KP Farm Tour set for family fun and education


Karen Lovett, KP News

As with last year, the Key Center area will be dotted with scarecrows, an unofficial sign that the KP Farm Tour is about to happen. The popular community event takes place Oct. 4. File photo by Danna Webster, KP News

This year’s KP Farm Tour begins with breakfast at the Key Center fire station. On Oct. 4, pancakes and ham, juice and coffee will be served between 8 a.m. and noon. During that time firefighters will be racing to doff and don firefighting gear. A simulated fire and rescue from a two-story house fire will take place at 11 a.m.

Breakfast is free, but donations are being excepted to cover the cost of a high lift jack.

“The jack is needed for rescuing people trapped in cars. It’s used to get the door off,” Assistant Chief Hal Wolverton said.

This year the KP Farm Tour is dedicated to its former president, Bill Ketts. Ketts, wanted to promote the atmosphere of our tranquil community. Ketts was diagnosed with secondary acute myeloid leukemia in April, and died June 7. It was his desire that his wife Tracy keep Blue their Willow Lavender Farm going and participate in the Farm Tour.

“Thank you to the community for their love, gifts and help on the farm,” Tracy Ketts said. “People were so giving of their time. Plants are healthy. We lost some in March due to 14 inches of rain. Our grower came out and helped 10 days after Bill was diagnosed. I couldn’t have done it without help and friends.”

Events at Blue Willow Lavender Farm will include lavender debudding demonstrations, lavender hand therapy, kids’ rock painting, a pumpkin wall of carved foam pumpkins and a tour of the farm and a vote for your favorite lavender scent. The Blue Grass Minstrels will be playing between 11a.m. and 12:30 p.m.

Gateway Park is participating as the information center for the second time since joining the tour last year. The Key Peninsula Historical Society and KP Veterans will be at Gateway Park as well as Master Gardeners and the representatives of the Community Garden to answer your gardening questions.

Bea’s Flowers will have lots flowers, and fall vegetables will be for sale including squash, pumpkins and gourds. A number of rabbits have the run of the place and chickens, ducks, and geese are always present.

Packleader Farm promises a continuous flow of simultaneous events that will keep spectators enthralled as a variety of dog breeds show off their prowess herding different breeds of sheep or ducks in the multiple arenas.

“Different breeds of dogs have different styles,” Packleader owner and trainer Steve Weigley said. Old English sheepdogs and briards will be among some of the more familiar breeds on hand.

Cape-E Farm and Vineyard will be offering snacks for sale as well as providing a picnic area for anyone to enjoy their lunch at the peaceful farm setting. Fresh produce will be on sale and numerous farm animals can be seen. Local artists will be selling their work. The dry bean sheller will be available again this year for those who want to take a turn at shelling legumes.

Trillium Creek Winery offers wine tasting and tours of the vineyard.

Key Peninsula Community Services has been added this year and will be dishing up soup featuring fresh vegetables for $5 between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. Public bathrooms will be open during that time and anyone can tour the facility that houses the Senior Center and Food Bank.

Lakebay Marina is another new addition to the Farm Tour this year. The marina is located at the site of the first farm co-op. Food was collected here and sent by boat to Tacoma. Get acquainted with Puget Sound Wildlife under the direction of Harbor Wild Watch. Minter Creek Oyster Company is also partnered with Lakebay Marina and expert shuckers will be demonstrating the quick easy method of shelling oysters as well as talking about the life cycle and growth of the bivalves. Plenty of food is available, and the 302 band will play at 5 p.m.

The Longbranch Improvement Club will be serving soup and Peg Bingham’s famous hot apple crisp during the Fiber Art’s Show.

“The theme for the show this year is, The Gamut of Fiber Arts from Historic to Modern Techniques, Artistic to Utilitarian,” Carolyn Wiley, Farm Tour president said.

Creviston Valley Farm is the event center. The Down Home Band will start playing at 1 p.m. followed by the Rusty Roots at 2 p.m.

Local artist P. Arnold Thompson will be displaying his multi-media abstract creations. For horse enthusiasts, Farm Tour vice president and equine expert, Chuck Kraft, will be there all day answering questions using a horse to demonstrate specific training solutions.

“It’s not about sitting on a horse, it’s about riding on a horse,” Kraft said. “The Farm Tour is increasing each year. It’s good for the community. People like to communicate with farmers.”

For information, contact Carolyn Wiley at (253) 884-9157.