For South Whidbey’s garden and fresh produce lovers, this coming weekend is a big one. A big one for shoppers, but also for those on the other side of the counter.
At least four different sales/markets are scheduled to take place and open for the season Saturday and Sunday, and the nonprofits, farmers and island craft masters at these events rely heavily on the public’s support. Sometimes that support is for personal profit, farmers making it through another season, and sometimes it’s rededicated entirely to others. Either way, supporting small South End businesses and helping our nonprofits give back is something all South Whidbey residents should get behind. But don’t sweat it too much, it’s actually pretty fun.
The South Whidbey Garden Club Plant-tastic Sale for example, is always cool. The selection is great, the food tasty and the company pleasant. And best of all, the dough the non-profit group rakes in goes right back into the community. Over the past five years, more than $12,000 was collected from the sale and then redistributed to environmental stewardship, horticultural education and community beautification groups. In 2015, $2,050 raised from the plant sale was awarded in grants to the Langley Main Street Association, Clinton Progressive Association, South Whidbey Tilth and South Whidbey High School’s agriculture class.
This year’s event is 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, April 30 on Highway 525 just north of Sebo’s Hardware.
Similarly, the Eagles Plant and Garden Sale is at 9 a.m. Saturday and Sunday. The sale is held at the group’s clubhouse, located about a mile south of Freeland on Highway 525. This is the 18th installment of the annual event, and like the garden club it’s the Eagle’s premier fundraiser for the year. It pays for a slew of grants and charitable awards the organization gives to various community and non-profit groups; it shelled out $9,500 from the 2015 event alone. By the way, a trip to Maui, Hawaii, is one of the items to be raffled this year.
Saturday is also the first day of the Bayview Farmers Market, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., as is Sunday the season opener of the South Whidbey Tilth Farmers Market, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. The two are easily the best on Whidbey — we realize that’s a bold claim but stand behind it nevertheless — as the markets are as fresh and fun as the produce. The list of items for sale is too extensive for this column, but one can be reasonably sure a foray at either won’t be time wasted. Even if you don’t find something you can’t live without, they’re always social affairs as it’s practically impossible not to run into someone you know.
Events like these are a big part of what makes South Whidbey so cool, and people should support them. Spend $20 on a new plant, picture, pastry or whatever during a morning outside with the family or bumping into friends, and you become a part of a circle of giving back. Seems like a deal to us.