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Farmers Market hires a new manager
Rebecca Wittman, a well-known Island singer and writer who hails from a ranch in Idaho, will become the new manager of the Vashon Farmers Market. She replaces Alison Bockus, who is resigning to move to Costa Rica with her family next January.
"She's so fantastic. The market is blessed to have her," Bockus said Wednesday.
Wittman, who has a background in marketing and who designed and implemented the Vashon heritage museum's advertising campaign, is well-positioned to address the market's outreach and publicity needs, Bockus added.
The market has done a good job of attracting strong vendors who sell great products, Bockus said. "Now we need to get the customers."
Vashon Island Growers Association (VIGA), which oversees the market, had several well-qualified candidates apply for the post, Bockus added. That, too, was heartening, she said. "This has turned into a job that people want."
Wittman, who grew up on a 12,000-acre farm in Idaho, moved to Vashon in 2006 after 35 years of city life and ultimately growing weary of the urban environment, she said.
"My blood had become way too thin and my psyche weary of pavement and traffic and the anonymity of city life. One day I discovered the fertile soil of this island community, and I knew instantly that it was where I belonged," she told the VIGA board in her cover letter for the job.
In a brief interview, Wittman said she was both excited and honored to take on the position — in large part because of the important role the market plays on Vashon, with its deep agrarian roots.
"This is the real deal. ... This is an opportunity to represent an important piece of Island heritage, and I want to do right by it," she said.
Her background as a cook, gardener, farmer and businessperson, she added, will enable her to "see the market through all of those lenses, and I look forward to bringing all of those perspectives together to strengthen the market's mission."
Wittman starts this Saturday, when she'll work with Bockus. Wittman said the starting date of Sept. 3 is auspicious, as that's the birthdate of her son, now a young adult. His name is Garth, which means "keeper of the garden," Wittman said.