The Stevens Point Winter Farmers Market is about to kick off, taking place at the Redeemer Lutheran Church on Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.
Along with the usual items for sale at the winter market, such as fresh or frozen fruits and vegetables, honey, and select meats, there will be other goodies such as salsas, pestos, and bread and pastries from a local Scottish baker.
Though every vendor’s items reflect a personal touch, several vendors offer specialty items that could not be found from local supermarkets.
Mielke’s Farm will feature salsa made with organically grown garlic, tomatoes, and peppers. Daniel and Robin Mielke, owners and market vendors since 1995 explain that the garlic is processed at home. First dehydrated and then powdered, they render their own garlic powder. The vegetables in the chunky salsa are hand chopped to maintain consistency and the poblano peppers are home roasted before being added to the salsa.
Stonehouse Farm offers a myriad of pestos, including a garlic scape pesto consisting of garlic scapes, cashews, and olive oil. Their sweet basil pesto is a vegan and nut allergy conscious option. Nutritional yeast replaces parmesan, and pepitas, the nuts.
Bakery By The Lake will also be at the market this year selling freshly baked breads and pastries. This vendor from Amhurst Junction adds a Scottish influence to his baked goods from his culinary training in Scotland, where he acquired his unique style that is shown in his work.
While the summer farmers market in Stevens Point is the longest running in the state of Wisconsin, for over 150 years now, the winter market is freshly in its second year of operation.
Layne Cozzolino, Farmshed executive director, said, “We’ve been asked about a winter market for a long time, but didn’t have an ideal location to hold it in.”
Last year’s winter market saw a total of 15 vendors, with a few that started late in the season. This year, there are 21 vendors and still space for a few more. Everyone is enthusiastic about the expected turnout this season.
“We have a really great network of farmers that we felt comfortable reaching out to to see if they were interested, and we had enough venders in the initial phase to feel comfortable moving forward,” Cozzolino said.
Karl Schwingel, owner of Stonehouse Farm, said, “This year will be great because there is twice the vendors, and both people and vendors have been planning for the market.”
Once a month, the winter market will include some of the same events as the summer market such as children’s activities and chef demos. Opportunities are open for musicians that would like to play for the duration of the market.
Though not paid, it is one of the many ways the market brings people together.
The market will run from Nov. 4 to Apr. 28, with the exception of Nov. 25, Dec. 23, and Feb. 17.