Market's regular season kicks off Thursday

ahobbs@theolympian.comApril 2, 2014 

Eleven year-old Zack Noe rings the traditional opening bell Thursday heralding the start of the 2013 Olympia Farmers Market season.He was up from Southern California with family members visiting his brother Jack who is attending Saint Martin's University.

STEVE BLOOM

The Olympia Farmers Market will kick off its regular season Thursday with plenty of food, flowers and live music.

The market’s regular season runs through October. Hours are 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Thursday through Sunday at 700 North Capitol Way. Live music featuring local bands will run 11 a.m.-2 p.m. each day. In November and December, the market will be open Saturdays and Sundays only.

On days with nice weather, the market can attract 2,000 visitors or more, said assistant manager Ashley Powell. This weekend, visitors can expect to find fresh-cut flowers such as tulips and daffodils, along with hanging baskets and all the “good spring things.”

“Everybody’s favorite stuff will be back,” Powell added.

There will also be seven food trailers serving a range of ethnic eats. There will be at least 85 total vendors setting up shop at the market this season, with more produce available as the season nears the fall harvest. Vendors sell everything from soaps and jewelry to seafood and salsa.

A new vendor this year is Old 99 Nursery, which will sell “weird stuff you won’t see in any nursery,” said owner Dave Ward. The novelties will include Patron tequila bottles converted into planters for agave plants. The nursery will also sell ornamental plants like aeoniums and echeverias.

Ward said he finally signed up for the farmers market because of the solid foot traffic and exposure to new customers.

“We need to expand our horizons,” said Ward, who has owned the Centralia-area nursery for 14 years. “Now that we’ve developed some of these off-the-wall, nichey kind of things, I think the market will be a good thing.”

For the first time, the market was open during the winter this year, rather than closing after Christmas. On Saturdays from January through March, the winter market provided an opportunity for farmers and nurseries to sell winter crops and starter plants, Powell said.

More details

To learn more, visit olympiafarmersmarket.com or call 360-352-9096.

Andy Hobbs: 360-704-6869 ahobbs@theolympian.com

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