Farmers markets prepare for opening

"Visitors to the new Bayview Farmers Market will see changes both obvious and subtle when it opens Saturday at 10 a.m.The market location is under new ownership, and the market itself under new management. That comes with a name change to the Bayview Farmers Market and some physical changes as well.For years, when it was the South Whidbey Tilth Farmers Market, motorists parked every which way, sandwiching their cars along the roads and between Bayview Hall and the old Bayview Cash Store. No more.Beginning Saturday, parking in designated areas will be provided in open fields next to Bayview Farm & Garden, and between Bayview Hall and the highway. A material called Geo-grid will mark the parking spaces.Paths will lead from the parking lot to the 50 booths at the Farmers Market, according to Linda Moore, part of the management team. The paths will be hard, consisting of pine cones and pine pitch, when finished. The whole point is to demonstrate alternative new materials that are environmentally friendly, Moore said. Even the asphalt is friendly at the adjoining Bayview Farm & Garden, owned by Jim and Maureen Rowley. In heavily trafficked areas they used a new type of asphalt that water drains through, rather than away from, to replenish the ground water.But the most obvious change at the Bayview Farmers Market will be The Structure, or the more formally named open air pavilion. Designed by Jay Davenny it is being assembled this week. Customers can walk through the 417-square foot structure, and vendors can swing their tables around as each will be mounted on one of the structure's supports. They can move the tables as the needs of the market change, Davenny said.The structure's galvanized metal roof is not expected to be in place on Saturday, however. Davenny estimates the structure will be totally finished in about two weeks.Market visitors will also be able to relax on new Adirondack style chairs and picnic tables.Meanwhile, the traditional South Whidbey Tilth Farmers Market is readying for its new life just up the highway off Thompson Road. From Bayview; turn right and look for signs.The familiar Tilth booths are located on the edge of an open field, where parking will be plentiful. Tilth now owns its own property and will be able to not only sell organic produce, but also demonstrate how it is grown."

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