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Farmers Markets

By MARTIN HINTZ

May 2013

Old Man Winter has finally taken the snow back to his chilly man cave. Now is the time for daffodils, with lettuce and Swiss chard not far behind. Fresh produce and cut flower fans eagerly anticipate the pending growing season, with the value-added factor of sociability at farmers markets. With the entertainment, variety of offerings, fluttering pennants and colorful tents, foodie fairs are found in the city and the suburbs, including a newly revamped Thiensville market. Although the bulk of goods come in late summer and early fall, great foodie deals can be found early on in the season. Here is a sample of some of the area’s finest.

Where to go...

Brookfield Farmers’ MarketGrowers flock to the City Hall parking lot from 7:30 a.m. to noon from early May to late October. Entertainers perform regularly amid the annuals, perennials, fruits and seasonal vegetables, jars of maple syrup, dressed chickens, eggs and bison meat. In mid-September, the site hosts the annual Dahlia Show with more than 600 blooms for judging. 2000 N. Calhoun Road, www.brookfieldfarmersmarket.com

East Side Green Market Seeking locally grown goodies, crowds of youngsters, oldsters and in-betweens flock to the Beans and Barley parking lot from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturdays, June 15 to Oct. 12. Take in the Tomato Romp in mid-September when hundreds of pounds of rotten tomatoes are tossed. Registration fees go to community organizations alleviating hunger. The daylong Summer "Soulstice" Music Festival is June 22, starting at 10 a.m. 1901 E. North Ave., www.theeastside.org

East Town Market Apartment and condo dwellers from downtown mingle with suburbanites at the market hosted by the East Town Association from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturdays, June 1 through Oct. 5 in Cathedral Square Park. The market is closed July 13 for Bastille Days. Find great deals on spuds, flowers and greens from the 100-plus venders. Don’t forget the yoga, live music and Danceworks’ performances. Corner of Kilbourn Avenue and Jefferson Street, www.easttown.com

Fox Point Farmers Market Held in the west parking lot of Stormonth School, this 8 a.m. to noon Saturday market features music and free chef demonstrations, as well as Greek pastry, mushrooms, range-free eggs, grass-fed beef, honey and enough tomatoes to satisfy any ketchup lover. 7300 N. Lombardy Road

Fondy Farmers Market From early May through mid-November, the market is open from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday and from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m., Saturdays. Rain or shine, it features children’s activities and special events, such as the Saturday’s Taste the Season booth with cooking demos, canning classes and tastings. 2200 W. Fond du Lac Ave., www.fondymarket.org

Milwaukee Public Market In addition to the 20 or so specialty food merchants within The Milwaukee Public Market, the Outdoor Urban Market operates from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m., Saturday and Sunday June to October. A cornucopia of Wisconsin-grown and handcrafted products is available. Parking is free for the first hour in the adjacent lot. 400 N. Water St., www.milwaukeepublicmarket.org

West Allis Farmers Market Established in 1919, the market is open from 1 to 6 p.m. the first Saturday in May through the Saturday after Thanksgiving. It is also open from noon to 6 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays. The early season brings bedding plants, radishes and rhubarb. By June, buyers can find strawberries and raspberries, plus zucchini, loads of peas and oodles of snap beans. Corn arrives in July, with apples and squash later in the season. 6501 W. National Ave., wi-westallis.civicplus.com

To obtain the "2013 Farm Fresh Atlas of Southeastern Wisconsin," which lists farms, food producers and markets in the metro area and surrounding counties, go to www.farmfreshatlas.org/southeast/farmlist.htm

This story ran in the May 2013 issue of: