Get Thee to the Dane County (that’s Madison, WI) Farmers Market!

I am such a dope sometimes. I’ve been writing The Weedpatch Gazette since 1991 and yet never took the time to visit the Farmers Market in Madison. How is that possible? But I’ve now made up for lost time and, even as early in the year as it is for northern gardeners, the market was stupendous. So many vendors! So many hippies! Like my own personal favorite time machine…

Having had the fun of visiting farmers markets in Santa Monica, CA; Carlsbad, CA; Asheville, NC’s (where it’s called a “tailgate market”); Coconut Grove, FL; Chicago’s; many towns in Provence; and Union Square in Manhattan, I think this one rocks them all. Maybe it’s because it’s just so, so “Wisconsin”. Care for some cheese bread, cheese head?

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AND I had the extra added pleasure of re-meeting David Nedveck. He and his wife, Nancy, own The Flower Factory in Stoughton, Wisconsin. It is THE BEST GARDEN CENTER for a plant maniac. Don’t believe me? How about that they have 234 new plants for 2013?! Their catalog is my Bible. I go there with a trailer on my car. If this place were any closer, I would be in deep, deep financial trouble…

So…drive up to Madison for a long weekend. Go on Friday, visit all 15 species of the world’s cranes at the International Crane Foundation. See Devil’s Lake and learn about glacial geology and see quartzite rocks. Check into a bed & breakfast. On Saturday, go to the Farmers Market and load up with veggies and jams and puzzle through the weird guy’s argument that 9/11 was a conspiracy of the US government. Take a break and hike over to the Daily Scoop at the UW Student Union to slurp some homemade Ag School (motto: “cheese will not be shipped until after October 1st!”) ice cream (which is available at this site on the internet by the way). Then on Sunday go to the Flower Factory and spend the whole day, 9-6, in heaven. That’s the same as going to church, n’est-ce pas?##

Posted on by weedpatchgazette in Uncategorized

7 Responses to Get Thee to the Dane County (that’s Madison, WI) Farmers Market!

  1. Priscilla

    I went to the Flower Factory when I was in Wisconsin two years ago, and had a great time. Came home to CT with some really great plants, and as a former nursery owner, that’s high praise!

    • weedpatchgazette

      To those who don’t know Priscilla, her last name is Twombley and that is a HUGE DEAL in the plant world. As in, people will be impressed if you can say, “Oh, that tree is an Acer palmatum (?I think) ‘Twombley’s Red’. Sadly, I don’t have this tree (why not?) but I have better: Priscilla is my friend (and garden bwana) from college. Thanks, Priscilla, and I won’t ask why you didn’t come visit if you were just 3 hours away in Madison, WI…

  2. Diane Smith

    Love your blog! Keep wrting girlfirend you always put a smile on my face and a laugh in my heart!

    • weedpatchgazette

      Wow, you just keep writing comments like that and I will have to put you on the payroll. But in the meantime, could you just keep posting nice comments for free? THANKS! rl

  3. Kathy

    Have you ever been to the Burlington Garden Center? Have to admit- I work there. But after 15 years am still impressed with all my coworkers- mostly avid addicted gardeners, who pay attention to all the great customers that keep us searching and researching what it is we want for ourselves, and our friends.Kathy

    • weedpatchgazette

      Hmmmm, well, I’m waking up after a long snooze from visiting every garden center on earth. I did visit Burlington GC a long long time ago (so long ago that it was the first time I ever saw “Sweet Potato Vine!) but after my children started being terrified of garden centers (“NO, Mommy, NO, don’t make us go in there…”), I had to cut back on some gardencent(e)ric travel. But I’m baaacckk. So until I get to Burlington, here’s a pop quiz. Do you carry one of my all time favorite favorite but oh-so-hard-to-find spring bloomers? It’s called Lathyrus and I shall post a photo of it. If you have it, I will be impressed and all my readers will beat down your door to get it. Fab fab fab. Thanks for alerting us about Burlington: where do we eat and what other sights should we see when we go there to buy cool plants?

  4. David Nedveck

    Hi Rommy,
    It’s been crazy busy, so I’m just getting around to responding now.

    I looked at the blog and saw that you already posted your article. Thank you for your recommendation of The Flower Factory, it is much appreciated.
    It seems that you are having great fun and you are definitely back in your element. I’m sure your following will increase rapidly.

    About that Lathyrus vernus; in the distant past (10 years ago) it bloomed in May-June. I don’t know where I got July from; too much late night editing no doubt. This year, however, it started blooming in late April for us; so I’ve updated the website to a blooming time of April-May (thanks for the input).
    This was the first time that I’ve seen Forsythia and Magnolias in bloom at the same time. The sequence was a slow cold spring to wake things up, a blast of heat to push them into bloom and then a cool period to hold them. Very different and probably something we wont see again for quite a while.

    See you next time your in the area and thank you for your interest in our nursery.

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