Local Farmers Markets to return, despite widespread damage
For the City Times
STEVENS POINT — On the morning of Saturday, July 20, severe storms moved quickly across much of central and east-central Wisconsin, catching many outdoor farmers markets by surprise.
Widespread damage has been reported by local farmers markets and vendors are scrambling to replace damaged or destroyed tents, signs and other equipment. Many products and food items were also ruined, and the Wisconsin Rapids Downtown Farmers Market even reported injuries to vendors. Despite the widespread devastation, many vendors are returning to local markets this week.
According to the National Weather Service, “The worst damage occurred from Wood/Portage counties eastward into the Fox Valley and lakeshore. Trees were uprooted or snapped and several structures were damaged as a result of straight-line winds and weak, fast-moving tornadoes.”
How can local residents help farmers markets recover? Show your farmers market some additional support in the coming weeks.
Connect with your market by using the Farm Fresh AtlasTM of Central Wisconsin, a free, year-round local food guide published by the non-profit organization Central Rivers Farmshed in Stevens Point.
Area Saturday markets include: Antigo, Marshfield, Medford, Merrill, Neillsville, Stevens Point, Wisconsin Rapids, Waupaca, Wausau, and Weston. Visit farmshed.org to view the 2019 Farm Fresh Atlas of Central Wisconsin, or visit farmfreshatlas.org to use the Atlas online. Print copies are also available at Central Rivers Farmshed and at local libraries, coffee shops, retailers and more. The 2019 Farm Fresh AtlasTM of Central Wisconsin is generously underwritten by PJ’s – SentryWorld and Muse at Sentry.
Tips for shopping at the farmers market:
- Ask questions! Farmers are usually happy to help you learn about using new fruits and vegetables or share information on how the food was grown
- Bring cash and small bills so that it is easy for vendors to make change. Check to see if your market accepts credit/debit/EBT cards in advance of your visit
- Arrive early in the day for the best selection
- Take advantage of special events like kid’s activities, cooking demos and music
- Bring ice packs and an insulated bag or cooler if you plan to purchase eggs, dairy or meat
- Many farmers markets post weekly updates on Facebook; follow them for the latest news!
Farmshed’s mission is to grow a resilient local food community. Stop by the Stevens Point Farmers Market on the first Saturday of each month to catch Farmshed’s Chef on the Square Demonstrations and watch local chefs prepare foods from scratch using fresh seasonal produce. Demos begin at 9:30am, rain or shine. To learn more about Central Rivers Farmshed, visit farmshed.org.