Although I am a loyal alum of Michigan State University, a visit to Madison provides multiple reasons why my friends who went to University of Wisconsin are so fond of their alma mater. But for me, as an advocate of the Good Food movement, one particular thing stands out: If I’d gone to college a few blocks’ walk from the Dane County Farmers Market, I might have never left.
The Dane County market, also known at the Market on the Square, rings the state Capitol building in the heart of Madison from spring through fall (before moving to indoor quarters for the winter). There are dozens of stands selling produce, honey, syrup, jams, pickles, baked goods, meats, and specialty items.
It is described as the nation’s largest producer-only farmers market, and there is no reason to doubt this boast. Even on the foggy, muggy morning of Oct. 5, with a threat of thunderstorms in the forecast, the square was packed with throngs of shoppers.
Please enjoy the following slide show of photos from the market.