The Dane County Farmers’ Market is moving its indoor Late Winter Market from the Madison Senior Center Downtown to the newly renovated Garver Feed Mill on Madison’s East Side.
“The Senior Center has been an amazing home, but we have outgrown the space,” market manager Sarah Elliott said about the Late Winter Market’s home for the past 16 years.
“I think folks that have visited the market understand completely what that means. It was really wall-to-wall people and our vendors didn’t get very much space and our customers didn’t have very much space,” Elliott said. “And with the mission and vision of Garver, it is just a wonderful fit.”
The Late Winter Market at Garver will start Saturday, Jan. 4, and run each Saturday through April 4, from 8 a.m. until noon.
The Taste of the Market breakfasts cooked by local guest chefs will no longer be a part of the Late Winter Market, Elliott said, but there will be breakfast options available at Garver.
Those breakfasts will still feature farmers’ market farmers and farmers’ market products, Elliott said, but will not be hosted by the DCFM. Details about breakfast options will be shared closer to the Late Winter Market’s opening, she said.
“It was a difficult part of the decision,” Elliott said. “We love the breakfast. We know some of our patrons also love the breakfast, but in the last five or six years we’ve just been experiencing declining patron numbers for the breakfast.”
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The breakfasts became harder from a financial standpoint, she said. “And simultaneously we were seeing the market itself was really, really crowded.”
Outdoors and in
The Dane County Farmers’ Market is best known for its outdoor market around the Capitol Square. The largest producer-only farmers’ market in the country, it’s held on Saturdays from April to November. About 160 vendors — at peak season — encircle the Capitol.
The final outdoor market of the year is Nov. 16, with the final Wednesday market on Nov. 6. The Wednesday market is in the 200 block of Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard, between the Madison Municipal Building and the City-County Building.
Between Nov. 23 and Dec. 21, the Dane County Farmers’ Market will move indoors to Monona Terrace. Hours of the “holiday market” are from 7:30 a.m. until noon. There is no market the Saturday after Thanksgiving.
The off-season markets are more intimate, with many of the same Dane County Farmers’ Market members selling Wisconsin fruits and vegetables, cheeses, honey and maple syrups, along with local meats, bakery items and more.
47 years running
The Dane County Farmers’ Market dates to 1972 and has more than 265 member-providers. Everything for sale at the market has been grown, raised or made by the member behind the stand. No resale is permitted.
The 60,000-square-foot Garver Feed Mill, which underwent a $15.5 million renovation, has 11 mostly food-related tenants. The businesses began opening in stages in July at 3241 Garver Green, behind Olbrich Botanical Gardens.
Businesses in the landmark, 113-year-old former sugar factory are: Ian’s Pizza, Calliope Ice Cream, Perennial Yoga, Surya Vegan Café, Briar Loft, Twig & Olive Photography, NessAlla Kombucha, Kosa Ayurvedic Spa, Sitka Salmon Shares, Ledger Coffee Roasters and Underground Catering.
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