Saturday, September 06, 2008

Dane County Farmer's Market

The Dane County Farmer's Market on the Square happens every Saturday from 6am-2pm. It's the largest farmer's market in the country where everything is grown/made locally by the vendor you see behind the table.

We went a few times when Mina was small and decided it was too difficult to navigate with little ones, and if you're just there for a few vegetables it's easier to go to any number of vegetable stands around the city any day of the week.

This is more festive than your average farmer's market, though. In addition to the foods including baked goods (chocolate croissants! cheese bread!), fruits, vegetables, honey, preserves, cheeses (squeaky cheese curds--a Wisconsin must-have!), sausages, herbs, etc., there are flower vendors, arts and crafts, and some of the best street musicians around.

All of this takes place on the Capitol Square so if you need to use the facilities you can check out the grand interior of the Capitol building while you're at it.

This morning we decided to make a community outing of it with all the kids and a girl who works with Mina. It was perfect because it involved being outside, dealing with a crowd, and using a public restroom.

I parked in the Capitol ramp which set me back $1.70 and found a spot close to the elevator on the 5th level. As we approached the square we could smell kettle corn and the amazing flowers everyone seemed to be walking around with, and there was music in the air. At first, a banjo--god I love banjos! As that faded, the bagpipes took their place... Then, a band that sounded a bit like Squirrel Nut Zippers with some very strange looking instruments that looked like they were fashioned out of junk from someone's shed. Add to that a couple of young violinists raising money for music in schools, many young UW garb wearing guitar players doing the usual popular songs raising money for... college! That must be it.

We bought green beans, red potatoes and corn on the cob for dinner. Then we had to sit down for a snack of squeaky garlic cheese curds, which made us very thirsty so we had to get strawberry banana and mango smoothies. Refreshing!

We were back at home by 11:15am. Not a bad way to spend Saturday morning! I don't think the girls even missed their cartoons.


eric said...

Yup, I can smell kettle corn almost a 1/4 of mile away when I'm approaching a festival! Did you buy a bag? How was it?

Hilary said...

I did not buy any kettle corn, but I think I will next time (after I check to make sure there are no gluten ingredients).

Louise said...

WAY better than cartoons! And glad the first week of public school was survived so well.

womaninawindow said...

You are killing me! I would love to take part in something like this. uugghhhhh...slow death...

amy said...

that sounds really nice - i love farmer's market, even though i only went ONCE this summer. but i ate a lot of eggplant that week.