Excitement abounds at the Olympia Farmers Market during National Farmers Market Week. With the additional arrival of summer favorites including blueberries, peaches and tomatoes, it is a fabulous time for a visit. “Farmers Markets are important because they are spaces where shoppers can connect directly with the farmer and trust that they are getting the freshest, earth-friendly produce,” according to Nora Hantula, Olympia Farmers Market assistant manager. Shoppers have easy access to taste new produce. Additionally, markets host food access programs to support healthy food availability for everyone.
National Farmers Market Week Events at Olympia Farmers Market August 10-13
You’ll get a front row seat to watch demonstrations led by Olympia Farmers Market vendors and community partners. It’s more engaging than watching on a screen.
MycoUpprhizal Mushrooms: August 10 from 12 p.m. to 1:30 p.m.
Learn how to grow mushrooms at home with wood plugs inoculated with mushroom spores. That sounds weird, but it works. Yes, anyone can learn to cultivate their own crop. Mushrooms are an impressive source of B vitamins, phosphorous, vitamin D, selenium, copper and potassium plus a source of protein. The varieties are vast, and mushrooms make a great ingredient in main dishes, sauces and salads. MycoUpprhizal Mushrooms is a market vendor.
Hive Five Bees: August 11 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
See bees at work inside a hive. You’ll be(e) able to talk with experts about the fuzzy pollinators, why their role is critical in agriculture and the joys of honey. The habitat of bees faces increasing challenges, and we can be helpful for their survival. Bees are not the nasty intruders at your picnic; those are their painful cousins, the wasps.
Kefir Water & Kombucha Making: August 12 from 12 p.m. to 1 p.m.
Vendor OlyKraut will demonstrate making your own kefir water and kombucha using natural fermentation. Business owner Sash Sunday will demonstrate how to use kefir grains to make refreshing summer drinks full of natural probiotics.
Slow Food Greater Olympia is Cooking: August 13 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Our local convivia (group) will transform local, summer vegetables into nutritious and delicious meals. Take home a new recipe. The Slow Food in our community actively plans fun events that always involve food! Find out more about Slow Foods in our community and around the world.
Free Raffle All Week
Enter to win a basket full of Market goodies. Find the Market outreach table and fill out your raffle ticket to enter the drawing. Just one entry per person, please.
August Bounty at Olympia Farmers Market
Satisfy your year-long cravings upon the arrival of blueberries, peaches, tomatoes, green beans and others farm treats. Put blueberries in your cereal, pancakes, and on top of your ice cream. They are fun to eat multiple times a day. Blueberries do moderately well in the freezer. Before they fully thaw, they hold their shape, but as they soften, add them to a smoothie for great taste packed with antioxidants. Peaches fall into that same category of being juicy and sweet through the day. I quarter them with skins on and freeze in bags for winter use. A peach cobbler in the dark of winter creates a joyous event.
Canners will gear up with boxes of beans and tomatoes. If you are new to canning, you might try single batches. The process takes less time and product, and you’ll still end up with a stack of jars that you’ll use long after the season is over.
Value of Having a Farmers Market
Our Olympia Farmers Market is the second largest in the state. I find there is always someone or something new to discover, but the area isn’t so big that I am overwhelmed by any of it. You really can talk with the farmers and people who work at the farm. They’ll share recipes or thoughts about what’s growing now. Our local farmers do this work because it is meaningful to provide nutritious food for their community. Unfortunately, there is not many financial rewards for the hard work, climate challenge, and uncontrollable circumstances. The good news for us is that they do it anyway. Thank you!
Olympia Farmers Market Offers More than Produce
Produce in the summer dominates the market, but there are always vendors with products like wine, clothing items, meat and baked goods. Some are edible in the moment and others are to be taken home. Remember, there’s also a row of restaurants offering international cuisines from which to have breakfast, lunch, or a snack.
Celebrate summer. The Market is open four days a week, Thursdays through Sundays from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Vendors participate in the SNAP, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. There is a free parking lot on the north side of the market. Visit the Olympia Farmer Market’s website for more information. You can also follow on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter or via email with the newsletter sign-up.