PORT TOWNSEND — Nineteen farms will open their gates to the public to explore their facilities and learn about what they do during this weekend’s 17th annual Jefferson County Farm Tour.
The open tours are from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. both Saturday and Sunday.
They are free, but there is a suggested $10 donation per car, which can be paid at the farms or the Farm Tour Central at the Chimacum Corner Farmstand at 9122 Rhody Drive.
“The suggestion is to pack your car as full as possible with friends and family and just have the one time $10 suggested donation,” said Justine Gonzalez-Berg, Farm Tour event and volunteer coordinator with Thunderbull Productions, which is now managing the tour. For years, it was managed by Jefferson County’s WSU Extension.
The donations go back into the promotional materials and staff time to put on the event each year, Gonzalez-Berg said.
Maps of the participating farms can be found at Port Townsend Food Co-op at 414 Kearney St., Port Townsend and Chimacum Farmers Markets, Jefferson Land Trust office at 1033 Lawrence St., Carl’s Building Supply at 10733 Rhody Drive and at Chimacum Corner Farmstand.
All participating farms will have maps as well.
Visitors can start at Farm Tour Central or head straight to one of the participating farms.
Some farms will be open for tours only on Saturday. They are Quilcene School Garden at 294715 U.S. Highway 101, Chimacum High School at 91 West Valley Road and Port Townsend High School Garden at 1610 Blaine St.
Others will be available for tours only on Sunday. They are the Organic Seed Alliance at 124 Center Road, RainCoast Farms at 12224 Airport Cutoff Road and Eaglemount Wine & Cider at 1893 S. Jacob Miller Road.
Farms available both days:
• Jacobs’ Fleece at 3940 Leland Valley Road.
• Center Valley Animal Rescue at 11900 Center Road.
• Yaks in the Cradle Farm at 10035 Center Road.
• Arabians at Egg & I at 1062 Egg and I Road.
• Kodama Farm at 42 Tall Tree Lane.
• Compass Rose Farms & the Dirt Rich School at 1463 W. Uncas Road.
• Finnriver Farm & Cidery at 124 Center Road.
• Sunfield Biodynamic Farm at 111 Sunfield Lane.
• Marrowstone Vineyards at 423 Meade Road.
• Sailor Vineyard at 1673 Woodland Drive.
• Rosebud Ranch at 2205 Ivy St.
• Port Townsend Vineyards at 3405 Jackman St.
• Wilderbee Farm at at 223 Cook Ave.
Gonzalez-Berg said she appreciates that attendees can design what style of tour they want , since visiting every farm is very difficult. They can decide if they want to visit only farms near each other or farms operating with the same theme, such as vineyard or animal husbandry.
This is the third year that Port Townsend Vineyards has participated in the open farm tour, and the vineyard is only open to the public in this way during public events. Otherwise it’s by appointment only, said KC Vessey, Port Townsend Vineyards operations manager.
Visitors to the vineyard will be able to take guided tours through their vine lines and see their Soay sheep, which act as natural weed eaters and fertilizers.
The grapes are ripe and almost ready to be harvested, which is Vessey’s favorite part of the event.
The best part is “getting to walk through the vineyard this time of year when everything is ripe and fruitful,” Vessey said. “Because it only happens once a year. … It’s great to see the fruits of our labor.”
More information on each farm and the open tour can be found at tinyurl.com/openfarmtour .
Jefferson County reporter Zach Jablonski can be reached at 360-385-2335, ext. 5, or at [email protected].