When people find out that our first Janesville Farmers Market of the season is May 4th, they often wonder what kinds of things they will find at such an “early” market. I’m putting early in quotes here because many farmers’ markets have already started their season or are even year round now. I’m also remembering that last year, with our unusual March warm-up, the first weekend in May was a rather late start for favorite crops like asparagus.
This year is already proving to be very different from our last. Many farmers who got an early start last year may be planting later this year due to cool, wet weather. Asparagus is barely poking through the ground and may be scarce at the first market or two. Then again, our ingenious farmers may surprise us. There are many clever ways to extend the growing season, including row covers, hoop houses and even heated greenhouses. With this knowledge, I can assert with confidence that the market will have another strong start.
You can expect to see most of your favorite bakeries, cheese, honey, meat and eggs at the first market of the season. You will also find early green onions, radishes, salad greens, rhubarb and herbs. There will be jams and jellies, baking mixes and pasta. Early May farmers markets are also a great resource for gardeners. There will be vegetable seedlings, herbs, flowers and even perennials. Then there are the crafts. Approximately 25% of our vendors will be selling hand-made crafts and one-of-a-kind gifts that are made right here in Southern Wisconsin.
It’s not a bad idea to start your Mother’s Day shopping early. You may purchase hanging baskets, bird houses and feeders, purses, jewelry, pottery, soap and more. For moms who love to shop, there are Janesville Farmers Market gift certificates that may be redeemed at any vendor stall. Stop by the Janesville Farmers Market booth to purchase a gift certificate and check out a cookbook from our lending library to make your mom breakfast in bed with local ingredients.
Of course, the Janesville Farmers Market is also a social destination. The first few markets of the season can feel like a big, fun family reunion between vendors and customers. This year you will meet some new farmers and artisans while catching up with many friends from last year. Browse through the vendor pages on our website and then come see us at the market. Bring your shopping bags and your appetite. You will not be disappointed.