Alpacas to zinfandel, plenty to explore on Whidbey farm tour

There’s something about Whidbey Island.

The scenery. The food. The art. The people. The pies.

Here’s your chance to explore and partake at your own pace.

This weekend’s Whidbey Island Farm Tour is a two-day self-guided tour of the island from top to bottom.

Meet friendly alpacas, llamas and horses. Tour farms with cows, goats, sheep and hogs. Visit a distillery and a winery. Admire the art in galleries and inside a 1968 school bus.

There are more than a dozen stops on the map, with many sites hosting other farmers, food purveyors and entertainers.

As that old saying goes, there’s something for everybody.

Green­bank Farm in Greenbank has a wine shop, cheese shop and art galleries. The pie cafe has some of the best pies around.

Sherman’s Pioneer Farm in Coupeville has pumpkins, antique farm machinery and tractor-drive trolley rides. While you’re there, take five minutes to drive to the coast to take in spectacular waterfront views of the Olympic Peninsula.

A few miles from the Mukilteo-Clinton ferry is Shipki Farm Organics, an Eastern European inspired mini-farm with apprentice farmers growing vegetables, herbs and fruits.

Farm owner Josette Hendrix calls it a way of “reconnecting to our ancestral roots of growing and eating good food as a central theme for any healthy culture, in both time and space on our planet.”

In the same neck of the Clinton woods is Fern Ridge Alpacas, where you can learn everything you always wanted to know about alpacas.

“We’ll let people interface with the animals,” farmer Hal Schlomann said. “We’ll also be doing demonstrations showing how to take fiber and turn it into something to wear. It’s like turning grass into sweaters.”

So, plot your course from the map at Program your GPS device. Some are on main roads and others are a jaunt on curvy woodsy roads. If you aren’t familiar with the island, these can be hard to find. You might want to pick up a pie to eat along the way.

Andrea Brown: 425-339-3443; Twitter: @reporterbrown.

Island Tour

Whidbey Island Farm Tour: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sept. 20 and 21 at various locations around Whidbey Island. Tour farms with educational displays and demonstrations. Free. Maps available online.

More farm information

  • Greenbank Farm &Organic Farm School, 765 Wonn Road, Greenbank; Owned by the Port of Coupeville, the farm hosts activities around agriculture, recreation, commerce and environmental stewardship with P-patches, market gardens and a solar energy project. Whidbey Pies Cafe has arti­san pies, soups and quiches. The wine shop has Wash­ing­ton wines from bou­tique winer­ies. Green­bank Farm Cheese and Spe­cial­ties has everything from painted dishes and tea tow­els to local jams and organic cheese. Three art gal­leries have works by local and regional artists. Open year-round.
  • Shipki Farm Organics, 7331 Holst Road, Clinton; Visitors on the tour can take a veggie-treasure hunt and stroll trough the gardens. The 1968 school bus will display art for show and sale. The farm will have a market stand.
  • Fern Ridge Alpacas, 7343 Holst Road, Clinton; A family farm raising alpacas for fiber harvest and breeding stock. On tour days, alpacas and llamas will be haltered and available for visitors to pet and feed treats. Weaving and spinning demonstrations. The shop sells yarn, handwoven rugs and knit items. Open daily, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
  • Sherman’s Pioneer Farm, 172 S. Ebey Rd, Coupeville; Pumpkins, antique farm machinery and trolley rides through the fields.

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