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What $20.00 At Dane County Farmers’ Market Can Buy

July 3, 2010


I am always promoting through conversations and posts at CP the joy of attending the Dane County Farmers’ Market on the Capitol Square. Every week is a pleasure to stroll and see the various products, sample cheese, chat with friends, and devour donuts.  But after a week where I had to deal with some truly dysfunctional parts of my family I found today’s market a real tonic for the soul.  I generally reside at a pretty even keel, but the insanity of the past week made even one such as myself lose sight of the horizon, and wander for a day or two.  But after clarifying matters this week for those who needed to hear it, and then a great nights sleep, I bounded out of bed with glee this morning knowing I could get back to concentrating on the good things of life.  One of those perks of living in Madison is the weekly Farmers’ Market. And while there are several venues around the city, truth is none matches the one downtown.  So into my summer shorts and out into the  summer sun… it just too damn short to let the narrow-minded ones have any more of my time.

This morning I wanted to see how much variety I could get at the market for $20.00.  I also wanted to make sure some of the products could be used for a boiled dinner.  Boiled dinners were something my mom did with regularity back home.  Often they are thought of as a fall event, but as a boy I knew as soon as the small potatoes were ready to be dug, and the green beans were ready a boiled dinner was not far away.    Out came the pot on the stove and soon the cooking smells filled our home in Hancock.  My version today in Madison will be made in the crock-pot with beef, potatoes, beets, kohlrabi, carrots, patty pan squash, wax beans, and seasoned with among other things, fresh dill.  I probably should add when dinner time is…… 

I bought for exactly $20.00 from the market the following… ears of corn, head of lettuce, eight patty-pan squash, six beets, bunch of radishes, dill, eight tomatoes, two kohlrabi, and the very last four Geneva Early apples for sale.  We got to the market just in time!  This variety of apple is crisp, tart, and juicy.  And about a month early.  Every season these are the first apples to ripen and be enjoyed.  This year they are about three weeks early.  The sweet corn, it should be noted, is also early.  One always hears that corn should be knee-high by July 4th.   This year butter will be dripping off my chin on July 4th. 

When placed on our kitchen table it looked really fun with all the colors and shapes.  More than the products themselves was the sense of personal renewal while at the market; doing something that was a real dividing line from the past week.

After the meal was cooked this evening…….this is my bowl ready to eat outdo0rs….James had his filled with veggies too….does life get better than this?

  1. Wilson permalink
    July 6, 2010 6:56 AM

    We have only beet greens and peas in our market stand. And the beets are very small. Bought some zuchini at other mkt. I like them small..tasty! spent only $3 for the beets. left the peas, they are green and don’t like me. no corn yet, only southern in grocery. did get some new red potatoes at grocery.

    like you, we love corned beef. cook it one day let fat rise, then eat the next.

  2. July 5, 2010 5:25 PM

    Thanks for sharing!!

    I would love to have the chance to shop in your market and then go home and cook!! I too love the various foods and all the flavors!

    Have a great day.

  3. Darlene permalink
    July 5, 2010 5:12 PM

    I LOVE going to the Farmer’s Market here. It would be interesting to note what all I could buy for $20. A few things I wouldn’t be able to find would be patty pan squash and Kohlrabi. But, I would be able to purchase Jicama, prickly pear cactus, key limes, tomatillos, and of course,lots of fruits. It’s fun to hear about the different regions and what is offered to each throughout the year. Thanks for sharing.

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