Janesville39.2°

Saturday marks the end of city’s farmers market season

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Catherine W. Idzerda
October 26, 2007

Time is running out—now’s the time to stock up for the winter.


Saturday is the last Janesville’s Farmers Market of the season, and while the vendors might be exhausted from a season of planting, weeding, watering and harvesting, many local folks will miss their weekly trips to the market.


The market, which started May 12, features vegetables, fruit, baked goods, meat, flowers, herbs and cheese, all produced in Wisconsin.


Here’s a look back the market’s third season—and a look forward to next year.


-- How many buyers?


An estimated 2,000 to 2,500 attended each weekend. Sometimes that number was as high as 4,000, said Teri Huber, farmers market manager.


-- How much?


People spent an estimated $20 a piece.


-- How many sellers?


The market averaged about 40 vendors a week. The numbers ranged between 25 the first week and 50 during peak season. About 75 percent were food vendors and about 25 percent sold arts and crafts. That’s a mix Janesville Farmers Market board wants to maintain.


Some of the summer’s unusual choices: Garlic scapes, ground cherries, celeriac, portabella mushrooms, Jersey beef, lamb, buffalo, Indian corn, different colored eggs, goat cheese, cipollini onions and a variety of unusual squash, tomatoes and sweet and hot peppers.


On the non-edible side of things, this summer also featured seven shopping carts for people to carrying their large items such as pumpkins or squash. Woodman’s Food Market donated the carts.


-- What be available this weekend?


A variety of vendors selling meats, cheeses, vegetables, baked goods and arts and crafts. More specifically:


Evans Family Farm—Ground cherries, garlic, eggplant, sage and habaneros, jalapenos, cubanelles and green bell peppers.


Skelly’s Farm Market—Tomatoes, squash, doughnuts, apple crisp, strudel.


Sashay Acres—Several varieties of squash, fresh herbs, lettuce, sorrel, garlic, sweet and hot peppers, dried gourds, turnips, rutabagas, celery, celeriac, radishes, black radishes, cilantro, Indian corn, popcorn, wax beans, Brussels spouts, mini green cabbages, duck and pullet eggs, pork products, Jersey beef, lamb, free-range whole chickens, smoked chicken, and brown, green and white free-range eggs.


-- What else is going on?


The farmer’s market is celebrating fall with a Harvest Fest. Kids are encouraged to come in costume, and children’s activities and candy will be available while supplies last.


-- What will be new next year?


Huber hopes to find vendors that sell jam, maple syrup, cranberry and yogurt.


She also is thinking about have an “agricultural heritage” theme for next year.


Veteran vendor review of the year: “I am pleased with our regulars that come back to us, and I’m pleased they understand the quality,” said Merry Evans, a third-year vendor from Evans Family Farm. “I had one woman say she would really miss us when the market was over.”


New vendor review: “We’re definitely coming back next year,” said Antony Jay, a Monroe dairy goat farmer who sells goat cheese and vegetables. “We were doing a farmers market in Madison, and it wasn’t going so well; we moved to Janesville, and it turned out great.


“We felt like part of the community; it seems like people in Janesville are willing to try a lot of things.”



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