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Market Scene: Dane County Farmers' Market in Madison, Wisconsin
Dane County Farmers' Market
Every Saturday morning from mid-April until the first week of November, Wisconsin farmers gather around the Capitol building in Madison for the Dane County Farmers' Market, the largest producer-only farmers' market in the United States. The place is packed with eager buyers every week and is so successful that there is a four-year waiting list for farmers trying to get in. The market continues the rest of the year, but it moves indoors because most people prefer not to get frostbite while buying their veggies.
The exception to the every Saturday rule happened to be this past weekend when I was in Madison. The market clears out for the Art Fair on the Square, which was this past weekend when I was in Madison. A scaled-down version of the market was held this weekend a few blocks away from the regular site and a block away from the locale of the Wednesday market. There was only room for a fraction of the normal massive list of vendors, but the farmers who showed up (invites were handed out in order of seniority) put on an impressive display of what Wisconsin has to offer.
Summer vegetables were out en masse with the notable exception of corn, which only one farmer had this week. Summer fruits have started but will really hit their stride at the end of the month. As is befitting Wisconsin, a couple of operations were selling bags of very squeaky cheese curds (squeaky = fresh). And rounding out the market were two bakeries, a couple meat producers, a few farms selling their flowers, and a pickler. In other words, even in its scaled-down state, the Dane County Farmers' Market can meet almost all of the typical Madisonian's grocery needs.
In Season Right Now
Sugar Ann Snap Peas
CORN! CORN! CORN!