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
Where did we first meet?To the best of my somewhat imperfect memory I met Brandon Dykema of Dominion Valley Farm at the tail end of a meeting at Michael Fields Agricultural Institute (East Troy) in 2003. How appropriate to exchange greetings following a discussion of raising livestock on grass because that is a major component of the diet for pigs, steers, turkeys and chickens from DVM. Adhering to the pasture principle, Brandon and his wife Tammera like to raise heritage breeds that do well on grass; in the case of the pork they bring to MCWFM you will find meat from Tamworth pigs and Large Black hogs.
Here is a special joy of attending famers’ markets – the opportunity you have to watch children who accompany their parents, whether those parents are customers or food producers. One or two of the four adorable Dykema boys (Caleb, Micah, Alek, Gabriel) help manage their family stand every week – look for them at the far right hand corner of the lobby, wearing forest green shirts and very legible name tags. This week Dominion Valley will sample their bratwurst patties at the market.
A deeper understanding of farmingSomewhat naively I thought we would have a bevy of farms with hoophouses in place this, the second winter season of the MCWFM. I was approximately a year off in my calculations because, as I have gradually learned, there is a LOT more involved with extending the growing season in hoophouses and ensuring the availability of produce through cold storage. Producing in a hoophouse doesn't come without a fair share of challenges. “Even those growers who have traditionally grown fruits and vegetables have a significant learning curve. Growers go through inputs more quickly, have to manage weeds differently, must keep a closer eye on soil moisture and deal with different pests.” I also totally overlooked the need for a well designed cold season prep area with heat, water and refrigeration. Oops.
Viola’s HoneyOn the right side of the lobby facing the window, even on a cloudy day their petite display radiates good cheer. Viola’s Honey is harvested from local hives placed on farms in Hales Corners, Pewaukee, New Berlin and Waterford as well as the Wehr Nature Center. In addition to seasonal honey, Eric and Viola’s product line includes honeycombs and beeswax candles.
· Another informative Milwaukee Journal Sentinel article by Karen Herzog. This one features Eric and Wioletta Karaban of Viola’s Honey and includes honey recipes. Doesn’t the Sparkling Honey Fruit Spritzer sound refreshing?
· Temptation thy name is honey. I inadvertently discovered this recipe adaptation for pain d’épices on David Lebovitz’s food blog, Living the Sweet Life in Paris.
Farm Fresh Market BreakfastHelp us celebrate the advent of spring by attending a special morning meal prepared by some of our favorite local chefs. Save the date: Saturday, March 26 from 8:30 am to 11:00 am.
Staff Recommendationsare not just for bookstores. Rolling Meadows Sorghum Chewy Bars (Ally) A delicious, delightfully moist, and long-lasting energy bar filled with nuts, oats, sorghum and coconut. Golden Bear Monarchs Elk Bacon (Chris) Use it in place of ham in your favorite scalloped potato recipe, in a BLT or as a leaner protein topping on a salad. Chris favors stuffed dates filled with Hooks or Maytag blue cheese and then wrapped with elk bacon. River Valley Kitchen Heirloom Tomato Salsa (Josh) A salsa recipe developed for River Valley by Chicago’s Mexican cuisine maestro, Rick Bayless. Complex flavors, not just heat; very versatile as you can see from 30 Things To Do With Leftover Salsa at Serious Eats.
Taste of the Market Sampler StationScott Buer of Bolzano Artisan Meats plans to sample a Spinach and Goat Cheese Salad with Warm Pancetta Dressing (see below) beginning @ 10:30 am. The sample station will be located on the left side of the lobby (far end).
Website Developments/Facebook PageThough she lives 2100 miles away, she grew up in Wisconsin and has volunteered countless hours of design work to various local food initiatives her mother has participated in over the past decade. I am more than grateful, Heather. Using a comprehensive list of Wisconsin food blogs compiled by Burp! Where Food Happens, Heather has added a Google custom word search that is available here as well as on Burp. Our weekly newsletters are now posted online every Thursday and there are new annotated links on our website. If you ‘like’ our Facebook page you will receive value added information about the market, food preparation, and carefully considered reference material.
Spinach and Goat Cheese Salad with Warm Pancetta Dressing2 packs (8 oz. total) Bolzano Artisan Meats Thick Cut Pancetta, cut into sticks or lardons
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 1/2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 pound fresh spinach
1/2 cup Evalon aged goat cheese
1. Sauté the Pancetta and the olive oil in a pan on medium, until Pancetta starts to brown and crisp.
2. Add the apple cider vinegar and mustard, heat all together in the pan for a minute or two, then turn off heat.
3. Toss spinach and the warm dressing, and then add the goat cheese and toss a little more.
Shopping List: Pancetta (Bolzano Artisan Meats), spinach (Springdale or JenEhr Farms), Evalon cheese (Saxon Homestead Creamery)
Stopping by Good Harvest Market in Pewaukee not long before we began our first market season in 2009, I happened to spot some organic baked goods from Lake Mills. Intrigued by their list of ingredients, I Googled the name of the bakery and made arrangements to visit the very next day. Located along the south side of a historic town square known as Commons Park, Water House Foods is a charming café/bakehouse that offers special fare to their community and travelers who venture just one mile off of I94 at the Lake Mills exit. How serendipitous to meet owners Shawn and Rae Rediske and discover their dedication to using local ingredients and willingness to take a leap of faith on a new farmers’ market. You have an opportunity to meet the aforementioned Shawn (energetic baker) every MCWFM week and sample his amazing assortment of bread and baked goods. No one is more nurturing of his fellow vendors than Shawn; Gitto’s Family Farm is renting space in their community based kitchen to make fresh whole wheat and white tortillas.
Along with all our full season vendors, farmer Ken Witmer of Glen Rock Farms will bring his 100% grass fed lamb to the market this Saturday. To all devotees of pastured meat, please note that Glen Rock attends the winter market on the third Saturday of every month.
UW Extension’s profile of Water House Foods included under “Innovative Downtown Businesses”
‘Discover the Four Lakes Area’ has an extensive background article on WHF in this electronic document, pages 49-51. Click and drag to move cursor on the open pages.
Founding vendor of MCWFM and past president of the Wisconsin Apple Growers Association, Bill Stone of Brightonwoods Orchard is the featured speaker at the next ACF Chefs of Milwaukee dinner meeting on Monday, February 21. Enjoy this unique opportunity to dine with chefs and culinary enthusiasts from metro Milwaukee. For all relevant reservation information, including the menu, click on this PDF. Please note that reservations will be accepted through tomorrow, February 18.
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
Pancetta, the diminutive of pancia meaning belly, is often misidentified as "Italian bacon." While pancetta is salt cured and spiced it is usually not smoked like typical breakfast bacon. Bacon and pancetta have a similar appearance and both cured meats originate from the belly of the pig, however pancetta is spiced more aggressively including pepper, cloves, red hot pepper, garlic, nutmeg, fennel, etc. Pancetta is also aged for about 3 months versus about 8 days for standard bacon. “Pancetta has quieter, but deeper pure pork flavors than bacon.” Pancetta can be served on its own (sliced very thin), but it's often used a flavoring base for sauces, beans, soups, vegetables and as a cooking fat (when rendered) for many pasta condiments. Note: Traditionally cured pancetta (three months or longer) is safe to eat raw. The fat turns satiny and melts on the tongue.
Bolzano Artisan Meats
Karen Herzog’s article in Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Oct 13, 2009
“Quality over Quantity” interview with Bolzano owner Scott Buer in AV Milwaukee
“Meat in the Mailbox” - an eminent Chicago food writer blogs about pancetta and guanciale from Bolzano
On Milwaukee.com takes a photographic tour of Bolzano Artisan Meats, Dec 2, 2009
Sign up for a your own tour and taste of Bolzano from 4:00 to 5:30 pm this Saturday, January 29th