Farm Tour’s Big 20

by Evie Maxwell, Staff Writer

“It was twenty years ago today …”

Forgive us the indulgence … but, really, 20 is the magic number as we approach this year’s two-decade anniversary of the Jefferson County Farm Tour. From its beginning in 2002, the tour has grown and thrived. This year’s 2022 birthday blowout is shaping up to be the biggest, and the most entertaining, ever.

It’s happening September 16-18.

Before we get into some of the special stuff, make note of this website: getonthefarm.org. That’s where you’ll find updated, detailed information on the happenings including farm tours, events, sponsors, and more.

But back to the fun: The tour launches at 7 p.m. on Friday, September 16, with a free outdoor screening of the 1973 film “Charlotte’s Web.” (And yeah, we know that’s on the late side for the youngest among us, but the open-air theater—Worthington Park in Quilcene—does require at least a partially darkened sky.)

On Saturday and Sunday, there are events, farm tours, parades and more.

We’ll start with the tours. This year, event planners have 16 locations lined up for self-guided tours, four of which feature farm booths showcasing smaller operations. The self-guided tours run both Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and while touring is free, there is a one-time suggested donation of $10 per carload to help sustain the event.

Among the special locations on this year’s tour is the Bazaar Girls Yarn Shop in Port Townsend which will feature alpaca fiber from noted local weaver Karen Rose, who is unable to participate in this year’s tour. For the knitters and weavers among you, the 2022 tour also includes Jacob’s Fleece, which features products from the farm’s flock of Jacob sheep, a unique ancient breed known for its black, brown, and white spots and for its multiple horns. Plus, tour-goers can visit Anada Hills Farm & Fiber, known for its Shetland sheep.

Other locales this year are: Wilderbee Farm, Soft Step Farm, Sailor Vineyard, RainCoast Farms, Sunfield Farm, SpringRain Farm & Orchard, Fig and Otter Farm, Finnriver Farm & Cidery, Compass Rose Farms, Jefferson Land Trust, Gray Fox Farm, Kodma Farm & Food Forest, Egg and I Pork, White Lotus Farm, Space Twins Provisions, Water Moon Farm, and Center Valley Animal Rescue.

A special note on the Jefferson Land Trust: Not only are they one of the sponsors for this year’s tour, they’re also the folks making significant inroads in preserving open space, working lands and habitat in Jefferson County. They’ll be onsite answering questions and sharing their mission at Compass Rose Farms.

Beyond the tours, there are a host of special events. These include:

  • The Quilcene Fair and Parade, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday. (Event coordinator Megan Claflin at the Production Alliance suggests this as a great place to start your farm tour.)
  • At Finnriver Farm & Cidery join in a Wheat Weaving Workshop with author Carmen Spagnola. Held from 1:30 to 3 p.m. on both Saturday and Sunday, the workshop will cost $25 per person.
  • A variety of activities at the Port Townsend Farmers Market on Saturday and the Chimacum Farmers Market on Sunday.
  • And last but definitely not least is a Barn Dance scheduled on Saturday from 6 to 10 p.m. at the White Lotus Farm. For a $10 fee, barn dance goers will be treated to music from two bands headlined by the Sweater Weather String Band, food, a bar cart with adult beverages and more. Claflin cautions that this event has limited parking so be sure to carpool and purchase tickets in advance at getonthefarm.org.

Claflin tells us that this year’s tour expects to see over 3,000 attendees. That’s down some from the pre-Covid numbers but a significant jump up from hybrid events in 2020 and 2021.

So be sure to join in the tour. “This really gives our farms the opportunity to showcase what they do,” notes Amanda Milholland, the manager of the Jefferson County Farmer’s Markets. And as you’ll discover, what they’re doing is pretty remarkable.