Written by Ashley Deering
Buying locally grown food at area Farmers’ Markets is a win-win (-win) for Marathon County:
- Your purchases contribute to our local economy by supporting area farmers and families who produce the food.
- Your food choices are often fresher and healthier than the pre-packaged items on store shelves since the food at a farmers’ market tends to be picked that very day (or the day before).
- Your spirits will be lifted as you speak with local growers, friends, and neighbors you meet in person while shopping, offering you an enriching sense of community and connection.
From June through September, Marathon County has 11 active farmers’ markets, including:
- Athens Farmers Market
- Aspirus Farmers Market (Wausau)
- Big Bull Falls Farm Market (Wausau)
- Edgar Farmers Market
- Farmer’s Fresh Market (Mosinee)
- Farmers’ Market at the Lake DuBay Lions Park (Knowlton)
- Farmers Market of Wausau
- Kronenwetter Farmers Market
- Spencer Farmers Market
- Stratford Farmers Market
- Weston Farmers Market
A few of the markets open early in May, and many don’t close until October.
I invite you to visit the Marathon County Local Food website for a handy, printable list of times, days, hours, and locations for a dozen farmers’ markets that take place throughout Marathon County — including the Wausau Winter Market, which runs November through April.
These 12 area farmers’ markets offer many unique items, such as:
- Organic and non-organic produce
- Baked goods
- Ice cream
- . . . and so much more!
If your schedule is hectic and you miss getting to a market in one city, simply head to another nearby farmers’ market on a different day. During the summer months, Monday is the only day that Marathon County does not have a farmers’ market.
Besides, you just might find some new favorite items at a different market!
Another great idea is to plan a date to meet a friend for breakfast or lunch at a farmers’ market . . . A lot of the markets have ready-to-eat products and a great outdoor atmosphere — often with live music, too!
Before you head out for your next visit to a local farmers’ market, Shelly Senoraske, of Hidden View Acres in Edgar, suggests:
“Don’t be afraid to ask your local farmers about the produce they have! We take great pride in providing good food for the community, and we would be happy to tell you more about where it grows and how to prepare it. Also, don’t be afraid of the produce that doesn’t look store-perfect; it sure does not lack in flavor. Fresh, local produce can’t be beaten in taste.”
Shelly and her mother can be found at the Athens, Stratford, Edgar, and Abbotsford Farmers’ Markets.
If you have not had a chance to shop at a farmers’ market yet this season, there’s still time! Several area farmers’ markets run through early October.
And then, starting in November . . .
The 2018 Wausau Winter Market kicks off on November 3! This indoor farmers’ market takes place through April 2019 at the Boys and Girls Club of Wausau. (For more information, check out “Thinking Green When All Is White: Wausau Winter Farmers Market Helps Keep Local Food on Plates Year-Round.”)
I’ll leave you with 10 tips for success while shopping at a Marathon County Farmers’ Market. May these tips help you get the most out of your next visit.
Happy shopping, everyone!
Public Health Educator | Marathon County Health Department
Ashley Deering is a Public Health Educator who began her journey at Marathon County Health Department in October 2012. Ashley was hired to start and coordinate the Farm to School efforts in Marathon County. She now facilitates the local food movement in Marathon County through farmers’ markets and Farm to School. She is passionate about supporting the local food economy and increasing access to nutritious food by improving the overall food system for all. To provide Marathon County residents with local food information, Ashley created an interactive website www.marathoncountylocalfood.org, where residents can learn about who grows their food and where they can find local food. Ashley co-facilitates Marathon County’s Healthy Eating Active Living (HEAL). She holds a Bachelor of Science in Community Health Promotions from the University of Wisconsin–Superior and is a Certified Health Education Specialist (CHES). Ashley is committed to exploring innovative and creative ways on how a community can come together to make meaningful change. Email Ashley Deering.
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