All photos by Joe Powell.

All photos by Joe Powell.

I swear, farmers seem to spend as much time at markets as they do in the fields!  But for us city-folk, that’s nothing but good news. While there’s plenty of such farmers’ markets to be found during the summer, the biggest draw in the winter is the Milwaukee County Winter Farmers’ Market at the Mitchell Park Domes.

I went for the first time on a recent Saturday morning in search of my favorite local mustard (found and bought 4 jars) and was amazed at just what an event it is. If you’ve never been to the Domes, they deserve a tour in and of themselves. But the market taking residence inside the central reception area as well as the demonstration dome is just as impressive.
Winter Farmer's Market (2)With at least 35 vendors any given week (all from within a 90-mile radius), it’s quite the sight to see (and smell, and taste). It was wonderful to leave the cold and walk into this warm space filled with people and local noms. And the variety was astounding; you’ll find anything from your standard veggies and fruits to artisan soups and breads, honey, flowers, soap, chocolate, meats, jams, and cheeses (to name a very few). Samples abound, and I partook in some fantastic balsamic vinaigrette, aged cheddar cheese, and lamb meatballs.
Winter Farmer's Market (6)You’re free to wander into the other Domes as well, which is a treat in its own right. In fact, some of the vendors are set up in the demonstration dome, which has a beautiful and relaxing garden and pond to sit around while enjoying some of your recent purchases. There was even a book-signing going on near the packed coffee stand, and at one point I saw Santa sneak in a back door to surprise the children present.

Winter Farmer's Market (13)The Market is open every Saturday from November 1 to April 11 (2014-15 season) from 9AM to 1PM, and there’s plenty of free parking available if you’re coming from afar. I was impressed with the variety and craftsmanship, and the whole event is well-organized and comfortable. You can be sure it’ll be a regular Saturday-morning stop for this Milwaukeean. Do yourself a favor and make it down to the Milwaukee County Winter Farmers’ Market this weekend.
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