happy sunday, everyone! i hope you had a great weekend. i sure did – obviously! i am now a married lady! ♥
kelly is the first (and only) fellow blogger that i’ve actually met in person! that will change soon, but i still hold a soft spot for her for that reason…oh, and because she’s awesome! when she offered to do a guest post about the dane county farmers’ market, i was pumped! i love going to the farmers’ market on saturday mornings. it’s one of my favorite weekend activities. i’ll let kelly tell you why it’s so great…
Hello readers of Sarah Learns! I am Kelly and I blog about my adventures with food over at Brownies and Zucchini. Just like Sarah I live in the fabulous Madison, WI.
We are very lucky to live in Madison because the food (and beverage) possibilities here are AMAZING. Whether you are a burger and brat lover, veggie lover, beer lover, wine lover, or even vegan, you will find something that you can eat here. Not only that, but because we live in the Midwest and the area is filled with farms, there is lots of local food love.
Around the country, farmer’s markets are becoming more and more popular and if you live in the Madison area, the most popular way to get your local produce is by going to the Dane County Farmer’s Market (DCFM). People come from miles away to witness the epicness that surrounds the state capital on Saturday mornings. But what if you are in the mood for an awesome zucchini dish on a Thursday and forgot to buy it the weekend before? (Or maybe you ate it all already…I’d say that’s more likely :) ) Well, you’re in luck! Not only does Madison have a fantastic Saturday market, but other parts of the city, and surrounding cities, have great (albeit smaller) markets pretty much every other day of the week.
I recently found that on the REAP website, they have a pretty extensive list of Farmer’s Market’s in the area. They list everywhere from every corner of Madison, Baraboo, Beliot, Reedsburg, and many, many more. You can find that extensive list here.
I will admit, I am not the best at remembering to go to a Farmer’s Market to get my produce. Luckily, at the local grocery store that I usually go to, Metcalfes Market, they have a section of fresh, local produce! (They also have lots of other locally made and produced foods as well!)
What are the benefits of buying your produce from a local market? I found lots of great information on this topic, including a bunch from here, here, and here. These are some main points that I found:
- The average distance that produce is shipped in the United States is around 1500 miles before it is sold. Although, it is even farther for produce that is shipped from outside of the US!
- Locally grown food is generally newer, fresher, and therefore tastes better.
- Food that is eaten, frozen or canned shortly after being harvested has more nutritional value.
- Local produce is more than likely GMO free, as well as free of pesticides, and often times even certified organic.
- Buying local produce often means talking directly to local farmers and building community and relationships with the direct food source. You know exactly where your food is coming from, and the love that was put into it.
Do you live in Madison and never been to the Dane County Farmer’s Market? You really should go. I realize that for many of us waking up early on a Saturday morning is often not a priority. Just try it. Find one Saturday and get up early – OK, it really doesn’t even have to be THAT early, the market is open until 2pm! Spicy Cheese Bread, Doughnuts, Fruit, Veggies, Coffee, Honey, flowers, and more will be waiting for you to come and soak in the local pride and deliciousness that is the farmer’s market.
Still not Convinced? Check out these posts about the market from my friend Heather. You will want to go after reading them, I promise.
Not sure if there is a Farmer’s Market in your area? Check out http://www.localharvest.org. On that site you can search for markets, CSA’s, farms, and even local grocery stores and co-ops!
now everyone, go check out kelly’s blog and say hi. she posts lots of great recipe ideas with honest reviews as well as restaurant reviews that are always accurate and fair!
i’ll be back to “normal” blogging tomorrow and will try to do some quick wedding recaps over the next week or two!