Farm tours in Whatcom and Skagit counties offer a chance to visit working farms and get a glimpse into the agricultural industry that’s part of the area’s past and remains an economic force today.
These fall farm tours feature many farms that are not otherwise open to the general public.
“It’s a lot of fun to get out and see agriculture first hand,” said Sara Southerland, food and farming manager for the local business group Sustainable Connections. “For me, growing up, I never got to visit a farm and learn how my food was raised. It’s a unique opportunity to see farms, to meet farmers and learn that there’s a process before the food gets to the grocery stores or the plate on our restaurant table.”
Sustainable Connections hosts its ninth annual Whatcom County Farm Tour, a free self-guided program, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 10, at various locations around the county. Among the farms on the tour are perennial favorites such as BelleWood Acres and Cloud Mountain Farm; plus a winery; a permaculture nursery; and several working dairy farms – including the popular Twin Brook Creamery and Ferndale Farmstead, which Southerland said features “really delicious Old World-style cheeses.”
In Skagit County, the 18th annual Skagit Valley Festival of Family Farms is 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 1-2. Participating locations include RoozenGarde flower bulbs; Samish River Dairy and the Golden Glen Creamery; Taylor Shellfish; and Cascadian Farm.
Farm tour maps, a list of participating farms, and other information: sustainableconnections.org, 360-647-7093; festivaloffamilyfarms.com, 360-421-4729.
Robert Mittendorf: 360-756-2805, @bhamMitty