Check Out This Year’s Winter Farmers Markets

three places to stay warm while supporting local this season

Rebecca Mennecke, photos by Timothy Mather

MAARVELOUS MARKET. This year might be short of events and happenings, but one event you won't have to miss out on is the winter farmers market in Eau Claire and Menomonie.
MARVELOUS MARKETS. This winter might be short of events and happenings as a result of COVID-19, but one event you won't have to miss out on is the winter farmers market in Eau Claire and Menomonie.
Menomonie Farmers Market 

This year’s winter farmers market in Menomonie will be as fruitful as ever, despite – you know. A global pandemic. The market will still take place at The Raw Deal (603 Broadway St.), and features no more than seven local vendors with a maximum of 35 total people in the building. “We are taking it very slow, but safe,” said Veronika Zazovsky, general manager of the market. Everyone is expected to wear face coverings to keep one another safe. “We are all in this together,” she said. “We are all doing our very best.” The winter market began in November and will run through April every other Saturday. (The next two dates are Jan. 16 and 30.) Vendors sell items such as honey, eggs, meat, cheese, handmade crafts, baked goods, preserved fruits and vegetables, and more. “We’re facing a very unpredictable year,” Zazovsky said, “and people are messaging (us) ... and we are helping them connect with vendors.” If one of your favorite vendors isn’t selling – for personal or health reasons – reach out to the Menomonie Farmers Market at manager@menomoniefam.org to get in touch with that vendor. Keep up to date with the Menomonie Farmers Market at www.facebook.com/menomoniefarmersmarket


Down to Earth Garden Center Winter Farmers Market 

If you’re looking to support local farmers and makers who will leave you peach-less, look no further than the Winter Farmers Market at Down to Earth Garden Center (6025 Arndt Lane, Eau Claire), which is held on the first Saturday of the month through March. (The next market will be Jan. 2.) “What makes Down to Earth Market unique is the beautiful environment in which you get to shop,” said Christine Theisen, marketing and events manager. “Customers can stroll through our warm, gorgeous greenhouse while supporting local farmers. You can really make a day of it!” This market features goods from 15-18 local vendors, with items including beef, pork, chicken, lamb, baked goods, honey, maple syrup, elderberry syrup, microgreens, granola, and pet treats. “Local farmers have been hit hard by COVID because of the ripple effect of restaurants, events, and festivals changing or being canceled,” Theisen said. “Farmers markets are a great way to support local farms and the families behind them. For more information on the market, check out downtoearthgardencenter.com


Eau Claire Downtown Farmers Market 

“I look forward to not only bringing fresh, local food to our community next season, but also bringing more of what our market is about,” said Deidra Barrickman, market manager of the Eau Claire Downtown Farmers Market. “Whatever the circumstances are, we will do the best we can to bring local food to our community in the safest way possible.” This year, the winter market will take place at The Lismore Hotel (333 Gibson St.) at the main floor ballroom – a location that is three times larger than their former location at the L.E. Phillips Senior Center – every second Saturday of the month through April from 9am-12:30pm. The next date is Jan. 9.The Eau Claire winter market will feature about 15 vendors who will have products such as meat (beef, chicken, pork, bison, lamb), honey and beeswax products, maple syrup, coffee, bakery goods, hummus and chips, eggs, root veggies, cabbage, spinach, microgreens, and more! And bonus points: It’s nice and warm inside! “I hear every year how happy our customers are that we are back for the season,” Barrickman said. “They tell me how they are happy to again be able to get local, fresh produce and other products from the growers and producers they know and trust. I know there are many that look forward to new vendors that may be joining our market. There really is a sense of community at the Downtown Farmers Market.” Check out more information about the Winter Farmers Market at www.facebook.com/EauClaireDowntownFarmersMarket