Whidbey Island Grown gets grant

Many Whidbey makers, growers and retailers will have new opportunities to collaborate thanks to a recent grant from Goosefoot.

Whidbey Island Grown, or WIG, received $7,500 from the Goosefoot Community Fund to support member networking events and increase activities at the third annual Whidbey Island Grown week, which starts Sept. 27.

“We’re excited about the coming year,” said John Burks, owner of Kettle’s Edge Farm and chair of WIG steering committee.

The organization comprises local businesses and aims to promote Whidbey Island goods and services.

The two networking events that will be paid for with $2,500 of the grant are meant to introduce members to each other and seek out ways businesses can support one another, Burks said.

Prospective members will also be invited to learn about the organization and see how “they might fit in and benefit,” according to Burks

The remaining $5,000 will go toward four days of activities at the end of Whidbey Island Grown Week, set to take place as the Island County Fairgrounds.

Burks said the details haven’t been ironed out yet, but there will likely be workshops and seminars for some of the days.

The growing organization was founded in 2009, but relaunched and re-branded itself within recent years.

Burks said the group just surpassed the 100-member mark.

Sandra Whiting, executive director of Goosefoot said she is impressed with WIG’s recent growth, and that its mission aligned with the goals of grant program.

“The projects we provided funding for should result in more business for island farmers and producers and those active in agricultural tourism activities,” Whiting said in an email.

“Supporting our local food system is key to Goosefoot’s mission of enhancing local commerce… Supporting Whidbey Island Grown just makes good sense.”

• More information can be found at whid beyislandgrown.com

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