Kylie Neal inspects drying onions at Kettle’s Edge Farm Monday. Fresh produce from the farm will be served at a four-course dinner at Oystercatcher as part of Whidbey Island Grown Week, running Sept. 29-Oct. 8. Photo by Laura Guido/Whidbey News-Times

All things Whidbey focus of 10-day event starting Friday

Friday, Sept. 29, kicks off the first-ever Whidbey Island Grown Week, a 10-day event that will feature local farms and products.

Businesses across the island will host a variety of activities or provide discounts while showcasing their goods.

Everything starts at 10 a.m. Friday at Eckholm Farm with tours of the farm and apiary, which includes honey samples and a jar of this year’s honey crop. Tours are scheduled twice daily, excluding Saturdays. The farm is located at 1025 Zylstra Road, Coupeville.

All across the island, cooking classes, taste-testings and more will occur.

The event is being organized by Whidbey Island Grown, a group established by local farmers, buyers and residents to “increase awareness and consumption of agricultural products grown on the island,” according to the website.

The group was formed in 2009, but is working this year to relaunch its brand. Whidbey Island Grown Week is part of this effort.

“It’s just the idea of collaborating and unifying our messaging to bring people to the island,” said Sherrye Wyatt, coordinator of the relaunch.

Many of the activities will feature member businesses working together. On Oct. 2, the Oystercatcher will host a four-course dinner using fresh produce grown at Kettle’s Edge Farm.

John Burks, owner of Kettle’s Edge Farm, said the member organizations have been working to help promote each other’s businesses for the event.

“It’s something to really highlight what we’re doing here on Whidbey Island.”

Burks is acting chair of the steering committee for Whidbey Island Grown. He said the group hopes to bring the event back in the spring. Ideally, the group aims to have the week-long event as an annual or semiannual occurrence.

“We just feel like we’ve got a lot to offer people here,” he said. “We’d like to bring them here and see that they get a great experience.”

 

Seth Campbell and Kylie Neal sort through drying onions at Kettle’s Edge Farm Monday. The farm is one of several local organizations participating in Whidbey Island Grown Week, which runs from Sept. 39-Oct. 8. Photo by Laura Guido/Whidbey News-Times

Bruce Eckholm checks on his honey bees Monday at Eckholm farm. Tours and honey samples will be available at the farm as part of Whidbey Island Grown Week, starting Sept. 29. Photo by Laura Guido/Whidbey News-Times

Two pigs look for treats as their owner Bruce Eckholm looks on Monday afternoon at Eckholm Farm. There will be tours of the farm available as part of Whidbey Island Grown Week, happening Sept. 29-Oct. 8. Photo by Laura Guido/Whidbey News-Times