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Tilth market opens

Spring has sprung. Seeds are being sown, and veggies are starting to sprout.

Local farmers are ready to join up with artisans at the South Whidbey Tilth farmers’ market. The first Tilth market of the season starts today, and will run from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

It’s Anza Muenchow’s first year directing the Tilth market. She comes from Seattle, where she worked on a variety of horticulture-related projects. Muenchow has a lot of experience working with kids, and has also worked with refugees and immigrants on garden-related projects.

Despite Muenchow’s extensive horticulture background, this is the first time she’s worked specifically with a farmers’ market.

“It’s my first year and I’m learning as we go,” Muenchow said. “It’s pretty exciting.”

Locals and tourists alike frequent South Whidbey’s farmers’ markets to take advantage of locally — and often organically — grown products, and to discover one-of-a-kind arts and crafts items.

Many South Enders jump at the chance to support the local economy, and appreciate many vendor’s willingness to tailor their products for customers.

The Tilth market will offer about a dozen vendor’s goods during its initial phase. Other vendors have agreed to join in as the season progresses.

“It’s just a little early for some of the vegetables,” Muenchow said.

The Tilth market is making a couple changes this year. They decided to stay open one hour longer, “to capture some of those later shoppers.”

“Another difference this year is that there will be an emphasis on education at the

market,” the Tilth director said.

Throughout the season, a variety of Tilth members will give advice and expertise about market-related subjects.

During the first two weeks of the Tilth market a community seed exchange will take place. Market shoppers will learn which seeds grow best in the island climate, and learn ways to plant different seeds.

“There are some techniques that are really pretty easy once you get them down,” Muenchow said.

Later in the season, Tilth will offer education about nutrition and the benefits of supporting local agriculture, for instance.

Muenchow is all geared up and ready to start the Tilth farmers’ market season.

“I’d like to see a vibrant, abundant market that the community will enjoy visiting,” she said. “And I want all of our farmers and crafters to have a really successful year.”

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