I try not to miss the yearly Farm Tour. It's always fun to see the organic farms sprouting up in this area. This past weekend, I went to three farms I haven't been to before. One, Spring Rain, I drive past every time I drive to Port Townsend but have never been in. The second, called Wilderbee, I've watched over the last few years as the owners developed raw land into a thriving little farm. And the third is brand new. I didn't even know Onatrue was there, tucked away off the road, with just a dirt road leading to it.
Wilderbee has something for everyone. They grow lavender and have a custom-made still for creating lavender oils which they use in a nice variety of soaps, lotions and potions. The lavender is over now, but the U-pick flower garden is gorgeous! Beautiful dahlias and a wide variety of other flowers from sunflowers to sweet peas. There is even a pumpkin patch which will also be U-pick when they are ready. Beyond the developed area is an added bonus - a certified wild area, with a lovely pond and natural vegetation surrounding it. Several bee hives hum alongside the walking trail. The honey being harvested is going into Wilderbee's latest project - mead, with a mead tasting room coming soon.
Just about a mile away, Onatrue Farm is growing on a 10 acre former hay field. Arriving just a year ago from S. Dakota, this young couple and their kids are living in a couple of trailers, devoting all their time and energy into developing the farm. Several hoop houses and chicken coops dot the land, with in-the-ground plantings of the hardier crops. I was thrilled to see ginger growing in one of the hoops and came away with a very healthy plant that I hope does well in my sunroom.
Spring Rain has been on my radar for a while, but I was completely blown away by the expanse of the farm. Tucked back beyond the tree-lined main drag, 26 acres that span the Chimacum Valley and Chimacum Creek, opens up to vast vegetable gardens and most interestingly, at least to me, are chickens and turkeys! Running wild! This is free-range heaven for all the birds which are housed in a very eclectic selection of ancient old trailers and caravans, most painted by (probably) farm kids. The chickens were everywhere, roaming around, sunbathing in the dust and generally living a life of ease!
The turkeys were also out, ranging around! What bizarre-looking birds they are! and so funny to watch.
One of the sheds had masses of 4-day old chicks. The chicken smell and the warmth of the room was almost overwhelming but after a minute or so it was ok. The tiny birds all huddled and cheeped together. Two batches of little golden ones and two of black, and they reminded me of all the chickens Mum had: how they would arrive by train in boxes and kept warm by a kerosene lamp out in the shed until old enough to go out into the yard.
Spring Rain is far more than just chickens. They raise rabbits and sheep and grow berries, orchard fruits, greenhouse crops, herbs, asparagus, and garlic. They also raise bees on this sustainable organic farm. And being aligned with the Jefferson Land Trust, they care for and protect Chimacum Creek, a salmon stream that runs through the farm.