Pie Time on Puget Sound
Taste loganberries and pet an alpaca on Whidbey Island
Plump and ruby colored, loganberries hang like little jewels on vines in Greenbank, Washington. At one time the largest loganberry producer in the United States, Greenbank Farm (10–5 daily; 765 Wonn Rd.; 360/678-7700) on Whidbey Island is still the place to find the uncommon berry, a cross between a blackberry and a raspberry. This year is the farm’s centennial, making it a fitting time to celebrate the flavorful fruit.
On the weekend of July 24–25, check out the farm’s Loganberry Festival (free), with music, food, wine, and arts and crafts. If you can’t make the festival, stop by on any Sunday in mid- to late July to pick your own loganberries for $3 a pint.
Berries aside, there’s plenty to do at the farm. Thanks to a grassroots effort to save the area from development in the 1990s, the farm’s 522 acres of farmland, forests, marshland, and brick-red barns remain remarkably pristine. Starting from the cluster of buildings in the center of the farm, head toward the corral of fluffy alpacas, then up to the grassy ridge for panoramic views. Saratoga Passage and the Cascade Range are visible to the east, Admiralty Inlet and the Olympic Mountains to the west. Continue north for a walk along forest trails, through stands of native salal, sword ferns, and Douglas fir.
Take a break at the rustic Whidbey Pies Cafe ($; 765 Wonn; 360/678-1288) for homemade soups, sandwiches, and buttery-crusted loganberry pies made with Greenbank berries. On sunny days you can picnic outside by the pond.
Next door to the cafe is the Greenbank Farm Retail Wine Shop & Tasting Bar (360/678-7700), with vintages from more than a dozen small Puget Sound Basin wineries―including the farm’s own loganberry wine. The new fiber mill in the adjacent barn sells soft, warm alpaca wool, as well as blankets, mittens, sweaters, socks, hats, and scarves made by Whidbey Island fiber artists.
But the best souvenir is an edible one―whole Whidbey pies are just $15.
Getting To the Farm
From I-5 in Seattle, take exit 189 and follow signs to the Mukilteo/Clinton Ferry (www.wsdot.wa.gov/ferries or 206/464-6400). At the dock in Clinton, go north (uphill) on State 525 about 25 miles; turn right on Wonn Rd. For lodging information, contact the Central Whidbey Chamber of Commerce (360/678-5434).