Farm Tour 2015 drew packed crowds to annual KP event

Karen Lovett The Kaukiki sheep dressed up for visitors to the Longbranch farm at the 2015 Farm Tour. Visitors enjoyed pasture management tours, lessons and demonstrations about shearing, nutrition, wool felting and working with nature. Photo by Danna Webster

“It was a very successful Farm Tour this year,”said Danna Webster, Community Council President and Farm Tour event coordinator. “People came from Seattle, Black Diamond, Port Angeles and parts in between.”

Many vendors and informational booths offered a wide variety of foods and products throughout the tour. A number of musicians entertained at different sites.

The Key Center fire station was a good starting point with a pancake breakfast. They had firefighting demonstrations and fire safety instruction, as well as a bake sale.

Gateway Park had numerous booths providing information about the tour. There were kids crafts and hayrides. The KP Historical Society had huckleberry machine demonstrations.

Four Winds Riding Center was added this year. Young girls wowed spectators with gymnastic performances on horseback every hour, extending the show past closing time to accommodate latecomers.

Bea’s Flowers had kids lining up for hay rides, pony rides and petting zoo. Dumb goat tricks were a real crowd pleaser. From flowers to pumpkins, bunnies and chicks, there was something for everyone.

Minterbrook Oyster Farm emphasized education. Petri dishes containing live larval stages of the miniscule bivalves were placed under the lens of a microscope and showed up on a viewing screen so the public could observe them in action. The cultivation process was demonstrated, giving everyone a complete picture behind the scenes of the oyster-growing industry. Delectable samples were enjoyed by many. Varieties of clams and oysters ––both in and out of the shell–– were available to purchase.

Packleader Farm had dogs from the Western Washington Herding Club herding ducks and sheep. It was interesting to watch instinct assessment trials as young dogs were introduced to sheep to determine whether or not they had a future in herding.

Fields of fragrant blooms and music provided a pleasing backdrop for headquarters at Blue Willow Lavender Farm this year. Lavender hand therapy, plant pruning healing, a pumpkin wall, Bee Lady honey, Billfold Ranch goat milk soaps and body products, community booths and plenty of produce for sale made it a good place to enjoy lunch.

Trillium Creek Winery offered wine-tasting and tours through the vineyard. The owners said sales were up this year.

Kaukiki Ranch was packed with folks checking out sheep and sheep dogs, cattle ranching, pasture rotation and management, a sheep-guarding llama, and Lance the draft horse.

The Fiber Arts Show at Longbranch Improvement Club was packed full of spinners, weavers, embroiderers and every kind of wool, beads, photos and hats.

Even the Key Center Library got on board with duct tape. This reporter came away with a new wallet. May attendees couldn't resist sitting down with the kids and adults who wanted to make a billfold from the selection of many colors and patterns of bright tape offered.

Of the approximately 200 surveys turned in at the Fiber ArtsShow at the Longbranch Improvement Club,“most people went to four or five sites,”said Carolyn Wiley, Farm Tour president. “We got a lot of thank you notes. Most of the ratings were five stars, universal top rating.”

According to Wiley, it was an exhausting but very enjoyable day. Everyone is already looking forward to next year.