By Chris Hendrickson, Monitor
The air was crisp and the tractor-pulled wagons were packed with people. Even the sun couldn’t resist coming out for the 2013 Sky Valley Farm Festival.
Held on Saturday, the Farm Festival was a deemed a huge success by event organizers.
Five farms, all located on lower Fern Bluff Road, were packed with kids and adults alike, petting newly born calves and piglets, feeding goats, swinging through a hayloft and learning a wealth of information about the Sky Valley farming community.
Families were able to park in one place and ride from farm to farm on tractor-pulled wagons, giving them a chance to socialize and plunge into the heart of the event; celebrating local farms.
The turnout did not disappoint.
“Approximately 1,000 people ‘Got their Mud On’ at the Sky Valley Farm Festival,” said festival organizer Elizabeth Emmons. “In addition to a fantastic local presence, families visited from Puyallup, Lynwood, Seattle, Edmonds, Bothell and beyond.”
At River’s End Cattle Ranch, attendees could ride a tractor-pulled wagon that gave tours down to the river that was teeming with spawning salmon. R Heritage Farms of Gold Bar contributed a visit from “Miss Pig Pig”, a 750-pound sow, along with her litter of five-week-old piglets.
Johannsen’s Farm, which was new on the circuit this year, featured a petting zoo complete with rabbits, goats, two donkeys and a 1,920-pound retired Holstein dairy cow named Porcelain, who is pretty darn famous in her own right; she just celebrated her 17th and final year of being shown at the Evergreen State Fair.
Groeneveld’s Dairy Farm’s baby calf area was extremely popular with kids. Families were also able to gather to watch the milking process. The farm, which is home to 300 milking cows, boasts a milk production rate of over eight gallons per day, per cow.
Adelinde (Groeneveld) Pattie and her sister, Gretel Groeneveld, both Monroe residents, enjoyed visiting the farms, particularly the farm on which they grew up. They took a tour at River’s End, riding down to the river before calling it a day.
“Everything was wonderful,” said Pattie. “We enjoyed it all.”
At Stocking’s Garden and Nursery, local chefs Gordon MacDonald and Mimi Stockmann concocted fresh squash soup, scallop-style fried squash and mini-pizzas in which all the ingredients were all freshly made, even the cheese.
“We felt our Farm Festival offered a beautiful showcase of the Sky Valley,” said Emmons. “The Chamber of Commerce is grateful to the hardworking farmers and our awesome team of volunteers who worked tirelessly to create this magical day. We can’t wait for next year!”