Whidbey farms open for tours

  • Sun Sep 12th, 2010 3:58pm
  • Life

By Sarah Jackson Herald Writer

Today is one of the few days left this summer that is supposed to be partly sunny.

We can’t think of a better reason to head over to Whidbey Island to enjoy the getaway’s rural character and agricultural bounty.

The Whidbey Island Farm Tour, a free two-day event, will allow visitors to tour 17 farms at their leisure from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. today and Sunday.

This fifth annual event aims to educate the community about local farms and promote the benefits of locally grown food and other agricultural products.

Visitors can see alpacas, goats, cows, pigs, turkeys and chickens in action, along with summer crops ready for harvest at a wide variety of local farms, including operations that specialize in vegetables, fruit, wine grapes, honey and lavender.

Willowood Farm of Coupeville will host a garlic-lovers festival. Lavender Wind Farm, also of Coupeville, will offer lavender-distilling demonstrations. ReinShadow Ranch of Greenbank will showcase dog- and horse-training sessions.

The Good Cheer Garden in rural Langley, a large year-round vegetable garden that serves the South Whidbey Good Cheer Food Bank, will host a harvest party and music festival today only. Festivities will include live performances by local musicians, cooking competitions and vegetable gardening classes.

Gardening aficionados will find much to admire at A Knot in Thyme of Oak Harbor, featuring a 75-year-old holly orchard, lavender fields and specialty plants.

Display gardens include an intricately patterned “quilted garden,” with fruit, vegetables, herbs and flowers, a vertical garden, a miniature garden geared toward kids and a courtyard garden.

Visitors can walk the trails of the farm or enjoy the scenery from a horse-drawn wagon.

Some farms on the tour are open today only. See www. whidbeyfarmtour.com for farm profiles and a printable brochure with a map.

Brochures with maps also will be available on the Mukilteo-Clinton ferries, the farms, and from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily at the Langley Chamber of Commerce visitors center, 208 Anthes Ave., 360-221-6765, www.visitlangley.com; and from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. today and noon to 4 p.m. Sunday at the Central Whidbey Chamber of Commerce visitor’s center, 23 Front St., Coupeville, 360-678-5434, www.centralwhidbeychamber.com.

Sarah Jackson: 425-339-3037 or sjackson@heraldnet.com.