Olympia’s Farmers Market

Shopping at the Olympia Farmers Market can be a great way to get to know your community while supporting your local economy. Open year-round with three distinct operating seasons, it’s a great addition to your weekly shopping routine. The market is open Thursday to Sunday, April through October for High Season, Saturday and Sunday in November and December for Holiday Season, and every Saturday in January through March for Winter Season, always 10am to 3pm.

Founded in 1975, the Market has been in its current location at the top of Capitol Way in downtown Olympia since 1996. With four dedicated full-time employees and a volunteer board of directors comprised of vendors, they are committed to their mission “to promote and encourage the development of local, small-scale agriculture and ensure a dynamic market balance for small, local growers and others to make available their products to residents of this community.”

The open-air, barn-inspired building provides protection from the weather and space for over 100 unique small businesses from the South Sound region to connect directly with customers in the community. Visitors to the market will find fruit and produce, artisan foods, wine, plant starts, cut flowers, pasture-raised meats, dairy, baked goods, seafood, jams and preserves, confections, handcrafted gifts including jewelry, woodworking, textiles, ceramics, glasswork, photography, local art and more. Free daily live entertainment can be enjoyed at the Market main stage with ample seating and space to enjoy delicious foods from the eight restaurants. The Market also has over 200 free two-hour parking stalls, accessible restroom facilities, and three ATM’s for customer convenience.

The Market accepts new farmer and food processor applications year-round and new crafter applications annually from December 1 through December 31. Visit the website for more information at www.olympiafarmersmarket.com.

Happy Belly’s Healthy Options

Since 2014, Happy Belly has been offering unique, healthy options to South Sound residents in search of fresh, delicious meals. Happy Belly owner and executive chef Jennifer Johnson has created a thriving casual-dining establishment that has a loyal following and new converts every day. It features Johnson’s unique perspective on balance in daily living and feeding one’s mind as well as one’s body through a variety of nutritious foods.

Johnson is always looking for new flavor combinations for her dishes. “I am inspired by the way the senses work together—the smell of crushed tomato leaves, the ultra-sweetness of fresh pineapple, salty sea water, the dry feel of crumbling tobacco leaves, the silky feel of apple skin. I create food I wished was made for me and that I want to share with others,” she says.

This spring, Happy Belly is all about revitalization and renewal. Coming out of winter, the focus will be on lighter dishes and herbjuice fusions. “We’re excited for the coming sun and citrus,” says Johnson, noting “a kaleidoscope of color and flavor in blossoms and berries, mint, basil, cilantro, ginger, tropical notes and earthy beet, turmeric and greens.”

In addition, Happy Belly’s Kitchen Self-Sufficiency class series starts up again in March. The series will help you sharpen your knife skills, discover alternative flours and sweeteners, tackle multimeal preparation, and explore flavor combining.

For Johnson, connecting with and caring for her guests and staff has brought her more success than she could have ever imagined. “Listen to the community. They’ll tell you exactly what is needed,” she says. “Then my job is to deliver it in a creative, tasty and affordable way that keeps bringing them back. Also, smiles, kindness and positivity are contagious. Everyone can use more of it.”

HILARY RYAN

For additional information:
Happy Belly
1122 Market Street
happybellytacoma.com

Terra’s Kitchen, a FRESH take on meals

Balsamic Grilled Strip Steaks with Roasted Spring VeggiesTerra’s Kitchen was founded by a team of foodies, wellness professionals, nutritionists and farmers working together to solve a question that we often ask ourselves: How do we find time to eat good food and live healthier lives while raising a family and pursuing a career?

came up with an appetizing answer: a meal service, delivering the freshest of seasonal ingredients to your doorstep. The ingredients arrive prepped and skillet-ready for the recipes to be cooked. Terra’s Kitchen hand-picks reliable food sources across North America to ensure that your delivery always holds high-quality ingredients for delicious dishes.

As the publisher at ShowCase Magazine and a foodie myself, I decided I had to try this new service. The Terra’s Kitchen eco-friendly vessel arrived at our door on schedule. With multi level trays and a cooling device to keep meat and produce cool, the vessel looked like a “space age” delivery box. As we unloaded the ingredients into our refrigerator, we found ourselves marveling at the luscious ingredients and anticipating the meals to come.

Besides the prepped and chopped produce, the delivery vessel came with easy-to-follow recipe cards with pictures of each step. The cards provided very helpful cooking tips and close-up photos, plus wine or beer pairings, for a true culinary experience. It was all so easy that our 14-year-old budding foodie delighted in preparing a meal with us.

The tasty meals we prepared were a snap to put together and came with all the dressings and seasonings needed. Our favorite was the grilled New York strip steak with tomatoes, eggplant and basil chimichurri. In the end, we were impressed with the freshness and thought placed into the accompaniments to each meal.

Looking for a fresh take on delivered dinner? Consider it yourself: terraskitchen.com