Wild Abundance

June 26, 2022

After a morning eating too many sweets at The Dane County Farmers Market, my son and I checked the cattle and foraged for Pigweed and Golden Oyster Mushrooms. Isabel combined with onions and cooked them up and served them with a new product for us, Beef Bacon. Delicious!


Celebrate: Alyssa and Dean

June 12, 2022

Dane County Farmer’s Market is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year!

The Dane County Farmer’s Market, (DCFM), is a big part of our life.  And I realized, for many of our regular customers, it’s also a big part of their life.

Because just as regular vendors make a market, so do regular customers.  It’s a community. 

So we are going to celebrate this community with an ongoing series.

——-

When I asked for stories, I knew they would be interesting, and Alyssa and Dean are no exception, read on to find out.  Thank you, Alyssa and Dean!

Name: Alyssa and Dean

How long have you been attending DCFM?

Alyssa has been shopping DCFM for approximately 30 years.  She started going when she was in college and has been a regular ever since.  Dean is from WI, but lived in Indiana for many years. He has been shopping DCFM since meeting Alyssa and moving to Madison 7 years ago. 

DCFM memory:

Our favorite DCFM memory is that our second date was planned around a trip to the market.  Alyssa gave Dean her personal tour of the market, we did the fossil scavenger hunt in the capitol and watched the market from the observation deck, then picked out some beautiful pots of purple asters for Dean to take back to his patio in Indiana, and finally a late outdoor lunch at Graze. He has a photo of Alyssa holding the asters and it’s still one of his favorites.  The Dane County Farmers Market has a very special place in our hearts for so many reasons. 

Curiousfarmer Favorite:

We have two favorites…the beef tenderloin and the breakfast sausage links!

Go to meal:

Breakfast Bundles (aka “burritos”): Hickory Hill Farm eggs, Hook’s 6 year cheddar, Curious Farmer breakfast sausage, Snug Haven spinach, onion, tater tots, Penzey’s Bavarian Blend seasoning, Bushel & Peck’s Cherry Bomb hot sauce all wrapped in a tortilla. Simple and delicious every time!


Celebrate: Barb and Caitlin

June 5, 2022

Dane County Farmer’s Market is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year!

The Dane County Farmer’s Market, (DCFM), is a big part of our life.  And I realized, for many of our regular customers, it’s also a big part of their life.

Because just as regular vendors make a market, so do regular customers.  It’s a community. 

So we are going to celebrate this community with an ongoing series.

——-

Barb makes nearly every market, usually with her daughter Caitlin.  This dynamic duo shop and power walk the capitol square before the crowds arrive.  Thank you, Barb and Caitlin!

Name: Barb and Caitlin

How long have you been attending DCFM? About 30 years

DCFM memory:  Going to the market with our young children who are now adults and getting pastries so they could share with the birds. Love the way more produce shows up as the season progresses.

Curiousfarmer Favorite: I remember meeting Matthew at one of the first Markets of the year – the weather wasn’t very nice, but CuriousFarmer was there and I had a conversation with him about natural bacon and he actually offered it!  As we were chatting it turns out Matthew was a partner with Jordandal Farms, so it was really a nice way to start a relationship with a “new vendor”.  I think his natural bacon is some of the best!

Go to meal: Hard to pick just one – really depends on the weather.


Celebrate: Sadie, Matt, and Emersyn

June 1, 2022

Dane County Farmer’s Market is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year!

The Dane County Farmer’s Market, (DCFM), is a big part of our life.  And I realized, for many of our regular customers, it’s also a big part of their life.

Because just as regular vendors make a market, so do regular customers.  It’s a community. 

So we are going to celebrate this community with an ongoing series.

——-

Sadie is a regular at DCFM, usually with her daughter Emersyn, and once in awhile we get to see Matt, so this Saturday I jumped at the opportunity to snap a photo of the whole family.  Thanks guys!

Name: Sadie, Matt and Emersyn

How long have you been attending DCFM?: 7 years 

DCFM memory: All of them – especially the early mornings where we grab our favorite coffees before we get started.

Curiousfarmer Favorite: It’s hard to pick because everything is so good, but the hamburger patties have been a big hit lately. We also like to stay stocked on pork sausage for a variety of meals.

Go to meal: Chorizo sausage and potato burritos, quick and easy, plus the chorizo is so flavorful, I don’t need to add much else.


Planting Apple Trees With Derek

May 26, 2022

I meet some interesting folks at the Dane County Farmer’s Market. Derek’s family runs The Flower Factory stand, a couple blocks down from my stand.

Derek stopped by one Saturday last year and we got to talking. Turns out we have similar interests in permaculture and have read some of the same books, including Restoration Agriculture by Mark Shepard.

Mr. Shepard talks about starting apple trees from seed, which is always going to be interesting because apple trees from seed are always a hybrid of their two parents. If you want a known variety of apple tree, you need to graft it onto another tree or rootstock.

Derek mentioned he had started several apple trees from seeds, but wasn’t sure if he would find space to plant them. I had been thinking about planting apple trees, as my son and I love to eat fresh apples every day they are in season, and pigs love apples.

A plan was born to trade apple trees for meat, we just had to wait until spring. Well that time came last Sunday as you can see by the photos. 16 apple trees planted next to our pig pasture.

My Dad even got in on the act, hauling water on his ATV.

Derek, like me, is a curious person. We look forward to eating some of these hybrids. Maybe we’ll have the next great apple. Even if we don’t, I’m sure me and my son and the pigs will enjoy!

Hi Matthew,

As promised, here’s the list of the apple trees that we planted at your farm. I have the maternal line as a D number, and then the apple variety that I collected seeds from after it. It will be interesting to see how much variation is within a maternal line. 

Going North to South

Antonovka
D30 – Wolf River
D27 – Hudson’s Golden Gem
D34 – Turley Winesap
D30 – Wold River
D34 – Turley Winesap
D13 – Caville Blanc d’Hiver
Antonovka
D34 – Turley Winesap
D28 – Pink Perl
D35 – Buford’s Red Flesh
D30 – Wolf River
D26 – Snow
D26 – Snow
D26 – Snow
Antonovka


Celebrate: Stephanie and Mitch

May 22, 2022

Dane County Farmer’s Market is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year!

The Dane County Farmer’s Market, (DCFM), is a big part of our life.  And I realized, for many of our regular customers, it’s also a big part of their life.

Because just as regular vendors make a market, so do regular customers.  It’s a community. 

So we are going to celebrate this community with an ongoing series.

——-

Not all the customers have been attending for decades, its nice to see newer customers as well.

Its been great getting to know Stephanie and Mitch the last few years.  Thank you, Stephanie and Mitch!

Name: Stephanie and Mitchell

How long have you been attending DCFM? About 3 years

DCFM memory: Our favorite times at the market are when we get there early, so it’s just starting to get warm and there aren’t many other customers yet. It’s nice and peaceful and you have more time to talk to the vendors. We also make a morning out of it and often get coffee at Ancora afterwards. 

Curiousfarmer Favorite: Ground beef because it’s so versatile and Turkey for thanksgiving.

Go to meal: Beef and broccoli, with the stew meat.


Celebrate: Terese

May 19, 2022

Terese, May 7th, 2022

Dane County Farmer’s Market is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year!

The Dane County Farmer’s Market, (DCFM), is a big part of our life.  And I realized, for many of our regular customers, it’s also a big part of their life.

Because just as regular vendors make a market, so do regular customers.  It’s a community. 

So we are going to celebrate this community with an ongoing series.

——-

I’m happy I started this series as I’m learning so much more about DCFM customers. 

Terese is editing the 50th anniversary DCFM cookbook.  I didn’t know she was formerly a professional chef.

She upped the game on these questions by including a recipe.  Thank you, Terese!

Name: Terese

How long have you been attending DCFM?

1974…that was when I first lived in Madison, but it was only for a summer. When I moved here again, in 1977, I started going to the market more regularly. I feel like a fixture now!

DCFM memory:

When I was chef at the Ovens of Brittany East, back in the mid-1980s, I’d go to the market before the restaurant opened on Saturdays, to get whatever looked good to me for the weekend menu specials. Very few vendors sold many fresh herbs at that time, but I could get big bagfuls of thyme springs, rosemary branches, sage leaves and such from one of them. We used them in our soups and entrees and garnished each of the finished plates with them. People loved that they got something other than the regular old parsley sprig, and many tucked theirs into a lapel or a purse to bring home and use in their own kitchens.

Curiousfarmer Favorite: 

It’s too hard to pick one! Can I pick three? Chorizo links, uncured bacon and ground pork are the ones I use the most.

Show original message

This is what I’m going to make if I get lucky and find morels this season: 

Spaghetti with Morels, Curious Farmer Bacon, Green Onions and Cream

8-10 ounces spaghetti

6-8 ounces bacon 

1/2 pound fresh morels (or other mushrooms, like crimini), cleaned, halved and dried between paper towels

1 bunch green onions, sliced in half lengthwise and cut diagonally into 2-inch pieces

1/2 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary

3 tablespoons chopped fresh chives, garlic chives or green garlic, divided

1 cup heavy cream

salt and pepper

Bring a large pot of salted water to boil for the pasta. Meanwhile, cook bacon until crispy. Drain on paper towels. Discard all but about 2-3 tablespoons of the bacon fat.  Use a fairly high flame to saute the morels in the hot fat in batches (don’t crowd the pan!) until tender. Add the green onions, rosemary and about half of the chives. Stir and cook about 1 minute. Remove to a bowl.

Boil pasta until tender. Meanwhile, add heavy cream to the hot skillet and boil to reduce it by about 3/4. Stir in the bacon and morel mixture. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Keep warm.

Drain pasta when it is tender, saving some of the pasta water to use if needed. Toss pasta with the sauce; if it’s too thick, thin it with some of the pasta water. Sprinkle pasta with remaining chives and serve immediately.


Celebrate: Emily

May 15, 2022
Emily, May 7th, 2022

Dane County Farmer’s Market is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year!

The Dane County Farmer’s Market, (DCFM), is a big part of our life.  And I realized, for many of our regular customers, it’s also a big part of their life.

Because just as regular vendors make a market, so do regular customers.  It’s a community. 

So we are going to celebrate this community with an ongoing series.

——-

Emily is one of our carless patrons.  When we we started our Madison meat drops during Covid, Emily suggested a downtown location so that she and others wouldn’t miss out.  It’s been a hit, and many walking customers have enjoyed the last couple of years.  Thank you, Emily!

Name: Emily Reynolds

How long have you been attending DCFM? Over a decade

DCFM memory: Maybe not a memory, but DCFM is the only thing that can regularly drag me out of bed before 7am! (clearly not meant to be a farmer) 

Curiousfarmer Favorite: Cottage bacon is a recent favorite! My favorite standby is ground beef. I always pick up a pound or two!

Go to meal: I love breakfast hash: ground beef, plantain, black beans, and red peppers fried up and topped with fried eggs. Also great mixed into rice or on tacos. 


Celebrate: Lisa

May 12, 2022
Lisa: May 7, 2022

Dane County Farmer’s Market is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year!

The Dane County Farmer’s Market, (DCFM), is a big part of our life.  And I realized, for many of our regular customers, it’s also a big part of their life.

Because just as regular vendors make a market, so do regular customers.  It’s a community. 

So we are going to celebrate this community with an ongoing series.

Even though I’ve never met Lisa’s son, I feel like I know him as I receive regular updates from Lisa. Thank you, Lisa!

Name: Lisa

How long have you been attending DCFM? 27 years 

DCFM memory: buying food and flowers for my wedding. My friends and I cooked the meal. 

Curiousfarmer Favorite: pork tenderloin for grilling, brisket for smoking 

Go to meal: market salad or vegetables, roasted potatoes, grilled steak or pork, fruit crisp. 


Celebrate: Anne and Terry

April 24, 2022
Anne and Terry, April 23, 2022

Dane County Farmer’s Market is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year!

The Dane County Farmer’s Market, (DCFM), is a big part of our life.  And I realized, for many of our regular customers, it’s also a big part of their life.

Because just as regular vendors make a market, so do regular customers.  It’s a community. 

So we are going to celebrate this community with an ongoing series.

—–

You will usually see Anne and Terry at least a couple of times on Market Saturdays as they make it a whole morning. When I’m shorthanded they step behind the booth so I can make a pit stop. They claim they’re bad for business, but they’ve usually got someone waiting when I return. Thank you, Anne and Terry!

—–

We have been attending DCFM since the early 80s.  

DCFM Memory: Making our purchases and coming home to make a great omelette with all the eggs and veggies we purchased.  Cows on the Concourse!  Meeting the great farmers that feed us and seeing them each year. All DCFM memories are amazing. DCFM memories should be a PBS special. 

Curiousfarmer favorite:   Tie between ground beef and Canadian bacon. Matt is  great too!

Go to meal:  Meatballs whether they are Italian, stroganoff, Swedish etc with CF beef.  Healthy and delish.