Farmers’ Market. Just the phrase itself conjures up happy thoughts of warm weather, fresh produce, meeting friends, and great meals made with your purchases.
Farmers’ Markets are extremely popular, and Jefferson County is no exception. Most of our communities host weekly Farmers’ Markets during the warm-weather months, and a few host Winter Markets as well.
Farmers’ markets provide the consumer with a wide variety of organic and fresh fruits, vegetables, meats, dairy, nuts and other produce directly from the local farmers’ back yards. Consumers are embracing an eating healthier lifestyle – the Locavore lifestyle – and nowhere are the selections better than shopping a farmers’ market.
The majority of the farmers that vend at Jefferson County farmers’ markets travel less than 30 miles to their market. This means that the produce found at Jefferson County Farmers’ Markets is much fresher – picked that morning, most likely – than the actual 7-14 days that can go by between the time other produce is picked and when it becomes available at a grocery store. Grocery store produce might travel a thousand miles or more before reaching the consumer. Studies have shown that produce loses nutritional value the longer it is between harvest and consumption.
Farmers’ market vendors are local entrepreneurs, and they set prices that allow them to reasonably cover their costs. Prices vary by product, but typically, farmers’ market produce is equal to or less than the cost of buying produce at the grocery store – and again, has greater nutritional value.
Still not convinced? Here are the top ten reasons to include regular shopping at a Jefferson County Farmers’ Market:
Support your local farmers. It’s great to support the men and women who work hard on their farms to produce their product – and you get to meet them every week, and get to know them too!
Eat seasonal produce andeat local.
You will find that your produce has greater taste and is so fresh! No sitting on trucks for delivery across the country – the produce you find at a Jefferson County farmers’ market may have been fresh-picked just this morning!
Many farmers use little or no pesticides – just ask the vendor to be sure.
You will find much more than fresh fruit and produce at a Jefferson County farmers’ market – you will most likely find honey, jams, baked goods, crafts, food, gifts and more.
Farmers’ markets stimulate the local economy.
Boost your nutrition! You might just find that you eat more fresh fruit and vegetables as you soak in the sights and colors and selections of a Jefferson County farmers’ market.
Discover new cooking ideas. Ask the vendors if they recommend recipes for using their seasonal produce. You may just find your new favorite recipe!
Learn a new veggie. Many vendors will have vegetables that you’ve never seen before, or maybe you’ve never incorporated into your meal plan before. Ask them about the veggie – and try it out at home!
Be entertained!Jefferson County farmers’ markets often have musical entertainment, jugglers, balloon artists and more. They are a great venue to be part of the community – eat your meal there, bring the family there, spend the day there.
Along with weekly Farmers’ Markets, there are many farms in Jefferson County who set up stands in our beautiful communities, and some that encourage shoppers to come right to the farm where the food is grown.
Looking for a great place to buy fresh produce? Consider all of the options in these Jefferson County communities – Farmers’ Markets, farmstands and farm stores:
Community, Location, Address, Hours
Cambridge,Esther Schroeder Farmstand,West Main Street – across from State Bank,June through October
,Cambridge Farmers’ Market,Veteran’s Park,Fridays 2pm-6pm May through October
Deerfield,Schuster’s Playtime Farm,1326 Hwy 12 & 18,September and October
Fort Atkinson,Fort Atkinson Farmers’ Market,Across from the Post Office,Saturdays 8am-12pm May through October
,Fort HealthCare Farmers’ Market,611 Sherman Ave (corner of McMillen & 4th St), Wednesdays 2:30-4:30pm May through October
,Poyer’s Orchards,323 N. 4th Street,Open year round
,Simple Life Country Store,N2795 Ebbert Lane,Open year round
Helenville,Jelli’s Market,N5648 S. Farmington Road (farm location),June to September
Jefferson,Esther Schroeder Farmstand,504 South Main Street,June through October
,Rivers Edge Farm Market,843 S. Whitewater Ave.,Open year round
,Jefferson Farmers’ Market,317 S. Main Street (next to Rotary Park),Thursdays 11am-6pm June through October
,Jefferson Speedway,,Sundays 7am-12pm
Johnson Creek,Johnson Creek Farmers’ Market,Veteran’s Park,Thursdays 7am-12pm June through October
Lake Mills,Esther Schroeder Farmstand,Commons Park – Downtown Lake Mills,June through October
,Lake Mills Farmers’ Market,Commons Park – Downtown Lake Mills,Wednesdays 2pm-6:30pm May through October
Palmyra ,Carol Loefer – Loefer’s Acres Farmstand,Main Street at H & 59,July through October
Waterloo,Maynard Pribbenow Farmstand,N9660 Peschel Road,June through October
,Straubhaar’s Farmstand,47 Canal Road,May through October
,Waterloo Farmers’ Market,Fireman’s Park,Thursdays 3pm-7pm May through October
Watertown,Watertown Farmers’ Market,850 Labaree Street (parking lot at Riverside Park),Tuesdays 7am-12pm May through November
,Esther Schroeder Farmstand,501 East Main Street (Latte Donatte parking lot),June through September
,Watertown Farmers’ Market,Center for Women’s Health parking lot,Thursdays 3:30pm-6:30pm May through November
Whitewater,Whitewater Farmers’ Market,1415 W. Main Street (True Value parking lot),Saturdays 7am-11am May through October
,Joe Skelly Farmstand,Raceway Food Mart parking lot,July through August[/table]
Katie was the Executive Director of the Lake Mills Main Street Program from 2011 to 2019 and was the Secretary for the Jefferson County Tourism Council. In 2019, she retired to explore a new fashion degree and travel throughout the world. Katie was also a writer and contributed a great deal of copy for our website and printed guide. She was a great asset to our organization and we'll miss her!