Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Thursday Thirteen 103: Farmers' Market

The Dane County Farmers’ Market returns to the Capitol Square this Saturday. It is considered one of the top ten open-air markets in the country, and is the largest producer-only farmers’ market in the US (meaning all goods are produced locally, no resale is allowed). The market is held every Saturday from 6am to 2pm, rain or shine, from mid-April into November. Please remember to leave your dogs at home and enjoy your visit!

1. Baked goods. There are bakery stands ringing the Square—a great way to start your morning! I’m especially partial to the Oak House Bakery stand, and those with the mini loaves of breads—chocolate cherry, pumpkin chocolate chip, orange chocolate chip, Mmmm….
2. Juice/cider. Apple cider or fresh-squeezed OJ go great with those pastries you nabbed for breakfast.
3. Cheese/cheese curds. The curds are so fresh they squeak!
4. Honey, jams and jellies. Of every kind. Seriously.

5. Plants. This early in the season, flower, herb and vegetable plants abound. During the summer, garden plantings give way to fresh-cut flowers, with dried floral arrangements and wreaths being more common in autumn.
6. Produce. While you’ll mostly find “hothouse” vegetables in the early spring, summer and autumn find the stands teeming with locally grown fruits and vegetables. Beans, tomatoes, squash, peppers of all varieties, carrots, spinach and lettuces, radishes, broccoli and Brussels sprouts, corn on the cob—even mushrooms and potatoes.

7. Fish and meat. A variety of fresh or smoked meats and fishes are found among the vendors—including an ostrich stand.
8. Wagons full of goods. Even those who don’t have kids understand the value of a good wagon, the better to cart around all your purchases.

9. The Capitol. Take a break by visiting the state Capitol, modeled after our Nation's Capitol in Washington, DC. Wander the cool, marble corridors (43 varieties of stone!) and admire the rotunda murals and other artwork throughout, join a daily tour, or visit the observation deck, which offers a panoramic view of the city. Plus, there are plenty of free restrooms.
10. Arts and crafts vendors. Set up on streets across from the Capitol, particularly the King Street and State Street corners, are a number of craft stands. Jewelry, clothing, candles, trinket boxes, souvenir tee-shirts and bags—you can find almost anything here.

11. Musicians. While not allowed to perform on the Capitol side of the Square, you’ll find musicians of all sorts set up on almost every block across the street.
12. Activists and public information booths. You name the cause or organization, and there’s probably someone there to support it. Tables are set up at all four corners, sometimes making it difficult to access the Capitol. (Note to self: don't forget to check out the tourism booth for a new bicycle map.)
13. Protestors. Because you can’t have a cause without someone protesting it. Especially in Madison.

** A nod goes out to Alice and Jennifer M, who both claim to love when I talk about the local stuff. This one's for you, ladies!

(Please leave your link if this is your first visit!)

Stephanie Adkins * Alice Audrey * Adelle Laudan * RJ LeBeau
Janice Seagraves * Cassandra * Shelley Munro * Daisy
Hootin' Anni * Inez Kelley * Harriet * Jamie Babette * Sidhe
Jennifer McKenzie * Paige Tyler * Gayle * Sarah
Lauren Murphy * Neith

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others’ comments. It’s easy, and fun! I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things.


Adelle Laudan said...

I can't wait for summer This will be my first after moving to the city. There is a Huge farmer's market down the mountain. Love your list. Happy T13!

Heather said...

Thanks, Adelle - I hope you are able to get to your local market a few times this summer!

Shelley Munro said...

Sanp! I almost did my TT on our local Farmer's market today. I always enjoy going. It's lots of fun and I like trying all the free samples. :)

Heather said...

Shelley - GMTA! Guess now you'll have to do yours next week! *grin*

Hootin' Anni said... very impressive. I would go for the plants and food. How fun that would be.

My 13 is posted....all flowers in our yard, done in a collage for you. Drop by if you can find time. Happy Thursday.

Stephanie Adkins said...

I love farmer's markets but we don't have hardly any around here. *sniff sniff* Great list. Happy Thursday!

Daisy said...

Wow! It sounds like an awesome place. Maybe someday I'll get to a farmer's market again. :) Happy Thursday!

Thursday 13 - edition 3
Weekly Plans 4/13-4/20

Inez Kelley said...

I am jealous!

I am Harriet said...

Gotta love the Farmers Market.

jamiebabette said...

Farmer's markets are fun. It's great yours is all local.
My 13 is up. Happy Thursday.

Alice Audrey said...

I miss the farmer's market. I hardly ever bought anything there as it tends to be much pricier than Woodmans, but I spent a lot of time talking to people. It was fun.

Alice Audrey said...

And no, I wasn't always protesting. *Oops. Knee-jerk protestation.*

Jennifer McKenzie said...

LMAO about the protesters.
This is so cool.

sidhe said...

We have a fantastic farmer's market here, too, though I think they do allow resale. It's gorgeous, and there's no better way to spend a Saturday morning!

Paige Tyler said...

That sounds like fun!


My TT is at

Gayle said...

That's a very informative post on your local Farmer's Market. Makes me realize I should visit mine more often if only to look.
The White House

Sarah said...

I wish we had a farmer's market here. We need to start visiting my FIL more often. They have street vendors in places selling fresh fruit, and that's just yummy!

T13 - 54th Edition
Weekly Plans: Come join in the fun

Heather said...

Anni - Plants and food are definitely big draws this time of year. Great place to people watch, too.

Stephanie - I admit, we are a bit spoiled in this area. In addition to the main market downtown, there are also a few community ones, some on Saturday, some Wednesday or Thursday.

Daisy - Awesome is certainly one way to describe it, especially with some 300 vendors. I hope you can find one near you!

Inez - ROFL...sorry! I'll have to try to get more pics to post this summer/fall. ;)

Heather said...

Harriet - Can't help but love it! *grin*

Jamie - Yes, the all-local factor is definitely a plus, and a huge "selling" point in their, It helps that there are still many farms in the area.

Alice - Yes, some of the stuff can be pricier than Woodman's, but it's sooo much fun just to walk around and immerse yourself in the crowd. LOL at the "protest."

Jennifer - Hehe... I only wish I were joking about the protesters, but as Alice can attest, I'm not. It gets especially bad in the fall, around election time. Gotta love the local culture. *G*

Heather said...

Sidhe - better way to spend a lazy Saturday morning, the earlier the better.

Paige - It is! People watching can be the best part.

Gayle - Thank you! I hope I've inspired you to visit yours more often!

Sarah - Fresh-fruit/veggie vendors are the next best thing to an actual market.

Janet said...

Thank you for talking about Farmers Markets! I just searched online for ones in my area...most don't start til June, but now I have a list!

Heather said...

Janet - glad you were able to find a few markets in your area. Thanks for stopping by!

Janice said...

Hmm, that sounds good. I love fresh fruit and veggies.

Happy TT.


Robbie said...

That looks like a lot of fun! I wish my city had something like that.

Ms Menozzi said...

This sounds a lot like the markets here in Reggio, too. A little bit of everything, plus entertainment!


Lauren Murphy said...

OK half your list made me quite hungry. Good thing I'm looking at this close to breakfast time. Great list!

Heather said...

Janice - Fresh is definitely best! My problem is eating everything before it goes bad.

RJ - I think every town or city should have a farmers' market, the way they did before we became a prepackaged society.

Ms Menozzi - It's the little bit of everything that makes the overall experience, and I love hearing the awe of someone's first visit.

Lauren - Hehe...sorry to torture you, hon! *g*