With the coming of Spring, the season of farmers’ markets is upon us. Although here are many available near my home in Denver, Colorado there is none so wonderful as the Dane County Farmer’s Market in my home state of Wisconsin. This Saturday morning institution encircles the state capitol in downtown Madison and features a wide variety of local produce, honey, jams, meats, cheeses, flowers, plants, delicious bakery and more. If I am ever in Wisconsin, I devote every Saturday morning to a visit to my favorite outdoor shopping venue. My first stop is always Stella’s Bakery to line up for a few loaves of their famous spicy cheese bread; a favorite of my husband and family. Next, I stock up on goodies to snack on — fresh cheese curds, berries, fresh cut greens, carrots and popcorn. I always bring a friend and a camera and never leave without seeing a familiar face or picking up a bouquet or two of fresh picked flowers.
The beautiful backdrop and plethora of colorful edible selections is just one aspect of this lovely field trip. There is always a corner featuring some political campaign, street musicians sharing their tunes, carts selling coffee, smoothies, burritos, and more as well as ample people watching and tempting local restaurants and shops just steps outside the crowded circle of market stalls.
My best advice is arrive early (7ish) with a pocket full of cash and a large cloth bag to haul your purchases. Better yet, bring a wagon because you might find a pot of flowers you can’t resist. Take time to sit down with your purchases, people watch, listen and breath in the aromas, eat some decadent bakery and relax. Save time to enjoy lunch at Marigolds or walk down State Street to have a beer on The Terrace at the University of Wisconsin Union. Its a beautiful day!!!