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.