I was pretty excited to read that Stellar Alpacas was having a Open Ranch (think open house) this weekend. I mean who doesn’t love alpacas?! Stellar Alpacas at 27810 16th Avenue East in Spanaway has 54 alpacas though two were off today. I learned how to tell if an alpaca is pregnant! If she is pregnant and a stud male is introduced she will spit at him and try to kick him. The average pregnancy is 11.5 months.
The folks that own the farm are delightful and the man was walking one of the alpacas around. Visitors were allowed to touch them, though they don’t like their faces touched. There was a refreshments stand with free cookies, water and sodas. And a small bag of carrots was only $1. Of course the carrots were for the alpacas. The videos below provide a chance to hear them chewing. There is also a small store with delightful socks, sweaters, yarn, hats, gloves and more made from alpaca fiber, some from right there on the farm. The ranch has a website.
I shot over to Ellensburg for a quick conference and snapped this shot as I left my hotel in the morning. It is lovely light though what looks like fog or mist is instead smoke from Washington wildfires.
I’ve been wanting to visit Kelsey Creek Farms Park at 13204 SE 8th in Bellevue for a while, so on Saturday after dropping off dear daughter for her ride back to college I stopped by. There was a birthday party going on and plenty of children in the under five crowd. The 150 acre original site had been a forest and was developed as the Twin Valley Dairy Farm in the 1920s. Despite pressure from real estate developers, in the 1960s 80 acres of the property was sold to the City of Bellevue for use as a park. It receives over 200,000 visits a year. ThePark’s website is here.
The log cabin is the Frasier House, built in 1888 and moved to Kelsey Creek Farms Park in 1974. It was built by two Norwegian woodsmenand lived in for a short time. Mostly it was used as storage.
Van Lierop Bulb Farm at 13407 80th St E Puyallup, WA 98372 is one of two bulb farmers left in the Puyallup Valley and it is closing its door on May 15, 2013. I stopped in today and it made me kind of sad because the store seemed rather empty. The fields are full of daffodils poised for blooming.
I’ve always wanted to see a mushroom farm and I was delighted when Ostrom’s Mushrooms at 8322 Steilacoom Road SE, Olympia, WA 98513 offered tours as part of the Pacific Northwest Mushroom Festival. The tour began with the plant manager (I think it was the plant manager) showing up how they create the soil out of mostly straw and then how they add the mushroom spores attached to millet. He walked us through each step of the multi-day process. The mushrooms grow in large beds which are stacked one on top of another about seven deep with about a foot clearance between each one. The pickers climb moveable steps and go from the top bed to the bottom. It sounds like very hard work.
It’s that time of year and we spent more time then normal deciding on our tree. Did we want to go to a lot and if so which lot? Or a you cut farm? While I was up in the air, my husband called it – a You Cut called No-El Tree Farm. We had gone to a couple of years again. It is a family run farm in South Pierce County.
For years now dear daughter and I try to visit Connell’s Dahlia Farm (10616 Waller Road E. Tacoma, WA 98446. Phone: 253-531-0292) around the time of the Western Washington State Fair. They have acres of dahlias in lovely colors and various sizes and shapes. For only $6.00 we purchased a bouquet of the flowers to brighten our home during the predicted stormy days ahead. Per their website, the Connell Family has been growing dahlias since 1966 and has won many awards because of their spectacular flowers!
What I should have been doing is cleaning the kitchen. Why do we have six nut crackers? Really, we don’t even eat nuts in a shell!
But I really wanted to go to the festival at the Blue Willow Lavender Farm (10615 Wright Bliss Road, Gig Harbor, WA 98329) , so I did that instead. The farm is lovely and smells divine. The festival was small, but really nice. There was an excellent harp player in the middle of one large field. We enjoyed the the you pick (cut) lavender and the gift store and all the booths.
The HarvestFest was today and we went to two farms. The new place of the day 10/2/2010 is Moon Farm. What a delightful place! They gave us a farm tour on a golf cart and then they showed up their jam factory and gave us samples of delicious jams. We brought home 3 jars of it! We spent quality time with their lovely chickens and even got to feed them :).