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Dane County Farmers’ Market 2024

Pedestrians — including those wearing red and University of Wisconsin-Madison-branded clothing — shop for produce and other offerings while walking around the Dane County Farmers’ Market that circles the Wisconsin State Capitol in downtown Madison, Wis., on a mild autumn morning on Oct. 25, 2014. (Photo by Jeff Miller/UW-Madison)

This past Saturday, April 13th, the Dane County Farmers’ Market started on 6:15 a.m. to 1:45 p.m. and will run every Saturday until November 9th. Surrounding the Capitol Square, the market is a prime sense of community and interpersonal relationships between buyers and sellers. At the Farmers’ Market, there are over 100 farmers that live and work in Wisconsin that sell their best vegetables, flowers, meats, cheese, and other specialty products.

According to Associate Professor of Food Science, Bradley Bolling, the Farmers’ Market, “allows for students and community members alike to take advantage of the various fresh product for one’s health.”

According to the Market Assistant for the Farmers’ Market Hannah Menzel, the market first started back in 1972, with the idea of uniting the various cultures that spread across Dane County. Since it’s initiation, the market has grown rapidly and now includes over 200 members.

“Our feedback that we get from members is that they love coming to the market and that’s an essential part of the Madison community,” Menzel said. “They love interacting with the wide variety of people that attend the market every weekend. I would also say that we are fortunate to have so many incredible farmers, bakers and cheese makers that make our market so unique.”

According to Professor Bolling, the variety of fruits and vegetables available at the market can benefit an individual from the various nutrients. For example, if a person were to only eat onions, they would miss out on certain components that are in other vegetables. Currently, there is little research which states that having a variety of products in one’s diet has significant improvement of health benefits.

Having access to fruits and vegetables provide key nutrients and non-nutrient components – referred to as bioactives – which are necessary for preventing chronic diseases and maintaining one’s health. That’s what makes the Farmers’ Market so beneficial is the amount of fresh product available for buyers. Food that is sold in grocery stores are often past their peak and the amount of nutritional value is decreased. While there are few fruits that gain nutritional value as they age, in general, the fresher the product, the higher amount of nutritional content, according to Professor Bolling.

For more information, visit the Dane County Farmers’ Market Website.