|Ramps at the Dane County Farmers Market|
(Click on photo for enlarged version)
I wake up early for the Dane County Farmers Market
This weekend marks my annual trip to Madison, and that means Saturday morning at the Dane County Farmers' Market.
A few weeks ago, visitors to the market site would have had to deal with thousands of protestors, since the market is located on the square surrounding the Wisconsin state capitol building. With the protestors (mostly) gone, the Saturday morning market takes center stage.
Of course, with Wisconsin being almost three weeks behind Philadelphia in terms of growing season, not much in the way of fresh produce could be found. The queen of those items, at least for me, were the ramps, which only one of the roughly 100 vendors featured. These, as you can see in the photo, were near-pristine, with broad, clean leaves and healthy bulbs. To bad I don't have a kitchen available during my stay. They were priced at $3/bunch, but given that a bunch was about 50-70 percent larger than a bunch I'd pay $1.99 for at Iovine's, it was at least comparable in price, maybe better.
The same stall also featured black radishes, Jerusalem artichokes, burdick and other winter roots.
Over-wintered Spinach and green onions, with an occasional appearance of rhubarb, predominated at the produce stands, especially the Asian farmers, whose presence I failed to not in my previous visits; this year there were at least half a dozen. At other stalls you could purchase hothouse lettuces, greens, parsnips and hydroponic tomatoes and cucumbers. One farmer specialized in potatoes.
|At 7 a.m., an hour after the market|
opens, shoppers seek the best produce
Otherwise, bakeries, cheese-makers, meat-sellers and horticultural stalls filled up the sidewalks along the capital building.