During the summer and early fall months there are many great farmers’ markets in the Milwaukee area. When winter comes many people think the days of local produce and products are over until late spring. However, there are some great choices for indoor markets in Milwaukee during the winter and early spring.
The Milwaukee County Winter Farmers’ Market runs most Saturday mornings from November 5th to April 14th. The market is held entirely indoors at the Tommy Thompson Youth Center at the Wisconsin State Fair Park (Gate 5). Parking is free and the market runs from 8am until noon.
At this market you can get seasonally available produce including apples, squash, spinach, mushrooms, garlic, potatoes, and herbs. Also available are canned and bottled products such as salsa, jam, honey, and maple syrup. You can pick up meat, fish, and poultry, including unique finds like elk and buffalo. Wisconsin dairy staples like milk, cheese, and cheese curds are also available from local vendors. You can also purchase baked goods, coffee, soups, pasta, and soaps. Vendors do vary weekly so be sure to check out the website to get an idea of who will be there (http://www.mcwfm.org). This market is worth a trip especially if you are going through farmers’ market withdrawal.
The Milwaukee Public Market (http://milwaukeepublicmarket.org) has an indoor urban market during winter as well. The market takes place one Saturday a month from 10am to 3pm on the second floor of the Milwaukee Public Market. The dates for the indoor market are: November 26th, December 17th, and the second Saturday of each month from January to May 2012. This market features urban arts and crafts including jewelry, holiday gifts, and art work. All products are from local small businesses. Before or after checking out this market you can buy coffee, cheese, sweets, flowers, and much more on the first floor of the fabulous Milwaukee Public Market.
Another option for an indoor market is the Westown Indoor Market. This market takes place Wednesdays from 10am to 3pm at the Shops of Grand Avenue (on the skywalk over 2nd Street). The Westown Indoor Market runs from November 2nd through December 21st. At this market you’ll find apples, pears, cider, honey, breads, baked treats, and jams. They also have a variety of non-edible items including soaps, candles, jewelry, and other accessories. http://www.westown.org/westown/westown+indoor+market
Finally, out in Oconomowoc they have a Winter Farmers’ Market from 9:30am to 1:30pm one or two Sundays a month from November to April. The market is held at the Oconomowoc Landscape Supply and Garden Center at the intersection of Highways 67 and Country Trunk K. See their website for exact dates and location (http://www.oconomowoc.org/farmers-market-winter.php). At this market they have apples, seasonal produce, ciders, pasta, pickles, herbs, eggs, meats, cheeses, baked goods, bath products, and so much more.
Whether you’re craving local foods and products or just in the mood to stroll through a market, you have a number of options in Milwaukee this winter. All of these markets are great places to find gifts and support local farmers, vendors, and producers. So go enjoy the sights, smells, and tastes of one of these local winter markets!