Another successful season of the Eastside Farmers’ Market (EFM) has come and passed, continuing to bring the eastside community closer to its food source. Each Tuesday, Madison’s future Central Park came alive as our committed and diligent EFM vendors hauled their goods to Madison for farmers’ market lovers to peruse and bring home to their families. While we’re still waiting for the park to become a reality, the community of farmers, musicians, and market shoppers transforms the east rail corridor each Tuesday afternoon, demonstrating the possibilities and potential the park will bring to the neighborhood. Shoppers come to the market on Ingersoll Street to buy fresh produce, baked goods, cheese, flowers, and much more and they linger to visit with neighbors while their kids play, fly a kite, throw a Frisbee, or just relax and eat dinner during the beautiful market months.

The best things

As each year of the market passes, the neighborhood becomes stronger and more festive. Maria Felland of Buddie’s Bites said the best thing about the Eastside Farmers’ Market is “the feeling of community.” She added, “I like the sense of neighborhood and community because I live in this neighborhood.” Kyle Thom of Roots Down said he most enjoyed the location of the market, and Maria added, “It serves as a meeting place where people can socialize and take advantage of fresh foods that come to the market.” Christianne Laing of Redhawk Nursery said her favorite part of the market is the customers. She elaborated, “A great group of people shop at this market. They make it fun and enjoyable to attend.”

Dane County Timebank

This year featured the presence of the Dane County Timebank. They hosted a few events such as face painting for kids and “Preparing for Winter,” featuring MG&E with energy efficiency tips, a knitting circle, and much more. The EFM also had a few Market Lover Appreciation Days that featured vendor promotions and Timebank members performing complimentary services such as craniosacral therapy.

New vendors

Market shoppers welcomed a host of new vendors this season: Blue Marble Family Farm, Bando Lawn & Landscape, NessAlla Kombucha, Pamplemousse Preserves, LMN O’Pies, and Herb n Oyster. This new group of vendors is a wonderful compliment to all of our returning vendors: Sprouting Acres, Young Earth Farm, Marsden’s Pure Honey, Family Farm Defenders, Nature’s Bakery, Roots Down, Vang Phia Yang, Harvest Moon Herb Farm, Cabin Creek Herbs, Prairie Hill, Underground Food Collective’s Honeybee Bakery, Kindly Kraut, Potter’s Crackers, Columbus Discovery Orchard, Farmer John’s, Emerald Meadows Family Farm, Redhawk Nursery, Rainbow Fleece Farm, and Blue Skies Berry Farm.

Next year’s Market

The next season of the Eastside Farmers’ Market will commence May 12th, 2009 and continue through October 13th. We would like to thank all of the local market shoppers who enjoy the EFM as much as we do. The vendors especially appreciate your desire for the freshest, most tasteful local products around. We look forward to seeing you next season, and until then, have a happy and healthy off-season! For information about becoming a vendor at the EFM, please contact me at 251-0884 or l.hawley@willystreet.coop.