Here's a post to inspire those of you who haven't been to your local farmers' market yet this summer or those who possibly have never purchased anything at one before! I'm lucky to have lived in Madison, WI for a few years where the largest producer-only farmers' market in the U.S. is hosted on the square of Wisconsin's own capitol building.
Here's some thoughts to inspire you as the last summer weekends fade away. I'll also include tips for those interested in shopping the Dane County Farmers' Market in Madison!
1. Baked goods
There is nothing like heading to your local market early on a Saturday morning with coffee in hand and picking up some freshly baked goods. I'd say if you asked anyone what to buy at the market in Madison, they would tell you Stella's cheese bread.
The hot & spicy cheese bread from Stella's Bakery is pretty infamous and is available in Madison in multiple grocery stores, restaurants, and coffee shops. You can even order a loaf of your own from their website:
It's common that you will find a swarming crowd around the Stella's tent at the market and they are frequently sold out of the cheese bread, forcing you to wait until another batch is delivered from their bakery in about 20 minutes. IT'S THAT GOOD.
2. Fresh fruit
It's always neat to see the produce grow more hearty and bountiful at the market as the summer goes on. Here's some fresh, organically-grown blueberries from Flyte Family Farm. So full of flavor, like you can taste the sunshine. No lie: a couple stopped and asked me where I got these from when I took this photo.
Depending on where you are in the United States, your options for quality cheese may be low. I would encourage you to visit Wisconsin where any grocery store's plain old brick of cheddar is sure to make you take notice. Then we have the local dairy farmers like Farmer John. There's a reason why his fresh cheese curds were voted the best at Wisconsin's Curdfest this year. His stand at the Madison market is also usually swarming.
4. Freshly brewed coffee
My favorite way to keep cool and energized while I move through the crowd and peruse stands is by picking up a Magic Coffee from Graze. Sweet, creamy, and chock full of caffeine, it's like a latte on steroids. According to the Graze beverage menu, it has half & half, cinnamon, brown sugar, coffee and espresso. Pick this baby up at the beginning of your market haul to keep you sane.
5. Fresh flowers
I used to buy grocery store flowers. And then I discovered the gorgeous, Pinterest-worthy bouquets at the Madison market for half the price. You can walk the entire square in Madison and find numerous stands with these beauties. I like to take my time and see all the varieties before choosing my prize.
What are your favorite things to buy at your local farmers' market?
Love the Dane County Farmers' Market as much as I do? Well it's up for USA Today's 10 Best Reader's Choice farmers' markets! We're currently #5 out of 20 nominees.
Vote here once a day until August 17th: