The Winneshiek Farmers Market, held on Saturdays from 8:00-11:00 A.M. with extended hours until 11:30 through September 15th, and on Wednesdays from 3:00-6:00 P.M., provides a world of great, local options right in downtown Decorah. Located near the post office, convenient parking is nearby. It’s also within walking distance of Water Street and all the local shops and eateries there. I visited this past Saturday and found around twenty vendors selling their fresh vegetables and fruits, handmade crafts, local wine, raw honey, organic flower bouquets, homemade granola, and organic beverages, as well as many other selections. The wonderful thing about buying directly from the artisan, farmer, or general proprietor is that you can ask questions about the products and the process and know that the purchase you’re making goes to support those who live and work locally. All vendors reside within 60 miles of Decorah to ensure that local community is strengthened and respected. Plus, you know that the Swiss chard or cucumbers didn’t spend days on a truck making their way to a large-scale grocery. It’s bound to make that cucumber salad crisper and more delicious.
On my visit, I spotted a booth offering honey for sale. It was from the Johnson Honey Farm in Guttenberg. They had a delicious assortment of flavored cream honey for sale, everything from black walnut to strawberry peppermint to jalapeño. But I decided to pick up the creamed honey with peanut butter. Great for toast and waffles, it seemed like an easy choice given my affinity for peanut butter. They also offered containers of raw honey and that seemed like a good idea as well.It sounded like it would be delicious drizzled over an English muffin.
I was definitely tempted by other booths, like the beautiful bouquets of fresh-cut flowers. But since I was doing a little traveling after my visit, I wasn’t sure they would hold up in the August heat. There really is a little bit of everything at the Winneshiek Farmers Market. If you are planning a trip to Decorah, or already call it home, I would definitely recommend a Saturday morning or Wednesday evening visit. You can check off some of your shopping list, while having a conversation with a local grower or artisan and know that your investment in the community will certainly pay dividends for all.
Photo credit to Flickr Creative Commons.