The 8th Annual "Savor the San Juans" festivities kicked off this weekend with several events, including the Orcas Island Farm Tour.
Described as a month-long medley of food, farms & art in the San Juan Islands during the month of October, this celebration has an amazing lineup of events to welcome fall in the San Juan Islands.
We were able to take advantage of the Orcas Island Farm Tour this weekend, where over a dozen local farms greeted groups eager to learn more about them and their offerings. Everything from sheep shearing to shellfish farming, participants were in for a day of fun and very unique learning experiences.
We started off at The Kitchen in Eastsound, which was the launch point for today's self-guided tour. For $15, you were served a great brunch plate with dishes from mostly local ingredients, including a Fall vegetables and Meyer's Creamery chèvre casserole (similar to a quiche), the Jones Family Farm port sausage patties and a Sweet Pumpkin filled pumpkin cinnamon roll. Topping it off was their take on a mimosa (Pomossa) which was a sparkling wine and apple cider syrup. Just enough to fuel you, but not too much to weight you down for a day of exploration.
While there were over a dozen farms participating, we were only able to visit a handful of spots on our trip. Here's where we visited and what we learned, as well as a few pictures from the sites.
Girl Meets Dirt
Girl Meets Dirt - Touring the new tasting room in Eastsound, we were able to taste delicious local fruit preserves made from heirloom orchard trees from the Island. While it seemed like a simple shop for preserves, Whitney explained how Girl Meets Dirt is able to help so many owners and farmers with utilizing the fruit that could otherwise go bad. There are so many fruit trees on the island, this made great sense. We have one apple tree in our yard and are sometimes overflowing with fruit!
Buck Bay Shellfish Farm
Buck Bay Shellfish Farm - an amazing property just past Olga with over 20 acres of tidelands for growing and harvesting shellfish, such as oysters and clams. There's also a family farm which is home to over 25 chickens and a large organic vegetable garden. We were told the proprietor is a huge fan of tomatoes and has nearly 2 dozen varieties of heirloom tomatoes during the growing season. You can sit outside looking at the amazing view of Buck Bay while you eat oysters that are harvested daily. This is a great place to get some of the freshest seafood on the island for your evening dinner.
Next, we visited Coffelt Farm which is a beautiful 185 acre farm with a great history and views across the scenic Crow Valley on Orcas Island. Coffelt Farm is now owned by the San Juan County Land Bank and operated by a small Orcas Island based non-profit, Coffelt Farm Stewards. On the farm, they offer produce, fruit, eggs, pastured pork, grass-fed beef and wool products from their sheep available in their farm stand.
Red Rabbit Farms
Red Rabbit Farms - One of Orcas Island’s historic farms is also where the Cookhouse is located, where al fresco farm-to-table dinners are served by Chef Christina Orchid. We were also able to taste delicious Red Rabbit Farm preserves and took a few jars home of our favorites!
While we wished we could have visited all of the farms on the tour today, we were extremely pleased with the history, information and new friends we met visiting just a handful of these great establishments.
We cannot wait to check out more of the "Savor the San Juan's" festivities during the month of October, including next week's 2nd Annual Orcas Island Film Festival!
We hope you're able to as well! - Orcas Island Getaway