Today was the first day since cooler weather arrived that the Madison Farmer's Market moved indoors. The indoor market is in beautiful Monona Terrace, where they also record Michael Feldman's "Whaddya Know?", for you NPR fans out there. Yesterday we got our first real taste of snow, so it seemed especially fitting for my very first trip to the indoor farmer's market. I must say, the indoor market is absolutely delightful. We quickly circumnavigated the room to find out favorite vendors, then moved back through to get what we needed. It was so much quicker than transversing the capitol square. For all of the wonderful aura of the outdoor market, I must say, this was much more efficient. It was more like a grocery store where you paid each farmer for their own wares. Plus, the warm, dry atmosphere was quite an improvement over our last visit which was 36 degrees and steady drizzle. There was much more at the market, but here's what I took home this second week of November:
- 1.5 pounds of assorted heirloom carrots
- 1 pound of brussel sprouts (The farmer was quite impressed that Sprout asked if we could get some!)
- A lovely bag of baby spinach (So much tastier since truly cool weather arrived!)-A bag of salad greens
- 10# of IPM apples (The apple stands are more sparse, so I need to stock up!)
- 3 Sweet Potatoes
- 1 pound of broccoli
- A giant frosted cookie (Okay, that didn't make it home in one piece!)
- 2 pints of strawberries! (I asked the farmer, she said she has a greenhouse and everbearing plants)
- French Style Feta Cheese
All of this was grown within an easy drive from my house, and if not certified organic then at least grown with no (or in the case of the apples-minimal) spray/chemicals. My total expenditure was $45. Considering that apples alone are $2-$3 a pound at the grocery store, I think I'm economically in the win.
It's certainly more of an effort to make the 30 minute drive to the market and spend time collecting my needs than it is to go to the grocery store, but on my in to Madison this morning, I was struck by the feeling that I was hitchin' up the wagon and heading into town for the weeks goods. I'm glad that Maddy challenged Beo and I to doing this blog, because I've always cut off the Farmer's Market after October, and this was definitely worth the effort. What lovely local salads we'll have this week--in November! I expect we'll even have them from our backyard if our cold frames continue to hold up. That's this week's update from Wisconsin.