Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Dane County Farmer's Market

Dane County Farmer’s Market
Madison, WI


The Dane County Farmer’s Market Inc. is committed to providing Wisconsin growers and producers with farming products and opportunities for marketing, to help sell Wisconsin grown produce, to improve the overall quality of food grown in the Madison area through the education of farmers, to provide opportunities for farmers to deal directly with urban consumers, to educate consumers on the benefits of locally grown food and to preserve Wisconsin’s food heritage, including the farmers that continue it.

Inspired by the European model of open marketplaces and the urban and rural richness of Dane County, Bill Dyke (Dane County’s mayor in 1972) instructed the Dane County Extension Office and the Central Madison Committee of the Chamber of Commerce to create a community space which would capture his ideas; they developed the Dane County Farmers’ Market. The Market was to be set up on the grounds of the State Capitol and farmers came in on Saturday mornings to sell their produce, which must be grown in Wisconsin. The Market has evolved from 5 stalls in 1972 to a co-op of about 300 vendors with a Board of Directors. The hours of operation have also increased from just the Saturday morning produce selling slot to include Wednesday morning, an Early Winter Market, a Late Winter Market, Arts and Crafts vendors, educational initiatives, food tasting events, street musicians. Though the market has undergone immense evolution, it still stays true to its founding ethos of uniting the rural and urban communities.

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