With spring (kinda) in the air we start to look at some of the farmers markets sprouting up around our state. This week we take a look at the Dane County Farmers Market (May 7th).

Early Crops showing up at Market
One good result of the asparagus running a little late this season is that we’ll have it later in the season. In other words, we haven’t heard of its arrival at the Dane County Farmers’ Market (DCFM) just yet. That should not be taken to mean that none of the “first up” arrivals are showing up. There’s plenty green to eat, green to plant, and all colors of the rainbow to enjoy at this week’s DCFM.

And For Mother’s Day …
The sky is the limit. Perhaps a cheesecake, cupcakes, flower arrangement, or hanging basket will please that special mom. Make her a great meal using some of the superb meats, vegetables, and cheeses available at the market. And don’t forget the bread, of which many fine bakers offer a huge range of styles.

Or make it easy and fun. Bring an extra bag to the market to fill your mom’s refrigerator with some onions, spinach, potatoes, parsnips, tomatoes, or mixed greens.

At the Market This Week

We strive to keep this list as accurate as possible. We probably  missed an item or two that is at the market or listed an item as available when it is not. Chances are not all items mentioned or listed below will be at each market.

Due to inclement weather, product availability, and other factors, some vendors listed below may need to cancel participation in this week’s market.

Look for early chives, sorrel, and watercress at the market. Last week we bought some nettles to begin our exploration of that seasonal green’s capabilities as a serious ingredient. The result? This week’s recipe and plans to buy more next week. Like much early produce, it won’t last long. The same can be said for ramps, which will be exiting from our dinner table within the next couple of weeks.

Meanwhile, the quantity and variety of tomatoes expands. Spinach is being joined by arugula and the first of the spring garlic will be making its appearance. No word of morels just yet, but there are several vendors selling fresh mushrooms.

The variety and quantity of garden stock continues to grow at the market. From little seedlings to transplantable trees, you’ll find what you’re looking for at the DCFM.

To find a vendor or product you can: 1) check the DCFM website or take a leisurely stroll through the market. If you’d like to check with your favorite vendor about product availability, go here, then do a search for contact information. And remember, you can always inquire at the Information Booth, at the corner of North Carroll and West Mifflin streets at the top of State St.

Cheese bread
Cinnamon rolls
Flat breads
Ragusa Style Semolina Bread
Sweet breads
Tea breads
Whole wheat sourdough

Fresh Cut, Dried Flowers

Cut Flowers
Dried Arrangements   Cut Flowers
Pussy Willows
Red Curly Willow
Red Dogwood

Cheese curds
Goat cheese
Sheep milk cheese
Mixed milk cheeses
Cottage Cheese
World-class aged cheeses

Fresh Vegetables Beets
Micro greens
Onions (several varieties, overwintered)
Salad mixes
Tomatoes, canned
Tomatoes, fresh

Jams, jellies, preserves
Raspberries (frozen)
Strawberries (frozen)
Tomatoes, canned

Carol Larsen of Sun Born Gardens. --Photo by Bill Lubing

Beautiful cut flowers and arrangement
are grown by Carol Larsen of Sunborn Gardens..

[East Mifflin St.] –Photo by Bill Lubing

Live Plants
Bedding plants
Nursery stock
Prairie Plants
Vegetable, herb, and flower transplants
Woodland plants

(Grass and grain fed)  Angus beef
Brats and sausage
Conventional cuts
Highland beef
Special cuts
Fresh and smoked trout
Smoked salmon 

Specialty Items Baklava
Bloody Mary mix  Candles
Dried Gourds
Flavored sea salt
Hot sauces
Infused olive oil
Maple syrup
Pasties (frozen)
Persian Toffee
Rhubarb Sauce
Soup (canned and frozen)
Sunflower oil
Tomato sauces

2011 Saturday Outdoor Market Schedule
Date: Begins April 16, 2011 through Nov. 5, 2011
Hours: 6:00 am to 2:00 pm
Where: Downtown Madison on the Capitol Square

2011 Wednesday Outdoor Market Schedule
Date: Begins April 20, 2011 through Nov. 2, 2011
Hours: 8:30 am to 2:00 pm
Where: 200 Block of Martin Luther King Blvd.
Click Here for Madison Parking Information
(Private ramps and street parking are also available.)

Questions About the Market?
If you have any questions about the market or the vendors, please contact the market manager, Larry Johnson, at 608-455-1999 or email him at larryj@dcfm.org. The DCFM website provides much information as well.

Dane County Farmers’ Market
Volunteer Opportunities

Please contact Ruth Miller at ferngulley@mhtc.net for information about volunteering at the market breakfasts (winter months only) or during the outdoor market at the information booth. It’s fun, rewarding, and really appreciated by the market-going public.

Friends of the DCFM
For information on volunteering for any educational projects and programs on the Square or becoming a member of Friends of the Dane County Farmers’ Market contact Danielle Wood at friends.Danielle@gmail.com.

See you at the market!

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