Saturday, August 30, 2014

Features
Fondy Farmers Market
by Jennifer Tomazic


MILWAUKEE -- Weekends are made for farmers markets and for 95 years that is where people have been going on Milwaukee's Northside.

Fondy Farmers Market recently celebrated it's rich history with Haymarket Days Celebration: a way to remember Fondys when it was the Center Street Haymarket at 29th and Center.

That market closed and a new one opened in it's place at 22nd and Fond du Lac in 1980 and became Fondy Farmers Market. It's one of a just a few farmers markets that is open four days a week: Sunday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday.

Brehmer's U-Pick farms is the longest running vendor with 75 years at the market. Gene Brehmer used to go to the Center Street Haymarket with his family when he was young and now he runs the family farm.

"I sort of like seeing the regular customers and we visit a little bit," said Brehmer.

During the Haymarket Days Celebration, Brehmer brought his gladiolas to sell: a momento from his mother who used to be known for selling the flowers at market. He says they're difficult to grow but it's worth it to make the customers happy.

Norbert Gilmore has been a loyal customer of the Fondy Farmers Market for 60 years and shared his memories with everyone during the Haymarket Celebration.

"You just get more bang out of your buck at a farmers market then you would at the grocery store," said Gilmore. He says he buys all the produce he can't grow himself in his own garden.

"I cant possibly grow all the vegetables I'd like to eat," said Gilmore. "It's fresh, it's plentiful, it's diverse."

The diversity is what Fondy Farmers Market Executive Director Young Kim prides his market on and the fact that the food is so fresh and local. Much of it, Kim says, is picked the night before it's brought to market.

"The minute you pick something off the vine or tree or off a plant, its dying. So the fresher you can get it, the more nutrients there are in it," said Kim.

But Fondy Farmers Market is more than just beans, greens, and everything in between: it's a tradition that many shoppers look forward to each week.

"Is a community event where a lot of the best of what's happening in a community all comes together," said Kim.

For more information on Fondy Farmers Market, log onto http://www.fondymarket.org/