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Fresh pickins’ available at Coupeville Farmers Market

Seattle resident Alton Swiderski, 3, takes a ride on Coupeville farmer Wilbur Purdue’s tractor on the opening day of the Coupeville Farmers Market Saturday, April 7. Market officials said the day was an extraordinary success, thanks to the sunshine and great participation.  - Justin Burnett / Whidbey News-Times
Seattle resident Alton Swiderski, 3, takes a ride on Coupeville farmer Wilbur Purdue’s tractor on the opening day of the Coupeville Farmers Market Saturday, April 7. Market officials said the day was an extraordinary success, thanks to the sunshine and great participation.
— image credit: Justin Burnett / Whidbey News-Times

Lovers of fresh and natural food are in heaven as the farmers market season has arrived on Whidbey Island.

The Coupeville Farmers Market began last week and continues today and every Saturday through the middle of October, while others start later this month or in May.

Coupeville Farmers Market manager Peg Tennant said 20 to 30 vendors are presently on hand to sell spinach, arugula, potatoes and other vegetables along with the arts, crafts and fresh food that make the market a popular way to spend a sunny and cool Saturday.

Several Whidbey farms, including Prairie Bottom Farm near Coupeville, Pam’s Place Produce near Langley and the Farmer Training Center at the Greenbank Farm, already have fresh produce to sell despite the early April start date. Some of the farmers installed hoop houses and green houses on their property so they have something to sell at the start of the market season.

In addition to the fresh-picked produce, starter plants and a variety of arts and crafts were being sold to the people taking advantage of the warm weather to see the first offerings of the season.

One business owner is selling both plants and crafts. Tom Carsten of M and T Carsten had a booth last week crammed full of tomato starter plants and cedar woodworking.

“You name it, we sell it,” Carsten said during the market.

The market season comes off a very successful year in 2011. Despite the cold spring that delayed crops last year, Tennant said the Coupeville market had its most successful year ever.

The Coupeville market will continue in its location in the grassy field behind the public library on Alexander Street.

Tennant noted that the market will offer three market baskets giveaways throughout the year — one in the spring, one in the summer and one during the fall. Those baskets will contain a selection of items that are offered during the market and shoppers win tickets by making purchases at the market. The market wraps up with the Coupeville Harvest Fest in October, a yearly get-together that features the giant pumpkin contest, giant zucchini contest and the popular Harvest Relays.

 

 

Markets on Whidbey open soon

The Coupeville Farmers Market is one of a number of markets that take place up and down Whidbey Island during the summer. Most of those markets open for business in the next couple of weeks. They take place at the following locations:

• Oak Harbor Public Market: Thursdays, 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. May 17 through Oct. 11 in the woods next to the chamber building on Highway 20.

• Greenbank Farmers Market: Sundays, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. May 13 through Sept. 30 at the Greenbank Farm on Highway 525.

• Bayview Farmers Market: Saturdays, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. April 28 through Oct. 27, at Bayview Corner.

• South Whidbey Tilth: Sundays, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. April 29 through Oct. 28 at 2812 Thompson Road off Highway 525.

 

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