Clallam County Farm Tour ready for 21st year

Clallam County Farm Tour

When: 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 29

Where:

• Agnew Grocery and Feed, 2863 Old Olympic Highway

• Dungeness Valley Creamery, 1915 Towne Road

• Finn Hall Farm, 940 Finn Hall Road

• Five Acre School, 515 Lotzgesell Road

• Jardin du Soleil, 3932 Sequim-Dungeness Way

• Lazy J Tree Farm, 225 Gehrke Road

Cost: $10 per carload; ride your bike and get in free

More info: www.northolympiclandtrust.org

The Clallam County Farm Tour returns in full for its 21st year this weekend, after a one-year hiatus.

Six venues open from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 29, in Agnew and Dungeness, with hayrides, music, farm food, educational demonstrations and more.

“We’re glad to be back this year,” Tom Sanford, North Olympic Land Trust executive director, said.

“It’s the day of the year where people get to go out on their farms to celebrate the amazing place this is here.”

Organizers consolidated the tour last year to one stop — Dungeness Valley Creamery — because of the McDonald Creek Bridge closure that impacted access to many of the farms.

With the bridge reopened, this year’s event features Lazy J Tree Farm, 225 Gehrke Road; Agnew Grocery & Feed, 2863 Old Olympic Highway; Finn Hall Farm, 940 Finn Hall Road; Five Acre School, 515 Lotzgesell Road; Dungeness Valley Creamery, 1915 Towne Road; and Jardin du Soleil, 3932 Sequim-Dungeness Way.

Each location offers various experiences, such as agriculture projects at Five Acre School, ice cream at the creamery, lavender oil distillation at Jardin du Soleil, antique dairy equipment on display at Finn Hall Farm, hayrides at Lazy J Tree Farm, and farm animals at Agnew Grocery.

As many as 2,000 people visit the farms and venues during the event, Sanford said.

“It tends to be a lot of young, local families connecting with their heritage,” he said.

“There’s a reason the Irrigation Festival has been going as long as it has. We’re a farming community at heart.”

Steve Johnson, co-owner of Lazy J Tree Farm, said he sees the annual event as an opportunity to connect the community with farms and support their efforts.

“I know since the economy crashed we haven’t seen a lot of loss of lands but now as things have gotten better (economically), development is growing again,” he said.

“Farmland is easy to exploit. It’s flat and it’s cleared already.”

Johnson has worked at the family farm since he was 16, which his father George Karl Johnson started in the mid-1950s. His farm is open year-round, offering Christmas trees from 40 acres, compost, mulch, top soil, and produce such as apples, potatoes, garlic, and more.

With a slightly warmer summer, apples and potatoes are on schedule or about to be for the the tour, he said.

At this year’s tour, Lazy J Tree Farm offers music all day along with hay rides, talks about their products and history of the farm, food, and a sand pile for children.

Tour tickets

To participate in the tour, go to any of the six sites and you’ll pay $10 for a windshield ticket per vehicle to visit any or all of the venues at your own pace between 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Those who attend on bicycle get in free.

Organizers ask visitors to not bring pets.

For more information and a map, visit www.northolympiclandtrust.org.

Reach Matthew Nash at mnash@sequimgazette.com.

Graeme Johnson looks for the best Gravenstein apples for cider at Lazy J Tree Farm. He and other crew members make cider typically on rainy days, and it’s available year-round from the farm, including at the Clallam County Farm Tour on Sept. 29. Sequim Gazette photo by Matthew Nash

Graeme Johnson looks for the best Gravenstein apples for cider at Lazy J Tree Farm. He and other crew members make cider typically on rainy days, and it’s available year-round from the farm, including at the Clallam County Farm Tour on Sept. 29. Sequim Gazette photo by Matthew Nash

It’s apple season in Clallam County as crew members ready to prepare thousands of pounds of produce for the fall. Sequim Gazette photo by Matthew Nash

It’s apple season in Clallam County as crew members ready to prepare thousands of pounds of produce for the fall. Sequim Gazette photo by Matthew Nash

Last year, Fern Knobel of Pure Country 4-H holds her rabbit Bun-Bun for Farah and Christelle Levien of Arizona at the Family Farm Day at the Dungeness Valley Creamery. The creamery joins the Clallam County Farm Tour this Saturday, Sept. 29, which includes six venues. Sequim Gazette file photo by Matthew Nash

Last year, Fern Knobel of Pure Country 4-H holds her rabbit Bun-Bun for Farah and Christelle Levien of Arizona at the Family Farm Day at the Dungeness Valley Creamery. The creamery joins the Clallam County Farm Tour this Saturday, Sept. 29, which includes six venues. Sequim Gazette file photo by Matthew Nash