Tommy G Thompson Youth Center
Ag Village, Gate 5, Wisconsin State Fair Park
640 South 84th Street
through April 14, 2012
Saturday mornings 8:00 am – 12:00 pm
Regardless of other events at State Fair, Parking for the MCWFM is always FREE
Saxon Homestead CreameryWhen I think of farmers who took a real leap of faith in coming to this market in season one, my thoughts immediately turn to Elise Heimerl of Saxon Homestead Farm, nestled along the picturesque shores of Lake Michigan, near Hika Bay. It seemed like a major milestone to have a specialty cheese producer who would be willing to become a full season vendor at a new farmers’ market, particularly one taking place at such an unexpected time of year. All Saxon’s aged raw milk cheese is carefully crafted from their pasture-based herd of cross bred Jersey, Holstein and Brown Swiss cows. This fifth generation family farm has a long history of environmental stewardship, going back to the late Ed Klessig, who was a student of environmentalist Aldo Leopold at UW-Madison in the 1930s. Ed’s granddaughter, Paula, oversees a well positioned market table, located between Springdale Farm and Rolling Meadows Sorghum Mill on the left side of the lobby’s center aisle.
- An informative Washington Post article about Saxon’s most popular cheese, Big Ed’s. Includes an enticing recipe for a cheese soufflé.
- A lovely one and a half minute slideshow of Saxon Farm (1850), accompanied by the special maternal voice of Elise Klessig-Heimerl
- In depth Cheese Reporter article from 2008
McCluskey Brothers Organic FarmsThree brothers, Kevin, Patrick and Brian McCluskey, continue a family tradition that dates back to the late 1800's: farming the hills and valleys of Shillelagh Glen Farms, milking cows, raising beef, and "sugaring" or making maple syrup. Located in southern Wisconsin, they work a 770-acre, diversified, certified organic (since 1996) family farm. Farm products include certified organic grass-fed premium ground beef, cheese, maple syrup, garlic and eggs; on selected weeks, the first three items can be found at the McCluskey market space that faces the southern windows on the right side of the Youth Center lobby.
- FoodAlliance Profile (PDF)
Dairy NewsLarry and Clara Hedrich of LaClare Farms plan to build a multimillion dollar agriculture facility that will feature a barn, milking parlor for their goat herd, retail store, creamery and café. To read more about this ambitious farming family, there is a recent Wisconsin State Journal article that includes a profile of daughter and cheesemaker, Katie Hedrich. Be sure to look for their goat cheese, milk and butter this weekend. Thinking about Wisconsin’s amazing artisan, specialty and farmstead dairy businesses puts me in an up tempo frame of mind: You’ve Said it All! (song)
As of Friday morning...We have four market spaces where vendors rotate on a weekly basis; this allows the market to have more variety and maximizes the number of food producers we can help promote. Arranged by category, here is the complete vendor lineup for this Saturday. For further information on individual food producers, please go to the MCWFM website vendor page.
Specialty Food Producers: Cocina DeLeon, Aleka’s Kitchen, River Valley Ranch, Wisconsin Soup Company, Thymely Herbals, Eden’s Market, Becky’s Blissful Bakery (caramels), Mia Famiglia
Bakery: Water House Foods, Amaranth Bakery
Produce: JenEhr Family Farm, Ela Orchard, Brightonwoods Orchard, Witte’s Vegetable Market, Springdale Farm
Honey, Maple Syrup, Sorghum: Rolling Meadows Sorghum Mill, McCluskey Brothers (maple syrup)*
Dairy: Saxon Homestead Creamery, McCluskey Brothers*, LaClare Farm*
Meat: Dominion Valley Farm (pork, beef), Jeff-Leen Farm (beef) Bolzano Artisan Meats (dry-cured sausage), Pinn-Oak Ridge Farms (lamb), McCluskey Brothers (organic ground beef) *
Game: Golden Bear Monarchs Elk Farm; Lakeview Buffalo Farm
Fish: Rushing Waters
Poultry: Jeff-Leen Farm, JenEhr Family Farm, Lakeview Buffalo Farm (smoked)
Eggs: Jeff-Leen Farm, Lakeview Buffalo Farm
Oats: Oly’s Oats
Soap: Thymely Herbals
Coffee: Valentine Coffee Roasters
*Returning this week
Wisconsin Soup Company One of the unique pleasures of the winter market has been the opportunity to provide an affordable store front to a variety of startup local food businesses. Bravo to entrepreneur Steve Wenhardt (with an award winning smile) on his first anniversary, stepping up to a van and moving into his own Wauwatosa kitchen. Located on the left side of the Tommy Thompson lobby and facing the windows, look for a table that highlights the color orange. Speaking of food blogs, She’s on the Run featured the Milwaukee County Winter Farmers’ Market (MCWFM) last month with special kudos to and photos of the WSC.
Smitten KittenCount me among the readers who are ‘smitten’ with descriptive recipes like this one for acorn squash quesadillas. I plan to vary my favorite cheese quesadilla of the moment by adding squash. Try this MCWFM shopping list: whole wheat tortillas (Gitto’s Family Farm), butter (Farmhouse Bakery), Muenster cheese (Decatur Dairy), Saxony cheese (Saxon Homestead Creamery), and Heirloom Tomato Salsa (River Valley Ranch).
Comings and GoingsThe majority of our food producers come every week and several, like Viola’s Honey, Mia Famiglia and Aeppel Treow Winery, come twice a month. Rather than reprint the same lengthy list in our newsletter every week, I will only mention vendors who are making special guest appearances. Look on our website’s producers’ page for a complete list of full and partial season vendors. On Saturday, February 26, our special attendees are Decatur Dairy (Brodhead) and Rushing Waters Trout Farm (Palmyra). At 5PM: Just received word that Pinn-Oak Farm (lamb) will not be at the market on Saturday.
Maxie’s Southern Comfort
Karen Herzog’s Milwaukee Journal Sentinel article highlighting sorghum and Rolling Meadows, September 30, 2007
Slow Food’s US Ark of Taste website Saving cherished regional foods (eg sorghum), one product at a time
A well-known gardeners’ informational website, Dave’s Garden, has an article that focuses on a brief history of sorghum production in America
Forget Me NotSpeaking of sweeteners, what are you planning to get your significant other for V Day on February 14th? Because the MCWFM will not be open next weekend I would suggest shopping this Saturday at Becky’s Blissful Bakery for elegant organic caramels or Aeppel Treow Winery for one of their brandies, fortified dessert wines or sparkling hard ciders. In the spirit of the season, “Isn’t it Romantic?”
JSOnline article on sparkling hard ciders
‘Pack’ UpWhat is a Super Bowl without some mighty fine food? Try a Wisconsin sausage and cheese platter assembled from any or all of the following producers: Dominion Valley (pork), Ney’s Big Sky (beef), Jeff-Leen (beef), Lakeside Buffalo, GBM Elk, Saxon Homestead Creamery (aged raw milk cheese), and Farmhouse Bakery (organic cheese from Crystal Ball Organic Dairy). Cocina DeLeon has a tremendous following for their frozen enchiladas as does Aleka’s Kitchen for their delectable Greek dips. How about Eden’s Market for Caroline’s vegetarian dips and flax seed crackers or chili from the Wisconsin Soup Company?
New ProductsAlong with their fresh whole wheat tortillas, Gitto’s Family Farm is introducing an organic white wheat tortilla and, as requested by L’Etoile Restaurant in Madison, a burrito-sized tortilla. Look for limited edition herbal vinegars (balsamic based pomegranate/fennel and blueberry/basil) as well as several new tisane blends from Thymely Herbals.
tisane definition from Wikipedia