SEQUIM — For 20 years, the annual Clallam County Farm Tour has been a staple for Sequim residents to get better acquainted with local farms in the area.
This year, the Washington State University (WSU) Extension of Clallam County and the Dungeness Valley Creamery are working together to offer an alternative to the usual tour with a Family Farm Day from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday at Dungeness Valley Creamery, 1915 Towne Road in Sequim.
A $5 donation per carload is suggested.
Dungeness Valley Creamery has been a part of the farm tour for 17 years. Co-owner Ryan McCarthey said the event’s central location will allow guests to spend more time at one farm.
“With the traditional farm tour format, people are trying to visit multiple farms, so they don’t spend as much time at each stop,” McCarthey said.
“With this being the only stop, we hope to provide more activities and events so people can enjoy the farm for the full afternoon if they’d like.”
WSU Clallam County staff said the tour was consolidated into a Family Farm Day due to closures on U.S. Highway 101 and McDonald Creek Bridge on Old Olympic Highway, making it inconvenient for guests to access all farms.
“We are very excited that Dungeness Valley Creamery is partnering with us to offer an alternative to the tour this year, which would have been challenging logistically with the old bridge closure that cuts off the main road between many of the farms,” WSU staff said.
The Family Farm Day this year will showcase a number of farms and fiber artists in the community with a farmers market that includes Twisted Fibers, Two Bears Garden, Wild Edge Farm, Jardin du Soleil and The Farm.
Also planned are demonstrations, agrarian games, hay rides, cheese- and yogurt-making, pony rides, a 21-and-older bar to benefit local land conservation hosted by the North Olympic Land Trust, live music by the Buck Ellard Band and food by Pacific Pantry.
McCarthey said the annual farm tour is a motivator for the creamery all year long because it allows the business to showcase new growth and projects.
Throughout the past year, the creamery added nine more stalls to the barn, expanded the cow stall sizes, installed foam comfort mattresses, added a new shop and maternity pen facility and purchased a rotary brush so cows can self-groom.
They also are close to breaking ground on a nutrient management project through a Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP) grant the creamery anticipates receiving this winter.
McCarthey said the creamery continues to participate in events such as the farm tour because it provides guests an opportunity to engage with the business on a more personal level.
“Consumers are becoming increasingly aware of the food they eat, and the farm tour provides us a platform to showcase what we do and how our products are produced,” McCarthey said.
“The tour is a great opportunity to connect with our current consumers as well as first-time visitors.”
Erin Hawkins is a reporter with the Olympic Peninsula News Group, which is composed of Sound Publishing newspapers Peninsula Daily News, Sequim Gazette and Forks Forum. Reach her at [email protected].