It’s Open Season On Farm-to-Table Produce
Finally! Our farmers’ market is open! I eagerly await its arrival all through those cold, dreary days of Wisconsin’s winter. I envisage dark-green Swiss chard with beautiful red and yellow stems, crisp sugar snap peas, leafy Romaine, baby spinach, just-picked tomatoes… It’s what winter dreams are made of. If you haven’t had a tomato sandwich with Hellman’s mayo, lettuce and tomatoes on a good, crusty bread, you are totally missing out on one of the greatest pleasures. Of course, it goes without saying that fresh produce is so much healthier than produce that was picked before it was ripe and shipped across the country.
We have a wonderful, bustling market in our little town every Saturday morning from June until October, with visitors traveling some distance to purchase freshly picked fruits and vegetables (nothing better), crusty breads, jams and jellies, organic chickens, sweetly-scented soaps, hand-knit goods, cut flowers and fresh flowers to plant, creamy cheeses… The variety is endless. Outdoor seating at a cozy cafe offers a perfect opportunity for people-watching … serious shoppers in and out quickly, parents with babies and toddlers in tow, doting grandparents not far behind. Mostly I look forward to visiting with long-time friends over a steamy cup of coffee.
Of course, there is the ritual of scoping out every vendor to find the best produce at the best price. We walk from one end to the other before making our purchases, but always seem to gravitate toward our favorites. I do best shopping with someone who will be the voice of reason because I do go a little crazy. So, it’s always a challenge, but a lovely challenge, to use it all within a few days. In June the variety is smaller – limited to vegetables and fruits that thrive in cool nights and warm days. Later on in the summer, the bounty will be a sight to see and eat!
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