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Friday, April 9, 2010

Farmers’ Markets

Live local, eat local

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Over the last 15 years, the number of farmers’ markets in the United States has tripled. This growth spurt has occurred in Milwaukee as well, where more than half of the farmers’ markets currently operating have opened within the last decade and a half.

Farmers’ markets are essentially about food—fresh, locally grown food—but they often are about much more. Usually run by the people, for the people, these markets foster camaraderie and educate communities about health, nutrition and sustainability.

“I think when a community takes ownership of something, that’s when it becomes meaningful,” said Deb Deacon of the Milwaukee County Winter Farmers’ Market. “Coming together over food is so elemental.”

If you plan to visit one of Milwaukee’s farmers’ markets, you might want to phone first: Offerings vary from week to week, depending on which vendors come and what they have in season.

Photo by Richard M. Glaser

East Side Green Market

1901 E. North Ave. (Beans & Barley parking lot)

Saturdays, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

June to October

(414) 278-7878

www.theeastside.org

This newer market offers produce and prepared foods balanced with a unique mix of arts and crafts made largely from reused materials. For more information about the 2010 market, including a schedule of 2010 Market Day entertainment and parking options, visit the East Side Association Web site.

East Town Market 

Corner of Kilbourn & Jefferson (Cathedral Square Park)

Saturdays, 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. 

June to October

(414) 271-1416

www.easttown.com

Fifty to 75 vendors of produce, meats, cheeses, prepared foods, and arts and crafts come to this large market Downtown. Live entertainment includes musicians, chef demos, and a monthly “battle of the chefs.”

Fondy Farmers’ Market

2200 W. Fond du Lac Ave.

Open four days a week from July to October and on Saturdays in May, June and November (see Web site for specific hours)

(414) 933-8121

www.fondymarket.org

For 75 years, Fondy Farmers’ Market (formerly the Center Street Hay Market) has brought fresh produce to the inner city. Fondy offers a range of Wisconsin-grown fruits and vegetables from as many as 30 vendors, as well as prepared foods and arts and crafts on Saturdays. Fondy is one of the only markets in the area that accepts QUEST Cards, WIC and Senior Farmers Market Nutrition vouchers for all of its products.

Milwaukee County Winter Farmers’ Market

640 S. 84th St. (in the Tommy G. Thompson Youth Center at State Fair Park)

November to April

Saturdays, 8 a.m. to noon

(no market on Nov. 28, Dec. 26, Jan. 2 and April 3)

www.mcwfm.org

The MCWFM, launched in November 2009, is one of only a few indoor farmers’ markets in the state. Up to 23 vendors sell preserved and greenhouse-grown local produce as well as meats, cheeses, and baked and canned goods.

Old South Side Farmers’ Market

Eighth and Lincoln (Kosciuszko Park)

Sundays, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

August to September

(414) 271-9417 

This small market run by the nonprofit organization Urban Anthropology features a handful of produce and arts and crafts vendors from Milwaukee’s Lincoln Village, a culturally diverse neighborhood represented by more than 100 nations. Young vendors organized by the Old South Side Settlement Museum sell crafts and vegetables from a salsa garden grown behind the museum. Occasionally, local musicians provide entertainment.

Riverwest Gardeners’ Market

Bremen and Locust streets (Garden Park) 

Sundays, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

June to October

(414) 265-7278

The people of Riverwest have been running their own farmers’ market for more than 12 years. The market offers the produce and handicrafts of about eight vendors. Live music is performed by local artists.

Sherman Park Farmers’ Market

Corner of 49th & Roosevelt (Sherman Perk Coffee parking lot)

Saturdays and Sundays,

9 a.m. to 2 p.m. 

June to September

(414) 875-7375

This small, newer market in the Sherman Park community features about three produce vendors. All produce is locally grown and organic.

South Shore Farmers’ Market

2900 South Shore Drive (South Shore Park)

Saturdays, 8:30 a.m. to noon

June to October

(414) 640-4411

Bay View’s lively farmers’ market includes roughly 40 vendors each week selling fruits and vegetables, honey, coffees, baked goods and much more. All products are vendor-grown and -produced. The market also features community demonstrations and a local musical guest every week.

Tosa Farmers’ Market

7720 Harwood Ave., Wauwatosa (Wauwatosa Village)

Saturdays, 8 a.m. to noon

June to October

www.tosafarmersmarket.com

Tosa Farmers’ Market’s first full season in 2010 will feature a variety of produce, meats, cheeses, baked goods, honey and more. Organized by volunteers from the community, the market’s aim is to expand as much as possible into the municipal lot on which the market sits, which has room for at least 50 vendors. Live entertainment and hot food will be offered each week.

Vliet Street Green Market

4420 W. Vliet St. (in front of the Washington Park Senior Center)

Sundays, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

June to October

(414) 933-5589

Located in the Martin Drive neighborhood of west Milwaukee, Vliet Street Green Market has been open for three years. A typical Sunday sees about 15 vendors of fruits and vegetables, arts and crafts, baked goods, honey, prepared foods and handicrafts, as well as live entertainment.

West Allis Farmers’ Market

6501 W. National Ave., West Allis (corner of West National Avenue & South 65th Street)

Tuesdays and Thursdays, noon to 6 p.m. 

Saturdays, 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. 

May to November

(414) 302-8600 

www.ci.west-allis.wi.us/health

West Allis’ long-running farmers’ market is one of the biggest in the area, operating three afternoons a week during the warm-weather months. The season opens with the sale of flats of annuals, potted vegetable seedlings, herbs and spring fruits and vegetables; offerings expand as a greater variety of produce comes into season. Also available are meats, cheeses, cut flowers and prepared foods.

Westown Farmers’ Market

www.westown.org

Summer Market:

Michigan Street between Third and Fourth streets (Zeidler Union Square)

Wednesdays, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. 

June to October

Winter Market:

275 W. Wisconsin Ave. 

(Shops of Grand Avenue)

First and third Wednesdays,

10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

November to February

(414) 276-6696

Both the indoor and outdoor Westown markets feature a range of Wisconsin-grown fruits and veggies, meats and cheeses, prepared foods, and arts and crafts. Weekly entertainment is offered during summer and winter. More info about both the summer and winter markets is available at the Westown Association Web site.

Other Milwaukee County farmers markets’ exist in Cudahy, Brown Deer, Fox Point, Greendale, Hales Corners, Oak Creek, Franklin and South Milwaukee. For more information about local farmers’ markets throughout the state, go to www.farmfreshatlas.org.

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