I’m a big fan of the farmer’s market. The Wausau area has the benefit of three farmer’s markets; all of which operate on different days. Late August is my favorite time to hit the market, most everything is in season and you have the biggest variety of produce to choose from. The market this past week was absolutely fragrant with the smell freshly cut basil and dill. Plus the tomatoes are in and I needed a bushel for a batch of tomato sauce.
In our continuing series combining maps and sustainable agriculture, Wisconsin’s Farm Fresh Atlas is worth searching out. The atlases are a set of regional food guides that include farms, farmers’ markets, restaurants, stores and other businesses that sell local food and use sustainable production and business practices.
The Farm Fresh Atlas began in 2002 in the Southern Wisconsin region as a project of REAP Food Group. The idea took off, and there are now five regional Farm Fresh Atlases in Wisconsin putting sustainable farms, farmers’ markets and local businesses and organizations that promote local food “on the map.”
Most of the atlases are only available as printed guides available at your local cooperative, whole food store, or farmers market. The Farm Fresh Atlas of Southeast Wisconsin is now available online for viewing or printing.
These atlases are great guides to help you buy local and support your local farmers and community. Knowing where your food comes from and supporting local agriculture are two steps in living a more healthy and sustainable life. Plus sustainable agriculture is better for the envirnonment as it reduces the amount of travel it takes for produce to reach the table.
Another great guide to help buy local is the Seasonal Availability of Wisconsin Produce guide. This handy guide will let you know what to look for and what’s in season at your local farmer’s market.