“Food is our common ground, a universal experience.” – James Beard
I grew up on organic before organic was cool. I was dragged to farmer’s market, specialty Asian stores, and really anywhere my mom could get her hands on fresh, unique ingredients for her cooking. Her exquisite taste for quality ingredients and love for nature’s goods in their purest forms clearly made an impression on me. In college, I spent many a Saturday morning circling the Capitol Square, admiring the multicolored heirloom tomatoes and oversized squash, only stopping to snack on freshly baked cheesy bread or to try a new flavor of Wisconsin cheddar. The chefs at Madison’s finest arrive first thing in the morning to gather ingredients for the day and wait patiently for the lucky days when morels and ramps are in store.
Saturday mornings between April and November attract swarms of Madisonians and visitors to the Capitol Square. Listed as one of the 1,000 Places to See Before You Die, the Madison Farmer’s Market is a destination worth taking a trip for.
1. Get there early. Vendors tend to close up shop around 12:00p.
2. Walk with the crowd. Otherwise, you’ll really piss people off!
3. Get a cheesy bread first thing. You’ll get so hungry looking at all the gorgeous produce, purchase a snack to walk around with!
4. Bring your camera. There are some amazing photo-ops! It’s a great stomping ground for any photographer.
5. Do a lap before you buy. Many times other vendors will have better produce or cheaper prices. Get the lay of the land before you do your purchasing!
6. Bring cash. Most (if not all) vendors are cash-only. You can also bargain a little better if you have cash.
The Capitol building was designed to look just like the one in Washington, D.C., but three feet shorter.
Fresh mums for your mama. The farmer’s market walk is definitely a family-friendly activity so be sure to bring your people with you.
So many restaurants in Madison pride themselves on supporting local farms. I love and appreciate the community-focused food culture!There’s no shortage of Madison artists. You’ll find many artists showcasing their work, including music, photography, and crafts throughout the market.
If you love food, festivals, people-watching, or art, the Madison Farmer’s Market is for you. Support the local community while enjoying a Midwestern gem. With the incredible mix of cultures here in Chicago, I can always find what I need even if it means driving lengths across the city; but, I cannot wait to head up to Madison again for a trip to the farmer’s market.
Have you been to the Madison Farmer’s Market? What are some of your favorite farmer’s markets around the world?
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