Savor the season at the 9 best farmers markets in Wisconsin

Savor the season at the 9 best farmers markets in Wisconsin

Photo courtesy of Dane County Farmers' Market via Instagram.

By Erin Yarnall

May 16, 2024

If there’s any state that’s proud of its agriculture, it has to be Wisconsin.

Nicknamed The Dairy State, Wisconsin is home to more than 64,000 farms. And although Wisconsin might be famous for its dairy products, that’s not the only thing that these thousands of farms produce. They also grow fresh produce, meat, honey, herbs — almost any food product that a shopper could imagine.

It’s not hard to get ahold of these products, either — all you have to do is spend a Saturday perusing one of the many farmers markets found throughout the state.

While most of the farmers markets found throughout Wisconsin run outdoors during the summer, there are plenty that are open year-round, moving indoors when the weather turns colder.

One of the best things about the farmers markets? They’re everywhere. Local farmers markets can be found in almost every county throughout the state.

Here are nine of the biggest and best farmers markets throughout Wisconsin, divided by region.

Southeastern Wisconsin

Kenosha HarborMarket

Where: 2nd Ave. and 56th St., Kenosha

When: Saturdays, 9 a.m.-2 p.m.

Savor the season at the 9 best farmers markets in Wisconsin

Photo courtesy of
Kenosha HarborMarket via Instagram.

True to its name, the Kenosha HarborMarket isn’t just a packed farmers market — it’s also a scenic one. The market, which is located in downtown Kenosha on 2nd Ave. between 54th and 56th Streets, is close to the city’s HarborPark and lakefront.

Taking place on Saturdays from May through October, the market first began operating more than 20 years ago, as its founders wanted to create a European-style market in the southeastern Wisconsin city. After two decades, the farmers market is a massive undertaking, with more than 200 small, local businesses represented in 2023.

In addition to locally-produced food products and crafts, the Kenosha HarborMarket also serves as an opportunity to catch live, local music, with bands and musicians scheduled to perform every week.

Milwaukee County Winter Farmers’ Market

Where: 5305 W. Capitol Drive, Milwaukee

When: Saturdays, 9 a.m.-2 p.m.

Savor the season at the 9 best farmers markets in Wisconsin

Photo courtesy of Milwaukee Winter Farmers Market via Facebook.

Sure, farmers’ markets are wonderful to visit throughout the summer, but contrary to popular belief, they’re not only open in the warm months. There are winter farmers’ markets throughout Wisconsin, including the Milwaukee County Winter Farmers’ Market.

The market has two different seasons in which it sells locally-made products. The market’s Autumn-Winter Market sells locally-sourced produce and other products from nearby farmers, and runs from November through the middle of January. A week after the Autumn-Winter Market ends, the Winter-Spring Market kicks off, and runs through April. Because farmers aren’t able to grow most crops throughout the winter, the Winter-Spring Market focuses more on locally-produced crafts.

Southwestern Wisconsin

Beloit Farmers Market

Where: 400 E. Grand Ave., Beloit

When: Saturdays, 8 a.m.-1 p.m.

Savor the season at the 9 best farmers markets in Wisconsin

Photo courtesy of Beloit Farmers Market via Instagram.

There are more than 100 local vendors at the Beloit Farmers Market, located in downtown Beloit, which means there are a lot of products for shoppers to pick up at the market.

Vendors at the Beloit Farmers Market sell everything from produce to baked goods, seafood, and handmade crafts, and there are even food trucks and free children’s entertainment. All of those products resulted in plenty of sales — the farmers’ market said that they sold nearly $4 million in products throughout 2023.

The market has been so successful thanks to its devoted shoppers. Last year, the Beloit Farmers Market had more than 100,000 visitors throughout its six-month run, and according to the farmers’ market, more than 61% came to the market every week, or every other week.

Platteville Farmers Market

Where: 75 N. Bonson St., Platteville

When: Saturdays, 8 a.m.-12 p.m.

Savor the season at the 9 best farmers markets in Wisconsin

Photo courtesy of Platteville Farmer’s Market via Instagram.

It’s easy to tell that Platteville has made its farmers market a priority because of its prominent location — right in the center of the city.

Each Saturday, the Platteville Farmers Market is held in City Park, in the heart of Platteville’s downtown. The market, which runs from 8 a.m. until noon, typically has more than 25 vendors that sell everything from popcorn and baked goods to organic, free-range eggs from a local chicken farm.

When the weather gets cold out, it doesn’t mean that the farmers market comes to an end. Instead, it moves indoors to the Rountree Gallery, an art gallery in Platteville. The Winter farmer’s market takes place on the first and third Saturday of each month from November through April.

Northern Wisconsin

Eau Claire Downtown Farmers Market

Where: 300 Riverfront Terrace, Eau Claire

When: Saturdays, 7:30 a.m.-1 p.m. in May; Wednesdays and Saturdays, 7:30 a.m.-1 p.m., Thursdays, 12-5 p.m. from June through October

Savor the season at the 9 best farmers markets in Wisconsin

Photo courtesy of Eau Claire Downtown Farmers Market via Facebook.

Three decades ago, Eau Claire resident Philip A. Chute founded the Eau Claire Downtown Farmers Market, alongside his wife, Judith. Chute passed away in 2013, but his legacy in the city still remains, as the farmers market is celebrating its 30th anniversary in 2024.

In the decades that have passed since its founding, the Eau Claire Downtown Farmers Market’s membership has grown to more than 70 vendors.

The market operates every Saturday throughout May, and Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays from June through October. There’s also a winter farmers market that runs from November through April, held on the second Saturday of every month.

River Falls Farmers Market

Where: 1121 S. Main St., River Falls

When: Tuesdays, 3-6 p.m.; Saturdays, 8 a.m.-12 p.m.

Savor the season at the 9 best farmers markets in Wisconsin

Photo courtesy of Eau Claire Downtown Farmers Market via Facebook.

A vast majority of farmers markets are held in the morning, so shoppers can start their day supporting local vendors, but the River Falls Farmers Market slightly mixes the format up. While the farmers market’s Saturday market runs throughout the morning, River Falls also offers its farmers market into the night on Tuesdays, operating from 3 to 6 p.m.

Making two stops at the market per week shouldn’t be too taxing for the vendors, as they’re all required to come from within a 35-mile radius.

The market, held in the parking lot of Dick’s Fresh Market, offers local products like organic produce, fresh herbs and flower bouquets.

Central Wisconsin

Dane County Farmers’ Market

Where: 2 E. Main St., Madison

When: Wednesdays, 8:30 a.m.-1:45 p.m.; Saturdays, 6:15 a.m.-1:45 p.m.

Dane County Farmers’ Market isn’t just one of the largest farmers markets in Wisconsin — it’s also the largest producer-only farmers market in the country. As a producer-only farmers market, every item at the market is sold by the person who grew, raised, and produced or crafted it. It’s also a rare farmers market that’s open all year round.

The Madison-based farmers market first started operating in 1972, and in the five decades since, it has expanded into several different markets including its Late Winter Market and Holiday Market, where shoppers can pick up holiday-inspired crafts, produce, and baked goods throughout November and December.

The Dane County Farmers Market is so renowned that there’s even a cookbook, which can be picked up at the farmers market, with 125 recipes inspired by the locally sourced products available there.

Oshkosh Farmers Market

Where: 500 N. Main St., Oshkosh

When: Saturdays, 8 a.m.-12:30 p.m.

Savor the season at the 9 best farmers markets in Wisconsin

Photo courtesy of Oshkosh Farmers Markets via Instagram.

For 30 years, Oshkosh residents looking for locally sourced, organic produce have been able to turn to the Oshkosh Farmers Market.

This farmers market prides itself on being producer-oriented, meaning that a majority of the goods are being sold by the same people who have produced them. It also places an emphasis on agriculture vendors, and always has fruits and vegetables that are ideal for late spring through the fall, as the farmers market runs from June through October.

It’s just not fruits and vegetables that are sold at the market, though. With more than 130 vendors each week, there’s a wide variety of items sold, including bakers selling their baked goods, as well as kombucha and craft vendors.

Downtown Appleton Farmers’ Market

Where: 100 W. College Ave., Appleton

When: Saturdays, 8 a.m.-12:30 p.m.

Savor the season at the 9 best farmers markets in Wisconsin

Photo courtesy of Appleton Downtown via Instagram.

Appleton’s College Avenue is a pretty busy street, but a stretch of it is shut down every Saturday from June through October to make way for something else that can get pretty busy: the Downtown Appleton Farmers’ Market.

The market has more than 100 vendors each week, selling everything from organic produce to handmade pieces of art. But if the massive vendor list isn’t enough, the Downtown Appleton Farmers’ Market also regularly hosts live music from local musicians.

This article first appeared on Good Info News Wire and is republished here under a Creative Commons license.Savor the season at the 9 best farmers markets in WisconsinSavor the season at the 9 best farmers markets in Wisconsin

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