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Tilth farmers market moves on down the road

"The South Whidbey Tilth Farmers Market picked up and left its home of 15 years last Saturday to begin a new life at a new location just down the road off HIghway 525.Tilth members and supporters moved five structures from their old Bayview Corner location to the new site off Thompson Road. By day’s end, the small buildings from which vendors sell organically grown garden produce were neatly arranged in the large field that the group has decided to purchase.The new site plan has room for 30 or more booths should the new location prove popular with vendors and the public.Last Saturday, the biggest crop at the site was dreams. Tilth members explained their vision of a thriving market surrounded by demonstration gardens so people can learn to grow organically. Tilth president Judith Light mentioned research orchards of apple trees and nut trees, and described an office to be built in the uplands.Long-time Tilth member Prescott said her husband, Michael Seraphinoff, is obtaining “heirlooms seeds” to be planted in the spring. These hardy seeds owe nothing to genetic engineering, and an effort is underway to preserve them.Others talked about making space available to the public to plant their own “pea patch gardens.”Meanwhile, back at the old farmers market site at Bayview Corner, volunteers were jacking up buildings, bracing them with lumber and carefully placing them on a truck and trailer donated by Pete Krogseng.It was a tight squeeze through the Bayview Hall parking lot filled with cars belonging to people attending a rabbit show.“What I didn’t figure on was all these rabbit fanciers,” said Eric Will as he pondered how to move a building through the maze of cars. But he and the other dozen-plus volunteers got the job done, and by day’s end the Tilth farmers market was moved.It wasn’t the first move in the 25-year history of the Tilth farmers market. But now that it’s buying its own land, it may be the last.Plans are to open the market May 14, which is the first Mother’s Day of the next millennium.Tilth’s won’t be the only farmers market next spring. There will still be one at Bayview Corner, under the sponsorship of the property’s new owner, Nancy Nordhoff’s Orach, Inc. A committee of local business owners, vendors and community members is making plans for the new market there."

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