freeland Ave.360/331-6006

    Langley223 Second St.360/221-8898

    Prairie farmers working together

    Photos by Ron Newberry

    Above, a tractor cuts a field at the Engle Farm on Fort Casey Road in August. At right, Marion Mayoussier picks French filet beans at Georgie Smiths Willowood Farm.

  • SEPTEMBER 2014 WHIDBEY ISLAND FARM TOUR Page 3

    Enjoy Walking Tours Family Activities

    Pick Veggies Pet Our Goats

    Meet Our Farmers

    EXPERIENCE

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

    Enjoy the Birds of Whidbey Islandwith Bird Seed & Feeders from

    5565 Van Barr Place, Suite AB, Freeland | www.freeland.wbu.com | 360-341-1404

    Bird HousesBird BathsBird SeedFeedersGiftsBooksChimes

    By MICHELLE BEAHM

    There are more than 236,000 fast food restau-rants in the United States.Ten years ago, there were around 202,000.

    With so many fast food restau-rants, many people get food there for the cheap, convenient fuel for their meals. But there are others who do just the opposite.

    Slow Food USA is an organization all about good, clean and fair food, according to the director of commu-nications, Aimee Thunberg.

    Good in that its tasty, seasonal, fresh and wholesome, Thunberg said. Clean in that its grown in a way that doesnt harm the environ-ment, people or animals. And fair, meaning those who grow, pick and prepare it are justly treated and fairly compensated.

    Slow Food USA has a Whidbey Island chapter. According to Vincent Nattress, president, the slow food movement is essentially the antith-esis of fast food.

    Its become about preserving farming traditions, traditions of food preparation and encouraging peo-ple to break bread together and sit down and eat, Nattress said.

    Nattress said that this movement is important because the way agri-culture has been going has made the gene pool for plants and animals become thinner and thinner

    shallower and shallower.Recently, a deadly pig virus has

    been sweeping the nation, with a near 100 percent mortality rate, according to an article written for National Public Radio in June. Nattress said that because pigs are all basically genetically the same, this is a real, concerning problem.

    Slow food is about preserving lots of different varieties of food, he said.

    Wilbur Purdue, owner of the Prairie Bottom Farm in Coupeville, isnt an official member of the Slow Food chapter, but he said he and his family do a lot to support the cause.

    The Purdues grow myriad veg-etables and currently have many breeds of squash and beans grow-ing on their farm, though they grow many other types of vegetables throughout the year.

    We try to provide a variety of produce, Purdue said.

    Prairie Bottom Farm sells the majority of their vegetables, either at farmers markets or through a pro-gram called Community Supported Agriculture.

    Through CSA, people can pur-chase full or partial shares of the crops, according to Purdue, and at his farm, they can come pick the fresh produce up every Tuesday from the end of May until the end of October.

    They also provide recipes and

    information on how to utilize veg-etables people might not be familiar with.

    People have started using new vegetables because they were told what they are, Purdue said.

    Slow food is a sit-down dinner with your kid, Nattress said.

    Its slow food to have a garden. Its slow food to go to the farmers market.

    Its slow food to use a recipe passed down.

    Slow food, he said, is about respecting where food comes from and respecting food traditions.

    Food, which used to connect us to each other, to our histories and to our land, is all too often seen as mere fuel, Thunberg said.

    It doesnt have to be this way. Its entirely possible for our food and farming to be sources of com-munity connection, health and well-being for all people and the planet.

    Taking time to stop and taste the foodWhidbey Slow Food movement is preserving farming traditions

    Photos by Michelle Beahm

    Above, Wilbur Purdue harvests beans from his Prairie Bottom Farm. At upper right, Slow Food is growing your own food, buying fresh produce from local farms and taking time to stop to respect where food comes from.

  • Page 4 WHIDBEY ISLAND FARM TOUR SEPTEMBER 2014

    1. Hunters Moon Organic (SATURDAY ONLY)

    Claire Lichtenfels and Hal Jackson935 Bunch Lane, Oak Harbor, WA 98277

    360-279-2804Using organic and biodynamic management principles, we believe in the importance of all things in balance, growing in a way that results in healthy soil, healthy plants and nutritionally dense food. Presently, we grow three varieties of late-season blueberries and also sell blueberry honey produced from the bees that pollinate our bushes. Over the next few years, we plan on diversifying what we grow and expanding our range of value added products. Also important to us are issues of food security, locally and globally. This year we have committed to donating a percentage of the profits from our farm to support small farmers in Haiti.Directions: From Oak Harbor, travel north on State Highway 20 and turn right onto Fakkema Road. Turn right onto Taylor Road, turn left onto Silver Lake and then turn right onto Bunch Lane. First house on the left.

    2. Pacific Winds Farm (SATURDAY ONLY)

    Patricia and Mike Miller

    2870 Torpedo Road, Oak Harbor, WA 98277360-929-6041

    The Millers are re-energizing a tree farm thats been a long-standing traditional source of Christmas trees for Whidbey residents. They are also raising much of their own food, including beef, eggs and chickens, veggies and fruit from a variety of trees. They collect roof runoff from their large utility building to use on the farm and employ earth-friendly techniques to manage weeds and pests. Stop by to see how Christmas trees are grown and learn about creative ways to become more self-sufficient.Directions: From State Highway 20, turn onto 16th Avenue (right if northbound, left if southbound). Turn right on Regatta Drive, left onto Crescent Harbor Road and left onto Torpedo Road. Watch for farm sign on right and follow directional signs to farm.

    3. Hummingbird Farm Nursery and Garden

    Lee Spear 2319 Zylstra Road, Oak Harbor, WA 98277

    360-679-5044www.hummingbirdfarmnursery.com

    Hummingbird Farm Nursery and Gardens is a specialty perennial nursery and gift

    shop. Established in the early 1990s, it has become a favorite destination for avid and amateur gardeners alike, as well as those who simply enjoy the tranquility of our beauti-ful display gardens or a leisurely time in our picnic and recreational area. For the week-end of the farm tour, Hummingbird will have a perennial plants nursery, fresh and dried flowers and herbs, freshly brewed compost tea, small-space veggie gardening, gift shop, bocce ball court and picnic areas.Directions: From State Highway 20, turn onto Swantown Road (left if northbound, right if southbound), then turn left on Fort Nugent Road. Go two miles west and watch for theblue barn at Zylstra Road.

    4. Shermans Pioneer FarmDale and Liz Sherman

    172 S. Ebey Road, Coupeville, WA 98239360-678-4675

    www.shermanspioneerfarmproduce.comShermans Pioneer Farm has been a working farm for over 100 years. Squash has been our main crop for over 70 years. In the early 1950s, Edwin Sherman, a few other local farmers and WSU teamed up and crossed a sweet meat hubbard and a blue hubbard to get our sweet sugar hubbard squash that we still grow today. We harvest in the fall, store in our barns in winter and usually are planting in May when we take out the last of the previous years crop. We also grow a variety of pump-kins in our pumpkin patch, raise beef and will be giving trolley rides around the farm during the Farm Tour weekend.Directions:From State Highway 20, turn onto Ebey Road (left if northbound, right if south-bound). The farm is the third house on the right, with lots of old farm equipment in the yard.

    5. Willowood FarmGeorgie Smith

    399 S. Ebey Road, Coupeville, WA 98239360-929-0244

    www.willowoodfarm.wordpress.com

    Willowood Farm is a fourth-generation his-toric farm located in the heart of the Ebeys Reserve National Historic Park in Coupeville on WhidbeyIsland. For the Farm Tour weekend: A lunch plate prepared by Oystercatcher

    chef Tyler Hansen using Willowood Farm products will be for sale, Sunday only.

    Huge selection of seed garlic for home gardeners. More than 20 varieties adapted to regional conditions. Garlic planting demo.

    Naturally grown vegetables, 200+ vari-eties

    Potatoes, dry beans, squash, tomatoes, peppers, salad greens and more.

    Pigs, turkeys and chickens (eggs). Tomato and pepper hoophouse tours. Seasonal produce sales. Straw-bale maze for kids. Explore our

    huge historic barn.Directions: From State Highway 20, turn onto Ebey Road (left if northbound, right if southbound).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.

    6. Prairie Bottom FarmWilbur and Julieanna Purdue

    293 Engle Road, Coupeville, WA 98239360-632-5762

    www.prairiebottomfarm.comPrairie Bottom Farm is a small, family-run, mar-ket garden located in the heart of Whidbey Islands Ebeys Reserve. We provide to local farmers markets, to our CSA members and to local restaurants affordable, locally grown, hand-crafted seasonal produce (from arti-chokes to zucchini), free from pesticides and herbicides. For the Farm Tour, our farm store

    A Full Service Farm & Garden CenterSR 525 at Bayview Road

    [email protected] (360) 321-6789

    Premium USA sourced and USA made cat and dog food

    Raw and frozen pet foods

    Organic livestock and poultry feeds featuring

    Scratch and Peck from Bellingham

    Arlington WA hay and straw

    Herbicide and pesticide free

    For Your Pets

    For Your Livestock

    Organic Products

    Non-toxic Solutions

    Mon - Sat9 am ~ 6 pm

    Sunday10 am ~ 5 pm

    Bloom Where Youre Plan

    ted!

    prima bistroso magical that

    ferries take you there!

    Deck now open weather permitting!Thursdays are live music nights

    HOURS: EVERY DAY 11:30AM-CLOSEHAPPY HOUR EVERY DAY 3-6PM201 First Street Langleywww.primabistro.com 360-221-4060

    Guide to 2014 Farm Tour locations

    CONTINUED ON PAGE 9

  • SEPTEMBER 2014 WHIDBEY ISLAND FARM TOUR Page 5

    www.PrairieBottomFarm.com

    See this barn on the Farm Tour at Prairie Bottom Farm!

    Prairie Bottom FarmHeritage seasonal produce from the bottom of Ebeys Prairie

    Farmers Purdue Coupeville, WA

    LB Construction

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

    Manny & Janet Rojas LIC#LBCONW19680W(360) 678-5470 www.lbconstructionofwhidbey.com

    Cultivating, creating alpaca cultureBy MEGAN HANSEN

    With nearly 40 animals calling Pronkin Pastures home, the big question is how do you tell them all apart?

    Do you think a cat lady with 38 cats doesnt know all their names? asks Ron Jorgenson, who owns the Greenbank alpaca ranch with wife LeeAnna Jorgenson.

    Each animal has its own personal-ity and unique features.

    Some are more social than oth-ers, LeeAnna Jorgenson said.

    The Jorgensons started their ranch nine years ago with three pregnant alpacas. Most of the alpac-as residing now at the ranch were born there, and their owners are easily able to tell them apart.

    Visitors are allowed to enter the pen with the curious, yet cautious creatures.

    The incredibly soft animals may come up to you, but dont count on petting them without assistance.

    For the Farm Tour, the Jorgensons expect to have seven baby alpacas, also know as cria.

    Its been so much fun, LeeAnna Jorgenson said.

    One member of the herd, Jessica, also enjoys all the babies.

    Jessica is an 18-year-old llama the Jorgensons adopted years ago.

    While she hasnt had any babies of her own that the Jorgensons know of, Jessica is fond of the alpaca babies and has even produced milk in the past to help feed them.

    The Jorgensons believe she has produced milk again this year, even in her old age.

    An active breeding program is

    keeping the ranch hopping this summer.

    Alpaca gestation takes roughly 11 months; however, Pronkin Pastures has seen a pregnancy go to 360 days.

    Females are usually bred again within two to three weeks after giv-ing birth, when they are most fer-tile.

    They love being pregnant, Ron Jorgenson said.

    The Jorgensons started raising alpacas when they purchased a 10-acre plot of land in Greenbank off North Bluff Road.

    We wanted to raise animals, but didnt want animals that are raised for meat, LeeAnna Jorgenson said.

    After some research, the couple found alpacas, which are raised for their soft fiber.

    The animals grow to a small size and are easier to manage than some other animals.

    While the Jorgensons do sell some of their alpacas, their main focus is fiber.

    The couple has created a growing business selling processed alpaca yarn. They breed with fiber in mind.

    The more consistent the color, the better the fiber, LeeAnna Jorgenson said.

    During the Farm Tour, visitors will get to experience the process of producing fleece from shearing to spinning.

    Most of the Jorgensons fiber is sent out to a local manufacturer for processing, but some is hand-spun.

    Its always so rewarding to have yarn from the animals youve raised and cared for, LeeAnna Jorgenson said.

    Photos by Megan Hansen

    Above: Pronkin Pastures has 38 alpacas and one llama named Jessica. While owners LeeAnna and Ron Jorgenson do sell alpacas, their focus is cultivating fiber and breeding animals with specific fiber characteristics. Left: LeeAnna Jorgenson holds Bo, one of seven anticipated babies this summer at the Greenbank ranch. To her right is Jessica, the 18-year-old llama the Jorgensons adopted nine years ago. While she hasnt had any babies of her own, Jessica is very fond of all the alpaca babies.

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  • Page 8 WHIDBEY ISLAND FARM TOUR SEPTEMBER 2014

    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

    Pumpkin Patch

    Farm Animals

    Squash & Onions

    Fall Decor Items

    CASE FARM98 Case Road Oak HarborA North Whidbey Family Farm Since 1898

    Open daily 10 am to 5 pm Starting October 1st

    360-675-1803Call us to schedule

    a fun tour for your group!

    For more farm experiences visit us in October!

    408 S Main Coupeville, WA

    360.678.5611www.pcredapple.com

    Farm Fresh Food

    By JUSTIN BURNETT

    Theyre back!After a six-year hiatus, the South Whidbey Tilth Association

    is returning to the annual Whidbey Island Farm Tour. And few names in private agriculture are more synonymous with envi-ronmental sustainability, education and research than Tilth.

    Theyre a great educational resource for farmers, said Karen Bishop, director for the Whidbey Island Conservation District. I learn a lot just from their newsletter.

    The island chapter of the state organization began with a few dozen people in a tiny room at the Greenbank Progressive Club more than 30 years ago. Today, the associations roots have spread to include 180 members, multiple programs and individual success stories, an 11-acre property and a weekly seasonal farmers market.

    For organizers, the growth, success and popularity associ-ated with Tilth is a continual marvel.

    We started out meeting in living rooms and talking about each others gardens, said Michael Seraphinoff, who helped found the association with his wife Susan Prescott. Its kinda shocking.

    Tilth works to advocate, study and teach agricultural prac-tices consistent with stewardship of the natural world, accord-ing to the groups newsletter, but the fabric of the organization seems to be one of mutual interest, generosity and community.

    The property is the direct result of a members goodwill, and the pavilion was paid for outright by another patron with

    an unexpected $14,000 check, Seraphinoff said.That kind of generosity has happened to us over and over,

    he said.Among the highlights at the 2014 farm tour will be Dorcas

    Youngs high tunnel hoop house, where she grows a wealth of produce from African beans and squash to African green millet and amazing tomatoes.

    Shell also be cooking a zebra-eye bean dish outside, which she says is served with the plants steamed leaves.

    You eat the whole thing, she said.Youngs hoop house features a drip irrigation system that is

    being copied and installed at Tilths onsite community garden. Visitors will have a chance to see how they work and how a similar system can be applied to gardens at home.

    Other attractions include the childrens garden by Calyx Community Arts School, the Garry Oak Meadow a lovely area thats a must-not-miss and, finally, Tilths orchard.

    The pears are looking really good this year, said Prescott, Tilths president.

    Also, Anza Muenchow will be teaching a class on plant propagation from cuttings, and Trevor Todd a class on mush-room cultivation.

    Finally, Tilths farmers market will be in full swing Sunday, with a mini market planned for Saturday.

    Focusing on sustainability

    Photo by Justin Burnett

    South Whidbey Tilth Association members work on building a greenhouse.

  • SEPTEMBER 2014 WHIDBEY ISLAND FARM TOUR Page 9

    Good Cheer Food Banksupports local farmers through our

    www.goodcheer.org

    As featured in the New York Times

    (360) 579-2329Sign up for our Newsletter! www.cultusbaynursery.com

    Cultus BayNursery

    Open Thurs - Sun 10AM-5PM | Closed Mon, Tues & Wed 7568 CULTUS BAY ROAD CLINTON

    Fall Sale - 40% Off

    Perennials Grasses Shrubs Herbs VinesPerennials Grasses Shrubs Herbs VinesPerennials Grasses Shrubs Herbs VinesPerennials Grasses Shrubs Herbs VinesPerennials Grasses Shrubs Herbs Vines

    will sell storage potatoes, onions, garlic and beans. Fresh produce in season greens, carrots, squash, etc. Activities will include corn maze, 2030 minute self-guided farm tours, feed the chickens, weeding. Possible bean thrashing demonstration if the crop is ready. Possible broom making if the broom corn is ready. Directions:At the Coupeville traffic light on State Highway 20, turn onto South Main Street (right if southbound, left if northbound.) Go approximately 1.15 miles. South Main Street will become Engle Road. The farm is located on the left side of the road at the gray barn.

    7. Greenbank Farm & Organic Farm School(SUNDAY ONLY)

    Judy Feldman and Jessica Babcock765 Wonn Road, Greenbank, WA 98253

    360-678-7171or 360-678-7700 on weekendswww.greenbankfarm.org

    Owned by the Port of Coupeville, Greenbank Farm hosts activities around agriculture, rec-reation, local commerce and environmental stewardship. Offering P-patches, market gar-dens, a solar energy project, walking trails, galleries, food and wine, the farm is also home to the Organic Farm School, teaching new farmers sustainable, organic farming and small business administration. The farm pro-duces vegetables and produce, seed crops and cover crops.Directions: From State Highway 525, turn onto Wonn Road (right if northbound, left if southbound). Turn left into the first drive-way.The Agriculture Training Center is at the end of the parking area near the Jim Davis House (Building E).

    8. Pronkin Pastures Alpaca RanchLeeAnna and Ron Jorgenson

    2582 N. Bluff Road, Greenbank, WA 98253360-678-0481

    www.pronkinpastures.comPronkin Pastures is home to 35 huacaya alpac-

    as, two suri alpacas and a rescuellama.Raised as breeding stock and fiber animals, alpacas are considered earth-friendly and an ideal small farm animal.See how alpacafiber is har-vested, sorted and processed. See how their manure is composted and used as fertiliz-er.Visit our farm store, featuring alpacaprod-ucts including raw fiber and roving for hand-spinners, commercially processedand hand-spun yarns and alpaca related clothing and products.Directions: From State Highway 525, turn onto Wonn Road (left if southbound, right if northbound. Turn left onto North Bluff Road and follow approximately 1 mile. Turn left up the gravel easement road just before the Pronkin Pastures sign.

    9. South Whidbey TilthSusan Prescott

    2812 Thompson Road, Langley, WA 98260206-794-3443

    www.southwhidbeytilth.org [email protected]

    During both days of the Whidbey Island Farm Tour, Tilth members are on hand to give guided tours around the campus. A schedule of classes is planned, including plant propa-gation with cuttings by Anza Muenchow and more.Lesedi Farms high tunnel hoop house and garden is open for viewingSaturday after 2 p.m.and all daySunday. The farmers market is open Sunday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. but will be open on a limited basisSaturdayand hours extendedSunday. There will be conces-sions, includingoven-fired pizza, organic hot coffee and cold lemonade. There are clean restrooms and plenty of parking. Directions: From the south, travel on State Highway 525 just 6.7 miles from the Clinton ferry dock or 1 mile past the Goose and the Bayview Shopping Corner. Turn right onto Thompson Road and take the first left through the gate. If coming from the north on Hwy 525, continue 2.9 miles from the Freeland light. Look for the scarecrow and turn left onto Thompson Road and the first left through the gate. If traveling by bus on

    Saturday, there are bus stops at the intersec-tions of Thompson and Mills Roads. The bus drivers are very helpful.

    10. Whidbey Island DistilleryBev and Steve Heising

    3466 Craw Road, Langley, WA 98260360-321-4715

    www.whidbeydistillery.comWhidbey Island Distillery is a family-run busi-ness that produces loganberry and raspberry liqueurs. In addition, Rye Whiskey is com-ing soon. We distill local wines for the base of the Loganberry Liqueur and make mash for the whiskey. Both products are distilled on site. We will be demonstrating our own unique still, designed and built on site, and hope to also run our brew sculpture. Enjoy free tasting during the tour.Products will be available for sale.Directions: From State Highway 525, turn onto Coles Road (left if northbound, right if southbound). Turn right on Craw Road. The distillery is thefirst driveway on the left.

    11. Abundant Earth Fiber MillLydia Christiansen

    6438 Central Ave., Clinton, WA 98236360-969-2187

    www.abundantearthfiber.comYarn is more than just twisted strands of fiber. Its sunny days grazing on open pas-ture, excitement and bare backs on shear-ing day, warm friendship as fiber is passed from farmer to miller and many hours lost in meditation while washing, carding, spinning, and weaving. Our finished products include carded batts, roving, pin-drafted silver and a variety of semi-worsted yarns and handwo-ven goods. Abundant Earth Fiber Mill is the only fiber mill on Whidbey Island.This is more than just yarn.This is fiber love.For the Farm Tour weekend:Products for sale: Hand-spun and mill-spun yarn, hand-woven goods and other locally made items.Activities: Tour the mill, see the machines at work and watch a four-harness floor loom weaving demonstration inside, while outside yarn-tastic projects will be available for chil-

    dren and adults to make and keep as souve-nirs.Directions: From State Highway 525, turn onto Deer Lake Road (left if northbound, right if southbound). Turn left onto Commercial Street and turn right onto Central Avenue. Abundant Earth Fiber Mill will be on your right.

    12. Whidbey Island Vineyard & WineryGregory and Elizabeth Osenbach

    5237 Langley Road, Langley, WA 98260360-221-2040

    www.whidbeyislandwinery.comGreg and Elizabeth Osenbach pioneered grape growing on the island more than 20 years ago with the planting of two acres of vinifera grapes. Three varieties of white grapes are picked by volunteers every fall, and from that harvest, 1,500gallons are pro-duced and bottled on site. (Picture a bottle on the vines every five feet.) You can tour the vineyard and production area during this crushseason, and we may even be harvest-ing. Finally, you can taste the wines made from these grapes as well as wines whose grapes are sourced from prime vineyards in Eastern Washington.Directions: From State Highway 525, turn onto Langley Road (left if southbound, right if northbound). Travel 2 miles. Vineyard & Winery on the right.

    13. Fern Ridge AlpacasGretchen & Hal Schlomann

    7343 Holst Road, Clinton, WA 98236 206-778-9619

    www.fernridgealpacas.comA family farm raising alpacas for fiber har-vest and breeding stock. In addition to our alpaca fiber products, we also produce alpaca worm castings for the garden through ver-micomposting.Our herd includes 20 alpacas and three guard llamas. Visitors will learn about raising alpacas, discover the differences between alpacas and llamas and watch weav-ing and spinning demonstrations.Our farm is located in the historic Glendale logging camp area and features a workers cabin from the

    LOCATION INFOCONTINUED FROM 4

    CONTINUED ON PAGE 10

  • Page 10 WHIDBEY ISLAND FARM TOUR SEPTEMBER 2014

    GOURMET GARLICFESTIVAL

    Saturday and Sunday During the Farm Tour

    Garlic tasting Garlic Planting Demo Garlic Braiding Demo Garlic Planting stock for sale - 28 varieties!

    Fall is THE time to plant next seasons garlic crop ...learn how from the expert Willowood Farmers!

    Many other seasonal veggies for sale in our historic barn.

    Tour our extensive vegetable production fields that supply award-winning Seattle restaurants!

    SUNDAY ONLY: purchase a local foods lunch plate prepared by Chef Tyler Hansen of the Oystercatcher.

    willowoodfarm.wordpress.com [email protected] Follow Farm Tour Directions Find us on Facebook 331-6799 | 1609 E. Main Freeland

    Mon-Sat 8-5:30, Sun 9-5:30

    Coupon Good Until Oct. 11, 2014

    $5.00 OFF all VALSPAR Paints1 gallon interior or exterior paint

    (all sheens)

    1900s.For the farm tour: Alpacas and llamas will be haltered and

    available for visitors to pet and feed treats.

    Informational displays about pasture management and our vermicomposting program for animal waste.

    Self-guided tour maps for each visi-tor.Fern Ridge staff available to answer questions and guide visitors.

    Posters identifying the alpacas, basic info including amount of fiber harvested from each animal.

    Weaving and spinning demonstrations. Container garden demonstrating bene-

    fits of alpaca castings as soil amendment Activities planned specifically for chil-

    dren include a scavenger hunt that takes them to different parts of the farm to learn facts about alpacas, vermiculture, fiber processing, good stewardship prac-tices and watershed protection.

    Directions:If southbound on State Highway 525, turn right onto Cultus Bay Road and go 1.5 miles, then turn left on Deer Lake Road. Turn right on Holst Road and go 1.3 miles. If northbound, turn left on Deer Lake Road

    from Hwy 525, following the left bend onto Holst Road, traveling a total of 2.8 miles from Hwy 525. The farm will be on your left.Note: A one-lane drive with wide shoulders is shared between Fern Ridge Alpacas and Shipki Farm. Follow parking signs to each farm. A turn-around is available at Fern Ridge Alpacas.

    14. Shipki Farm OrganicsJosette Hendrix

    7331 Holst Road, Clinton, WA 98236360-579-2416

    www.shipkifarm.comWe are an Eastern Europeaninspired mini-farm,managed by young apprentice farmers co-operative using French and Biointensive methods to grow the best Pacific Northwest and European varieties of vegetables, herbs and fruits.We offer 10 CSA shares per season and have other clients and marketing strate-gies as well. Growing good food nourishes the body, soul, heart and mind of everyone and keeps us in harmony with nature.For the Farm Tour: Whatever is abundant and in season at

    the time vegetables, flowers, some

    fruits, eggs Demonstrations Self-guided tours and guided tours Activities for kids Farm stand, samples, etc.Directions:If southbound on State Highway 525, turn right onto Cultus Bay Road and go 1.5 miles, then turn left on Deer Lake Road. Turn right on Holst Road and go 1.3 miles. If northbound, turn left on Deer Lake Road from Hwy 525, following the left bend onto Holst Road, traveling a total of 2.8 miles from Hwy 525. The farm will be on your left. Note: A one-lane drive with wide shoulders is shared between Fern Ridge Alpacas and Shipki Farm. Follow parking signs to each farm. A turn-around is available at Fern Ridge Alpacas.

    15. Bayview Corner HubCorner of Bayview Road and Highway 525

    [email protected]

    Enjoy several attractions within walking distance. Pick up a map for Bayview Hub at Bayview Farm & Garden.

    Bayview Farm & Garden Nursery and Garden Store

    Informational display of hydroponic let-tuce culture

    Good Cheer Food Bank Garden Ebb Tide Farm veggies, strawberries,

    flowers, tractors and machinery Chef Vincent Nattress The Orchard

    Kitchen (in development), sheep, goats, poultry

    Art Show in Cash Store: Local Artists Interpret the Farm

    Bayview Farmers Market, Saturday 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. only

    Great places to eat, plenty of parking and public restrooms

    Featured on the tour will be Chef Vincents Orchard Kitchen, which is under develop-ment, and Ebb Tide Produce Farm in one of the fields. Good Cheers Food Bank Garden is across the road, and there will be infor-mation at Bayview Farm & Garden about the high-tech hydroponic lettuces grown in greenhouses nearby. Bayview Farmers Market will be open 10 a.m to 2 p.m. Saturday, and there will be food vendors there as well as the local eateries, Tres Gringos, Basil Caf, the Flower House Caf and up at Bayview Center, Neils Clover Patch and the Goose deli coun-ter, so Farm Tour visitors will not go hungry. There will also be an art show, Local Artists Interpret the Farm, in the Cash store.Directions: From State Highway 525, turn onto Bayview Road (right if northbound, left if southbound). Turn left on Marshview Avenue, and parking is on the left. Note: Pick up a map for Bayview Hub activities at Bayview Farm & Garden.

    LOCATION INFOCONTINUED FROM 9

  • SEPTEMBER 2014 WHIDBEY ISLAND FARM TOUR Page 11

    We LoveWhidbey Farms.

    Thank you forsupporting our farm!

    Visit our shop in downtown Coupeville, open all year.

    www.lavenderwind.com | 15 Coveland St., Coupeville | 360.544-4132 For information call 360.240.5558 or visit http://ext100.wsu.edu/island

    Master Gardeners, 4-H Youth Development, Beach Watchers, Shore Stewards,

    Waste Wise Volunteers, Livestock Advisors, Admiralty Head Lighthouse Docents,

    Weather Network, Land Stewardship, and Agriculture Sustainability with a Focus on Local FoodD

    iscov

    er

    Helping You Put Knowledge to Work . . .

    By BEN WATANABE

    Stop by the Whidbey Island Winery and odds are high that youll catch the owners and staff busy working.

    That wont stop them from taking guests through their 4-acre estate vineyard during the Whidbey Farm Tour.

    At the working winery and vineyard that grows varieties like Siegerebbe and Madeleine Angevine, both used in white wines, visitors can stroll through the aisles of vines, learn the differences between the varieties; see the press in action; and probably even hear the fermentation process.

    If the harvest is ready, visitors may even be able to volunteer like dozens of others during the year - to pick grapes just feet from the showroom and tasting room. That is up to the small berry and the weather.

    Grapes are ready when grapes are ready, said owner Elizabeth Osenbach with a grin.

    If somebody wants to take a pair of clippers, were not going to say no, she added.

    On a winery tour, the real treat is the tasting, and Whidbey Island Winerys sampling covers three whites and three reds.

    The exact type will change from day to day, possibly even hour to hour, depending on how many visi-tors stop by the vineyard just out-side the city limits of Langley on Langley Road.

    A seasoned Puget Sound vine-yard the third to open up in the region Whidbey Island Winery

    produces up to 3,500 gallons annu-ally.

    The list of offerings, a mix of reds and whites, varies between 16 and 18 different bottles from year to year.

    Its white wines include the popular and best-selling blend, Island White, a pinot gris and the Madeleine Angevine.

    On the darker end of the wine spectrum, the Osenbachs offer a Lemberger, a Malbec, a Sangiovese (for which the grounds resident Maine Coon cat is named) and a recently developed Dolcetto to accompany five other reds.

    At least one of the six wines dur-ing the farm tour tasting will be from one of the estate grapes, said assis-tant winemaker Leah Waaramaki.

    For all of the options, good luck getting the Osenbachs to divulge their top picks.

    Thats like asking whos your favorite child, Elizabeth Osenbach said. We really love these grapes, or we wouldnt bother.

    Island White, Osenbach says, is a perfect drink on a hot summer day. Chill a bit, pour it out and enjoy its subtle sweetness.

    When visitors stop at Whidbey Island Winery, the Osenbachs and staff want people to see the wine-making process.

    That means getting a look at it on the vine, in its fermentation and, finally, bottled.

    They get a sense of what is truly an active winery, Elizabeth Osenbach said. Theyve seen it from the beginning to the end, she added.

    Wine maker shares whole experience

    Photos by Ben Watanabe

    Above: Owner Elizabeth Osenbach and assistant winemaker Leah Waaramaki inspect grapes on the vine at the South Whidbey Island winery. Left: Visitors will get to learn all about the wine-making process from vine to aging to bottle.

  • Page 12 WHIDBEY ISLAND FARM TOUR SEPTEMBER 2014

    We Support the 2014 Whidbey Island Farm Tour

    RECORDSOUTH WHIDBEY

    LB Construction

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

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    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

    Creativity in abundance at fiber millBy KATE DANIEL

    For Lydia Christiansen, life is about the pursuit of happiness.

    But she never dreamed that happiness would come in the form of a spinning wheel, let alone a fiber mill. The first time Christiansen sat down at a loom five years ago, she was frustrated. She was determined to teach herself the craft, but with a baby and a teaching job, spare time was scarce.

    With much persistence and positivity, Christiansen eventually found her rhythm. Spinning transported her to what she refers to as a zen state, giving her a sense of tranquil-ity amidst a bustling world.

    Ive been on a quest for a very long time for that thing I can spend my time doing that is good for me and contributes in a positive way to others. This is where I landed, she said. I got into spinning and weaving as a habit and just couldnt get enough of it. It just evolved from there.

    Wool and spinning quickly became a regu-lar part of her life, her routine and her home. She recalled the first time her eldest son, then three years old, had cotton candy. When Christiansen picked him up, she remem-bered, he said Mom, I ate wool!

    The fibers, she said, laughing, were more familiar to him than the sugary spun candy.

    I thought that was awesome, she said. Today, Christiansen is still teaching, as

    evidenced by the sign above her door which reads curiosity welcome.

    But instead of teaching in a school, she teaches at her mill, a mill she owns and operates with the help of her husband and occasional volunteers. In mid-January 2014, she and her husband, who works full-time on the mainland, came up with the idea to open a mill. From there, Christiansen said, it was a whirlwind of decisions and opportunities which, in less than six months time, culmi-nated in the opening day of Abundant Earth Fiber Mill.

    Its mind-blowing, she said. I never thought of making a mill. We had this idea in mid-to late-January of this year and every decision that we thought of just fell into place and kind of pushed us forward. We didnt really want to move this fast, but opportunities came up that I knew I would regret it if I didnt take it...It feels fantastic.

    Customers entrust Christiansen with the job of processing fibersmohair, alpaca, wool, angora into yarn. We pick up where the farm leaves off, she said.

    She also produces her own naturally dyed yarn. At the moment, she said, the turn-around time for orders is about three months, though she is able to process urgent requests in 30 days.

    It is important for me to be accessible to the local farms. There are a lot of farmers who ship their fiber off across the country just to get it back in time, she said. A lot of mills have a 12-month turnaround or longer. I feel that if I am focusing on the local area we can get better turnarounds, better qual-ity, get to know each other and have a good relationship.

    At the time, Christiansen works directly with about 20-30 local farms and a couple of others on the mainland. On occasion, she also receives fiber donations, which she is process-ing into yarn to be sold for her charity, The Whidbey Yarn Project, which aims to give back to local individuals.

    What I love most about it is that I can just be myself in every aspect of this business, she said. I never knew that something like this would be perfect for me, but I love mar-keting and I love the business end and I love creating, planning and processing. Its all good for me. It suits me. I love that I can just be myself and be proud of what Im doing.

    Photo by Kate Daniel

    Lydia Christiansen opened a fiber processing business in Clinton.

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