March 03, 2013

Winter Farmers' Market

I've visited the Milwaukee County Winter Farmers' Market quite a few times since my first visit last November.  There are only 6 weeks remaining in the season and it was encouraging to see greens available this weekend because it gives the feel that spring is near!

Over the past couple of weekends, I have picked up honey from Henry's Honey, soap and liniment from Soap of the Earth, sweet corn from Alsum Sweet Corn, cider from AEppelTreow, arugula and beets from JenEhr Farm, parsley and cilantro from Thymely Herbals, chard from Springdale Farm, cheese curds from Clock Shadow Creamery, and salsa from River Valley Kitchens.

I tried cider for the first time at the market this weekend and really liked a cran-apple variety which I am currently sipping :)  It was drier than I was expecting, which is a nice change from many ciders which tend to be too sweet and end up tasting just like juice.

AEppelTreow Winery & Distillery is located at Brightwoods Orchard in Burlington, Wisconsin (western Kenosha county).  The option to taste their ciders and spirits is unique to State Fair Park because alcohol consumption is not allowed at other farmers' markets.

AEppelTreow (pronounced Apple True) was recently featured on two episodes of Wisconsin Foodies, one focusing on Brightonwoods Orchard and the other on the Milwaukee County Winter Farmers' Market.  I enjoyed both episodes and found the information on the 2012 apple season to be quite interesting.

Apples grow well in Wisconsin due to our temperate climate, with cool nights and warm days.  However, the crazy weather last year caused a 75% crop loss.  The warm March and cool April weather killed half the blooms, and the summer drought caused the trees to drop fruit and leaves.  Brightonwoods harvests about 7,000 bushels in a good year, and but only got 1,700 bushels in 2012. 

As I've said before my only complaint about the indoor winter market is how crowded it is, but on that same token I'm thankful that people in the Milwaukee area are crowding the Tommy Thompson building each Saturday to buy locally produced items.


  1. I just saw the Winter Farmer's Market WI foodie episode on Friday night and am so excited to try that cider, especially because you said it's not as sweet as other hard ciders. Thanks for the e-mail about it too. My mom watched the episode as well and now I have convinced her to go with me at the end of this month.

    That soap sounds lovely! I am a huge lavender fan though.

    1. I bought two different lavender soaps and the pumice one is great for dry winter skin! Happy to hear that you'll get a chance to visit the market soon.

  2. I keep meaning to go out to the market, but your post really convinced me to get myself in great next Saturday : ) The cider looks awesome, I can't wait to try!

  3. I was hoping to get there on Saturday but maybe that can be next Satuday's goal. Before I knew it, it was already past noon on Saturday. Weekends just fly by!

  4. Looks like a delicious selection of goodies!