Tag Archives: farmer’s markets

Jeff-Leen Farm

Ok, I know I have neglected this blog for a loooong time.  My apologies.  But you know how it goes; work, work, more work, family, friends, hobbies, school, etc.  Actually, I have quite a backlog of material for blogging, but let me start with this.

Jeff-Leen Farm

Jeff-Leen Farm

For the past several years I have been purchasing meet during the summer at farmers markets.  I have settled on ground beef and chickens from Jeff-Leen.  You see, Jeff has a different breed of cattle, it’s not Holsteins, it’s Piedmontese.  The breed originated in the Piedmont region of France and is naturally very lean.  Actually, Jeff has a brochure that compares various meets with this partucular type of cow.  Since I am not willing to give up beef for a healthier lifestyle, I figured I should try this since it’s so low in all the “bad” stuff.

I also purchase their summer sausage with garlic almost weekly.  It’s a great snack and doesn’t spoil eaisily.  I’m sure I’ve tried their eggs too.  Delicious.

But about the chickens.  So worth every penny.  They’re fresh, tender, and succulent.  It’s orders of magnitude better than a fresh Sendik’s chicken, and I know I’ve made my best roast chicken with a fresh Jeff-Leen chicken.  But, they go quickly, so if you want one, it’s a good idea to get to the market early or even call ahead.

So Cute!

So Cute!

Chicken Coup

Chicken Coup

Knowing that farmer market season is nearly over, I asked Jeff what’s the best way to get his products during winter.  He said that they can drive it down and meet at a park-n-ride or other such location so you wouldn’t have to drive all the way to Random Lake. But I would recommend the drive. It’s not that far and it’s an absolutely gorgeous area.

Band for Customer Appreciation Day

Band for Customer Appreciation Day

Jeff-Leen also has an annual Customer Appreciation day at his farm.  This year it was in early September (I told you I have a backlog) and the weather couldn’t have been more perfect.  There was a band, great food (duh!), a hay ride (I’m lucky I’m not allergic to hay); got to see the chickens and the cows.  It turns out that the real Piedmontese cows have black circles around their eyes.  And the chickens get moved around at least once a day to a new piece of pasture so they get fresh grass and bugs to pick through.  But they are confined in their coups and there are about 100 chickens or so per each coup.  It was great to visit the farm, try out some other foods (I didn’t even know that they have hot dogs until I tried them at this event and they were really great), and just generally spend the day relaxing in a beautiful setting.  There were also lots and lots of prizes, but unfortuntaly, I didn’t win anything.  😦  Oh well.

The cows roam around and looked very calm and peaceful.  I was surprised at how it didn’t smell of the typical “Wisconsin Dairy Air”.  Walking round the farm I noticed how clean it is.  As a customer, it makes me feel better knowing that the products I buy are from animals that are well taken care of and that they’re in a clean environment.  Jeff and his family are really friendly and are ready to answer any question.

Cows in the field

Cows in the field

Piedmontese Cows

Piedmontese Cows

See the black around the eye?

See the black around the eye?

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Someday it will be spring here

Winter seems to have a death grip on Spring here. One day it’s 75 degrees, the next it’s 45. Yet, those rare warm and sunny days are an indication of a Spring to come. Hopefully, that will happen soon. And that will mean that farmers’ markets. I can hardly wait. Meanwhile, here is a list of resources to find the market closest to you:

It seems that there are some markets already open, but they’re mostly open during the weekdays and during business hours. Which means I can’t go. Grrr. But not like there’s a whole lot going on there now. And I’m hoping that the local farms actually have more than what the markets do. I think a trip to the farm is in order. I heard asparagus is available. Yay!

Farms and Farmers’ markets (update)

I haven’t posted any new recipes in a while, but I haven’t cooked anything new recently.  That’s also because I haven’t cooked in the last few weeks at all.  I know, it’s terrible.  But I’m really excited about being able to go to farms and pick my own tomatoes, peppers, apples, etc.  Hopefully, that will inspire me to create new dishes.

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Witte’s Vegetable Farm is a great place for fresh vegetables.  I picked up some great summer squash, zucchini, garlic, and carrots.  Delicious!

Barthel Fruit Farm has absolutely the best apples around.  I love going to pick my own.  They also have chickens and a goat and the kids absolutely love it (well, the kids I see out there).