dane county farmers market


Sitting in front of the Capitol.

I miss writing about our travels, but of course, we haven’t been anywhere for awhile.  Browsing the NYTimes Saturday morning, I found an article about Genoa  and I melted with the memories of last year. I added my favorite restaurant and B&B whose owners took such good care of us to the comments but I was ready to sink into my grumpy, petulant child self because there will be no travel like that this summer. And then, after breakfast Julia and I bundled up and went to the Madison Farmers Market and I decided do some writing about the pleasures of Madison and surrounds from now until the next time we board a plane.

So, the Madison Farmers’ Market. Correctly titled the Dane County Farmers’ Market began in 1972 and is America’s largest producers-only farmers’ market. It hosts 300 vendors and completely encircles the Capitol Building.

Our family discovered the Farmers Market during the years that David and I drove Cheshire to the summer Suzuki Violin Family Camp in Steven’s Point, about an hour north of Madison.  We would drive up to Madison from Indianapolis on a Friday after work, walk State Street and have dinner at an ethnic restaurant, stay the night at a B&B, walk the Farmers Market on Saturday morning and drive up to Stevens Point after lunch.  During those visits, we would comment that if we ever had the opportunity to move to Madison, we would jump at the chance.  In those days, ethnic restaurants and amenities like farmers markets did not exist in Indianapolis and Madison seemed like a midwestern slice of our NYC lives. We were not wrong.

We loved Saturdays at the Market, shopping and having breakfast as we walked the stalls.  But as the Julia grew, she couldn’t take the crowds, and at the height of summer, the shoppers move at a snail’s pace around the square.  It can be challenging to get close to favorite booths. Julia also became very afraid of balloons and there was usually at least three balloon artists on the square.  We found alternatives: Sunday morning in Monona  which opens in May is our favorite.  It is laid back and has more open space.  After shopping there a few time, vendors recognize us and last year, Julia was able to practice counting money to pay them.

This morning, it was cold and cloudy and it is very early in the market season.  We ventured out before 10. The time and the weather meant a smaller crowd, although by no means empty, walking around the capital. The musicians and the balloon artists were not in attendance and the bounty was surprising: wonderful spinach, spring onions, beets, carrots and of course, asparagus.  For lunch we brought home empanadas and a spicy corn chowder. The chilly, wet weather continues and we will need a few dry days before digging in the garden again is even possible, fresh greens and asparagus taste of the warmer weather coming.


Wrist update: Based on questions asked by the PT on our first meeting and on my last weekly appointment with her last Thursday, I am 67% functional. Up from 0%. This weekend I baked macarons and peeled roasted beets. Last week, without fanfare, I changed from jeans into exercise pants in the locker room of the gym.  I’ve been doing it in a bathroom stall because it is difficult and probably funny to watch someone try to take off/put on pants with one hand.  Actually, when I first went back to the gym a few weeks ago, I didn’t change at all. I also put on knee socks this weekend for the first time since January. And if it ever stops raining, I can test whether my gardening endurance has improved.

Summer update: We have our summer IEP after school today. Hopefully, I will find out the daily schedule and what the lesson content will be. Unfortunately, I am still waiting for the report on the neuro-psych evaluation that I had done more than a month ago so, the recommendations cannot even be considered.

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