Saturday morning, Courtney and I finally made it to the Madison Farmers Market.
This, believe it or not, was my first trip to a farmers market. I never had any interest in the farmers market when I lived in Janesville, and have been meaning to get to the Madison market for a couple of years but never got around to it. I've been getting more and more into nutrition the past couple of years and prefer to buy organic so I really wanted to check out the Madison market to see if it was as nice as I've heard. I figured there should be some good organic food, and they say buying local is the way to go. Worth a look, I thought.
I admit, despite the good things I've heard, I had low expectations. I just expected a couple of farmers set up around the square with some vegetables on a table. There were some booths like that, but most were very impressive. Very professional with lots of variety. I knew the produce would be fresh and of good quality, but I didn't expect it to be presented the way it was. The better booths had their food cleaned, sorted and displayed much like a supermarket and in many cases it looked a lot better than in does in the supermarket.
They had the obvious vegetables (not much fruit with it being the end of the season) but also had flowers, herbs, lots of baked goods, honey, cheese (makes sense), and beef. I expected eggs, vegetables and fruit but not everything else. I also didn't expect it to be so busy. It was absolutely packed. It took a lot longer to get around than expected because we were kind of stuck in a slow moving herd of people circling the square. It wasn't bad, but definitely much busier than I anticipated.
My plan was to buy some fresh veggies for the week, and possibly something for dinner, but mainly I was hoping to pick up some purple carrots. They're very hard to find. I found my purple carrots and also picked up some kale, spinach, lettuce, broccoli and a couple of tenderloin steaks. Courtney picked up some corn, lavender and catnip (for the cats). There were several farms that were selling certified organic food and a few selling beef from grass-fed cows.
I loved the farmers market and will probably go again next weekend. I saw a booth that advertised they'll have lamb next weekend. Both Courtney and I have never had lamb and for some reason I want to try it. So that's the plan next weekend.
Later in the day we put on our chefs hats and prepared dinner while the cats enjoyed their fresh catnip. I had no idea catnip could make a cat foam at the mouth. I thought I accidentally gave the cat rabies.
The steak was phenomenal. It was very, very tender. I bought two 6oz steaks for $17.50. Not cheap, but not a bad deal for a quality steak. Upon eating the steak, both of us agreed that it was a great deal. Definitely one of the best steaks we've ever had. If you're in the mood for a good steak, swing by the farmers market. It's worth it.
The whole meal was great, and most of it was fresh from the farmers market. We had steak, salads with purple carrots and dried cranberries and chopped almonds, corn on the cob, strawberries and quinoa.