The polar vortex may have passed (or has it?!), but we’re still under a blitzkrieg of snow and negative wind chills. I often find, when speaking to people about the Midwest during winter, there’s a misunderstanding that when our gardens and farms are covered in snow, we have no access to fresh food. But fear not, intrepid travelers. Fresh fruits, meats, and vegetables are abundant–if you know where to look.
Milwaukee County Winter Farmers’ Market
The winter market here runs every Saturday from November through April. You’ll be able to find cheese from Clock Shadow, the only urban cheesemaker in the city, elk meat from a farm in the suburbs, fresh fruit and vegetables, local honey, goats-milk soap and more. And as a bonus, the market just moved to one of the best locations in Milwaukee–the Mitchell Park Domes (also known as the Mitchell Park Horticultural Conservatory). A desert garden, tropical jungle, and flower garden take up one greenhouse dome each, and at nights you can see a spectacular light show spreading from the top of the domes down into the gardens themselves.
Milwaukee Public Market
In case you missed our love for the MPM before, let me remind you. The Milwaukee Public Market is a treasure trove of fresh food any time of year. Not only can you get fresh-baked bread, seafood, oysters, cheese, sausage and more at any of their 20 vendors, you can also put your new produce to work with their schedule of cooking classes.
What, you think you can only fish when it’s warm out? Nonsense! Grab your pole and shack up with some other ice fishers on the rivers or lakes. Why buy frozen fish from the grocery store when you can catch fresh fish at the cost of a little freezing weather?
Don’t let snow and a perceived lack of fresh food stop you from getting out. You can eat great even when our farms are closed for the season!