Kenosha Farmers' Market Challenge

9/22/2018 - Trisha Blaine

Foodie, Interactive, Shopping
Kenosha Farmers Markets operate Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday, offering fresh produce and more!
Kenosha Farmers Markets operate Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday, offering fresh produce and more!
Kenosha Farmers Markets operate Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday, offering fresh produce and more!

One of my fondest childhood memories was attending the weekly farmers' market with either my grandparents or my mom.  As a child, I distinctly remember the abundance of seasonal cut flowers and was always excited to pick out the weekly bundle that would adorn our dining room table.  This week I wanted to hit every Kenosha farmers’ market – and to challenge myself to make dinners using our market finds, as well as meet the wonderful farmers who make the markets happen. I must say my challenge did not disappoint! 

There are four locations to the “traveling” or weekday farmers’ markets. That’s right, there is a market in Kenosha four out of seven days each week during the summer season. Tuesday’s market event is located at Pennoyer Park, near the Bandshell and one of Kenosha’s beaches. Wednesday and Saturday market shoppers can enjoy Columbus Park, in the heart of Kenosha, across from Soon’s Sushi Cafe. Friday will bring shoppers to Baker Park, just south of the Library Park Historic District.  Saturday also boasts the larger, Kenosha HarborMarket which brings vendors from a five-state radius. There is a FREE app for your mobile device available, which gives you the location of the Kenosha farmers’ markets, along with the dates, hours of operation, and types of payment that they except. While there is not a farmers’ market on Monday, Thursday, or Sunday, you can still enjoy “farm-to table” local produce by visiting the Country Store at Jerry Smith’s Produce & Pumpkin Farm!

There are so many delicious things to find at the farmers’ markets that are grown locally by some wonderfully friendly people.  Each farmer you meet will gladly tell you how they grow their produce, when it was picked (usually that morning), and they may event share a few recipes in case you bought something new to try, like I did.  Most of the farmers grow their produce in their “backyards” -but their definition of a backyard is a little different than mine because most of them have 5+ acers of land. These aren’t huge farms, many of these farms grow and sell produce simply as a hobby! That’s right, most of the folks selling at the market have either retired from their full-time job or currently have a full-time job and just love bringing people fresh produce. Take Don and Gary, a father-son duo, for example. Their family has been selling produce at the Kenosha farmers’ markets since the 1920s!  

The markets aren’t just filled with produce. Like I mentioned earlier, some farmers grow and bundle beautiful flowers that last for weeks. There are others who have honey, mushrooms, dried gourds, fresh eggs, and even some crafts!  My kids learned so many fascinating things about how each of the above items is grown and tended to.  We got a lesson on bee keeping and how long it takes for the bees to make one jar of honey. I would tell you but then you would be missing out on the opportunity to ask Vinney yourself - You can find him at Columbus Park! It really became a fun, educational, and delicious challenge for us to shop local at the markets. My husband and I even took a solo trip (date at the market!) Saturday morning to Columbus Park and bought a ton of different items.  One of my favorites was the farm fresh eggs from by Double T Farm, another awesome family who was gracious enough to tell me all about their farm and raising chickens. I’ve always wanted a chicken or two, but after our discussion I’ll leave the egg business to them!  

I truly cannot sing enough praises about the Kenosha farmers’ markets and the dedicated vendors who bring mighty delicious food to our community! My thanks to Pam, Chuck, Willy, Vinney, Linda, Frank, Don, Gary, Tom, Lexi, Elaine, Wilfred (who recently passed away), and the many other people that I know I am forgetting to mention! You have inspired my little chefs and I to not be afraid of a little bruises or funny marks on our fruits and veggies! We loved learning that homegrown produce may not always look picture perfect but it is ALWAYS more delicious. There is still plenty of time to the growing season and with Autumn here, there will be loads of fresh apples, squash, and fall produce at the markets!  My family and I challenge you to visit some of our great markets, just as we did. Explore, talk to the vendors, learn about a growing technique, try new foods, make your own meals. We hope to see you there!

Community Blog Team 2018

Trisha Blaine

Community Blogger

Former Kenoshan. Lover of musicals, cooking, nature, travel, reading, and all things Disney. Fulltime wife to an awesome guy, stay-at-home momma to 3 kiddos, and home school teacher extraordinaire.