6 Ways To Connect With Local Farmers In Southeast Wisconsin
Farmers markets are a quintessential part of summer here, and they’re just one of many ways to connect with agricultural life in Wisconsin.
Author Kristine Hansen’s new book, Wisconsin Farms & Farmer’s Markets: Tours, Trails, and Attractions, looks at a wide array of things like the best farm stays, farm stands and pick-your-own produce places around the state.
Here are six places Hansen recommends visiting in southeast Wisconsin:
While there are many, many farmers markets to check out, one that gets Hansen's stamp of approval is Fondy Farmers Market, located at 2200 West Fond du Lac Avenue in Milwaukee.
"One of the best options that goes beyond the unexpected would be the Fondy Center Farmers Market," she explains. "... The vendors have a lot of ethnic diversity, and that really shows in their products — whether it's Asian ingredients like lemon grass or others."
As for a farm stand to visit, Hansen recommends Schmit's Farm Produce, located at 10333 North Wauwatosa Road in Mequon.
"While they're really known for their sweet corn in July, which is a classic staple here in Wisconsin, right; they also have vegetables — squash, green beans, tomatoes, potatoes, zucchini and then, of course, in the fall they have pumpkins," Hansen explains.
The Greenfield Farmers Market takes place at Konkel Park, located at 5151 West Layton Avenue in Greenfield. This one of Hansen's favorites to go to on a Sunday morning.
"The way that it's set up is there's a park and then the vendors are surrounding that park," she explains. "And I discovered so many new vendors there — whether it was ice coffee, ... flowers, hand pies, corn ... I enjoyed going to that."
4. Abloom Farm
If your looking for something a bit more immersive, you may want to check out a farm stay. "Another way that these farms are earning a living is by giving you the opportunity to stay at their farm," Hansen explains.
And, one that's close to Milwaukee, she says, is ABloom Farm, located at 2839 Wisconsin 33 in Saukville.
"It's tucked into a pine forest, and there's two barns and a log cabin. So you really get a sense of what it's like to live on a farmstead. And they do a lot of, you know, events like yoga, spa services, private chef services. ... This is this is more of the Cadillac / Four Seasons version of staying on a farm," Hansen says.
Another, very Wisconsin way, to connect with local farmers is to visit a creamery. Hansen recommends LaClare Family Creamery, located at W2994 County Road HH in Malone.
"This is a family-owned creamery that makes award winning goat cheese. It's, you know, earned medals and trophies and lots of awards from the national and international cheese competitions. There's a lot you can do on the property. If you arrive on a Saturday, you can do goat yoga, which I experienced a few weekends ago and it was an amazing time," Hansen says.
One of Hansen's favorite places to pick-your-own produce is the lesser-known Peck & Bushel Organic Fruit Company, located at 5454 County Road Q in Colgate.
"It's a family-owned 70-acre orchard," she explains. "And they just harvest a lot of different apple varieties, including the popular honey crisp. It's the kind of place where you feel like maybe you just stepped into the pages of Martha Stewart Living magazine."