Votes sought to help Langley biz with grant contest

Two Langley merchants are looking for the public’s help in securing a $100,000 grant.

David and Kimberly Tiller, owners of Whidbey Island Natural, are competing in Chase Bank’s Mission Main Street contest. The business must receive 250 online votes before June 19 to be considered for the grant.

According to a recent news release, winning will enable the Tillers to extend their outreach to the island’s farming community by contracting with local, organic farmers to grow many of the seed oil crops and herbs used in their natural skincare products.

September will find the Tillers working with Whidbey Island Winery, Blooms, and Spoiled Dog wineries. They’ll be cleaning, drying, then pressing grapeseed oil, which will be incorporated into their line of skincare products, the release said. Also, Seed cake, a by-product of the oil press, is a nutritious livestock feed and will be used to feed the farm animals at Spoiled Dog Winery.

Organic Seed Alliance, out of Port Townsend, is assisting with an organic seed trial. They’ll be growing selected varieties of Crambe abyssinica, an uncommon oil with properties for healing the skin. The trials will determine which varieties of Crambe grow well on Whidbey and produce the highest quality of oil for skincare.

With the grant, the Tillers hope to realize their dream of developing Whidbey Island Natural Permaculture farm (WINP). Their 10-acre farm is located directly off Highway 525 in Greenbank. It will be organically certified and demonstrate permaculture design principles, the release said.

To vote, visit www.missionmainstreetgrants.com/vote. Participants must have Facebook account.