Karen Rose of Rosebud Ranch in Port Townsend feeds her llama, Christie, as some of her menagerie of alpacas wait their turn. Rose will open her ranch this weekend as one of the stops on the 2018 Jefferson County Farm Tour. (Jeannie McMacken/Peninsula Daily News)

Karen Rose of Rosebud Ranch in Port Townsend feeds her llama, Christie, as some of her menagerie of alpacas wait their turn. Rose will open her ranch this weekend as one of the stops on the 2018 Jefferson County Farm Tour. (Jeannie McMacken/Peninsula Daily News)

Jefferson County tour spotlights working farms

PORT TOWNSEND — Farms, animals, food and crafts will be celebrated during the 16th annual Jefferson County Farm Tour this weekend.

The self-guided tour, runs 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, provides insight into the county’s working farms.

A donation of $10 per car is suggested, payable wherever participants start on the tour.

Maps will be available at Farm Tour Central — the Chimacum Corner Farmstand at 9122 Rhody Drive — from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

This year’s event features 16 venues, each hosting artisans showcasing a wide variety of hand-crafted products.

Farm sites open both days include Center Valley Animal Rescue, 11900 Center Road Quilcene; Yaks in the Cradle, 10035 Center Road, Quilcene; Jacobs’ Fleece Farm, 3940 Leland Valley Road West, Quilcene; Compass Rose Farms and the Dirt Rich School, 1463 West Uncas Road, Port Townsend; Port Townsend Vineyards, 3406 Jackman St., Port Townsend; Wilderbee Farm, 223 Cook Ave. Extension, Port Townsend; Eaglemount at Arcadia, 1893 S. Jacob Miller Road, Port Townsend; Finnriver Orchard & Cider Garden, 124 Center Road, Chimacum; Kodama Farm, 42 Tall Tree Lane, Chimacum; Marrowstone Vineyards, 423 Meade Road, Nordland; and Sunfield Biodynamic Farm, 111 Sunfield Lane, Port Hadlock.

On Saturday only, Chimacum High School Horticulture Program’s greenhouses and gardens will be showcased, along with their rain catchment system, worm composting bin, and bee hives, the first “bee campus” in the nation. They are located at 91 West Valley Road.

On Sunday only, tours are available at Midori Farm, 10 Old State Highway, Quilcene; Organic Seed Alliance at Finnriver Farm, 124 Center Road, Chimacum; and Raincoast Farms, 12224 Airport Cutoff Road, Port Townsend.

On both days, Karen Rose of Rosebud Ranch and Fiber Studio, 2205 Ivy Street, Port Townsend will open her ranch to visitors for the seventh time she’s participated in the tour.

Rose tends to 12 Suri alpacas, 11 Huacaya alpacas and Christie, a 12-year old llama who is the boss of them all on 2 1/2 acres complete with barns and corrals.

In business since 2005, Rose is a fiber artist who uses the animal’s fleece for products she makes. She also sells it as minimally processed fiber to those who want to work with it in a raw state. She said her animals are sheared once each summer so they can have some wool on them when the winter comes.

“I send some of the fiber to the National Llama Fiber Co-op in Oregon,” she said. “My fiber is blended with similar quality fiber from around the county. Then it goes to weavers on staff and they produce products, or it is sent out to mills for production.

“Socks are big right now,” Rose said. “Any dyed fleece is big. Lime green is a popular color.”

She keeps plastic bins of natural colored carded wool that looks a bit like cotton candy in her studio waiting to be spun into yarn and then is either knitted, woven or felted into products she sells at a variety of craft shows throughout the year.

The annual Farm Tour is sponsored by Washington State University Extension Service.

For more information, see https://tinyurl.com/PDN-Jeffcofarmtour2018.

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Jefferson County Editor/Reporter Jeannie McMacken can be reached at 360-385-2335 or at [email protected]

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