Just knowing the market is open makes a day feel brighter. The Olympia Farmers Market is so filled with optimism: vegetable starts, pots of perennials, cut flowers, fresh and smoked meats, seafood and shellfish, fresh eggs and local cheeses, baked goods, crafts, paper goods, birdhouses, jewelry, herbs, condiments: the list goes on and on. Nearly 20 farms, many of them organic, offer seasonal produce over the course of the market's nine-month year. A dozen nurseries, seven restaurants, and virtually continuous entertainment make the market a great day's destination. It's open from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Thursdays through Sunday through October, and weekends in November and December.
And of course the high point of the market—how can we feel otherwise?—is the Lynch Creek Farm dahlia booth, brilliant with photos of the fabulous dahlia flowers and filled with dahlia tubers just waiting to go home and get planted. Dahlia tubers (some folks call them dahlia bulbs, but scientifically speaking, dahlias are tubers) carry the promise of a long, luscious blooming season from August until the first frost. Dahlias are easy to grow, mix well with other plants for colorful borders, and make excellent cut flowers.
Want a preview? Go to the Lynch Creek Dahlias web site and scout around the catalog of dahlias for the flowers you'd like most to try. You can order online, of course. But if you're anywhere in the South Puget Sound area, take yourself down to the bright and bustling Olympia Farmers Market. Lynch Creek Dahlias can be found next to the south wall, just about in the middle of the market. The Lynch Creek gang will welcome you, selling tubers for spring planting through the last weekend in May. They'll be back again with dahlia flowers and some accompanying favorite blooms in August, and they'll be there until frost, when their attention will turn to wreaths and beautiful holiday decorations.