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Friday, 01 July 2016 22:59

Final Season for Blue Willow Lavender Farm

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"If you’ve never come to our lavender festival, this is the year to come," said Tracy Ketts, owner of Blue Willow Lavender Farm on Wright-Bliss Road in Vaughn.

This is the eighth and final year of the festival July 8 and 9, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

The festival includes food by Ribtickler, lavender craft classes, music by local groups—including the popular Bluegrass Minstrels—U-pick lavender bouquets, and many lavender products in the country store.

"And lavender ice cream!" said Ketts.

The lavender season ends on Aug. 27, and although she plans to host the Key Peninsula Farm Tour on Oct. 1, she’ll be moving out and moving on with her life soon after, including getting married and making her home in California.

Ketts and her late husband, Bill, came to Washington to start a "house church" in friend Mike Walsh’s home in 2008. It took them four years of prayer, study and consideration to make the leap to become church organizers and lavender farm growers.

Ketts wanted to name the farm Blue Willow, but Bill said she needed to find and grow such a plant if they were to use that name. She did, and planted the farm's sign near the roadside lavender beds.

"You never know what the tide will bring in," said Ketts about this new chapter of her life. Bill died two years ago after an unexpected diagnosis of leukemia. An apparently strong healthy man succumbed to the rare disease in a few short months.

Ketts knew she didn’t want to spend the rest of her days as a single woman, but felt she was trying to work a puzzle with a missing piece. She prayed, she said, but had no clue what her future held. Meanwhile, she took care of her lavender business.

She visited family in California last January and took another trip down in April. Before Ketts arrived that time, her sister called with the news their mom had died. The trip was extended to take care of a funeral and other business.

Ketts always borrowed a car to use there from longtime friend Wayne Biller. In what seemed a brief time, friendship turned to love, and they became engaged.

"I’ve learned, but have to keep relearning, to not calculate without pushing the God button," she said, meaning she shouldn’t make plans without "checking with God."

Ketts will sell individual lavender plants on a "you dig" basis for $2 each beginning June 15. She is willing to sell the business, but not the name of Blue Willow. The property belongs to Walsh.

Pictures of lavender fields, products and crafts may be seen at

The church organized by Bill Ketts, Grace Church of Key Peninsula, now meets in Wauna. For more information, call 225-9030.

May 15, 1841.

The Charles Wilkes expedition identified Gig Harbor as the gateway to the Olympic Peninsula after establishing with their survey gig, the Porpoise, that the bay was too small for a ship but just right for a gig. The expedition later anchored overnight off Wyckoff Shoal, north of Pitt Island, and named Henderson Bay. On July 4, 1841, Wilkes and his expedition celebrated the first Independence Day west of the Mississippi on the shores of Dupont.

Saturday, 28 May 2016 10:32

Scholarships Fund the Future for KP Woman

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Cheyenne Anderson, 20, of Vaughn, has set her eye on a goal.

In 2012, she was struggling with school. She was 15 years old. She was being bullied. She was failing science.

Saturday, 28 May 2016 10:31

Peninsula Proud

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On May 18, roughly one-third of seniors graduating from Peninsula High School (PHS) were awarded scholarships from the Peninsula Hawks Scholarship Fund. Once again, this fund distributed almost a quarter of a million dollars to benefit seniors who completed a portfolio application to support their future plans. The scholarship awards can be used for any type of postsecondary education, from vocational training programs to a university degree.

Fans celebrated the publication of Dale Goodvin’s first book last month with a reception at Blend Wine Shop in Key Center. "Kansas Whispers and Midnight Blues: Dodging Despair, Deception and Clowns" is now available to the public.

Saturday, 28 May 2016 10:27

KP Man Explores Development in Cuba

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Lakebay resident Jeff Harris visited Cuba for the first time in February to determine the feasibility of a community development project on behalf of the Gig Harbor Rotary Club's International Committee and the Olson Foundation, which he serves as president. He ended his trip discussing the return of nonprofit work to Cuba with the new U.S. ambassador in Havana.

Saturday, 28 May 2016 10:25

Key Peninsula Civic Center at 60: Part II

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The original Vaughn High School, constructed in stages beginning in 1906, had come to the end of its serviceable life by 1955. At least, that's what the Peninsula School District thought when it was put up for sale.

Saturday, 28 May 2016 10:22

Graduation Nears for Homeschool Student

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Every year, just before Labor Day, 5-year-olds around the country look forward to their first day of school.

But what if that first day comes when you’re 17?

Saturday, 28 May 2016 10:20

JUNE ‘16 KP NEWS Calendar

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June 1

Pet neuter program

The Northwest Spay and Neuter Center animal shuttle will be at the KP Civic Center 7 to 7:30 a.m. to pick up dogs and cats. Animals will be returned to the civic center at 9 a.m. the next day. Appointments are required. Call 253-627-7729, ext. 217, or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for questions or to schedule an appointment. The Northwest Spay and Neuter Center offers affordable spay and neuter services for cats and dogs including special programs for feral cats and pit bull dogs.