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Remlinger Farms opens season with local emphasis

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CARNATION - Valley residents who've been craving a fresh fruit pie will be pleased to know that Remlinger Farms is open for the season.

The family-owned 325-acre farm sits just outside of Carnation and has a market, Country Kitchen bakery and restaurant and family park with amusement rides. The farm kicks off the growing season this weekend with several new features. In the market, shoppers will find an expanded Northwest Crafts showroom area, which is now 2,000 square feet. Also this year the farm is focusing on nostalgia in its market.

"We're going to go back to the traditional fruits and vegetables and re-emphasize the local" said Daryl Sherfey, general manager. "It's about a history of us having local, fresh stuff from this state." This means the market will carry even more locally and regionally grown produce - items that are Washington specialties and have more flavor when bought locally, such as asparagus, rhubarb, peaches, cherries, apples and peppers.

New this year are fresh-made salsa, guacamole and ready-made soups to take home and heat. The soups are the same variety served in the farm's restaurant, including 17 bean, split pea and cream soups, to name a few. During the summer, canning and pickling demonstrations will be held for those who would like to learn to preserve their own food.

Also during opening weekend, Remlinger Farms is holding its annual Mother's Day buffet, with everything from fresh-baked pastries and gourmet salads to beef and pork dishes. Seatings are from 9 p.m. to 1 p.m.; call (425) 333-4135 for reservations.

A Mother's Day fuchsia basket giveaway will be held at noon, 1 p.m., 2 p.m. and 3 p.m. on Sunday. Mothers get into the park for free with a paid admission.

During every new crop season, the farm will host a weekend festival, such as a strawberry festival in June and a raspberry fest in July. Other annual festivals include the Freedom Fest around July 4 and the Harvest Fest in October. Right now, rhubarb and asparagus are in season. The U-pick fields will open in mid-June for strawberries. Raspberries and pumpkins come along later. Check the farm's "ripe and ready" report at (425) 333-4135 for information before visiting.

As for the family park, there's a new miniature Ferris wheel and a "Barrels of Fun" ride. In the summer, an antique car ride will be installed. This time of year always brings babies, including ducklings, chicks and lambs, to the 4-H animal barnyard located in the park.

James the Marionette, a popular children's entertainer, has new shows for the farm this year - one for spring, summer and fall. James puts on his shows whenever the park is open. Also for children, birthday parties can be booked at the farm as a new feature this year, explained owners Bonnie and Gary Remlinger. The parties include lunch, cake, ice cream, decorations and unlimited use of the park for the day. Arrangements can be made by calling in advance.

Remlinger Farms is open from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekends until school is out in June, then daily, until Labor Day weekend. Admission to the park is $5 per person, which includes unlimited rides and activities. A season pass is $25, which includes unlimited access to park rides and activities during open hours, as well as entrance to any of the festivals, and one pass for the Harvest Fest in the fall.

A summer pass is also available for $15 that allows unlimited access to the park on weekdays and a discount on weekends. Tours for schools, organizations and even small groups are available by calling ahead. The farm is located just outside of Carnation, at 32610 S.E. 32nd Street, and can be reached at (425) 333-4135. The farm's Web-site is www.remlingerfarms.com.

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