When trees bud and bulbs blossom, the arrival of fresh asparagus and morels can’t be far behind. Hoop houses and greenhouses hike the likelihood that locally grown spinach, tomatoes and more will ripen all year, but now is the time for farmers markets to move outdoors, rain or shine. Count these among my favorites.
— Dane County Farmers’ Market, Madison: Up to 150 vendors (300-plus players per year) fill the Capitol Square on Saturdays, and there is no better place to get a taste of what is in season. That includes a whiff of hot-button issues (expect protest signs, petition pushing and colorful characters on street corners). All products are ag-based and the work of people who staff the booths; no other such producer-operated market in the U.S. is bigger than this one, and newbies need patience because of a five-year waiting list to participate.
Lots of people say a picture is worth 1,000 words; fewer acknowledge the value of 1,000 stitches.
Wisconsin’s first poet laureate was among the exceptions. Ellen Kort of Appleton, who died recently, noted this in her preface to the 2008 book “Wisconsin Quilts: History in the Stitches” (Krause Publications, $34.95):
Near Lake Michigan, at the Indiana-Illinois border, is 800-acre Wolf Lake and an unincorporated town best known for its August Onion Days Festival.
If Frank Lloyd Wright had his way, Wolf Lake would have gained a grand amusement park with “lagoons for boating, promenades for strolling and concessions for consuming” — but real estate developer Edward C. Waller wouldn’t bite on the idea.
During a much younger life, I was introduced to horse race wagering, earthy bluegrass music and long-simmering stews called burgoo while living in western Kentucky.
So when Wisconsin met Kentucky in the NCAA Final Four this spring, I could not resist the urge to place a bet on the outcome with former work colleagues Chuck and Donna Stinnett of The Gleaner in Henderson, Ky. “Name your poison, cheese breath,” he taunted. “Uh oh,” his wife observed. “The trash talk has begun.”
Twenty years ago, Caroline Imig’s world started crashing. Her husband was killed in a farm equipment accident, leaving her as a single mother with five children. She tried to sell 350 acres and a herd of 120 cows, only to have a land contract buyer abandon the property without her knowledge.
“They left me in a mess,” she says, adding that the farm was sold three times before the deal was complete. She carries a wallet-sized photo of the acreage as she knew it. Then, a shrug. “I got through it,” she says, and Wayne’s Restaurant in Oconto gets credit for helping to make that happen.
Some Wisconsin destinations — like Summerfest in Milwaukee or the EAA AirVenture in the Oshkosh — become annual traditions because of their magnitude and ever-fresh approach, but these one-time or first-time events and attractions also aim to earn your attention.
Centennial celebrations for two native sons happen this year. Orson Welles (responsible for the 1941 film “Citizen Kane” and 1938 “War of the Worlds” radio broadcast) was born May 6, 1915, in Kenosha. Les Paul, father of the solid body electric guitar, was born June 9, 1915, in Waukesha.
Maybe we should count the return of food trucks and food carts right up there with robins as sure signs of spring.
“Mobile food is not a new concept in the United States,” notes PasteMagazine.com. “From the chuck wagons of the Old West to the hot dog stands of New York City, quick, inexpensive food on the road has been a part of our nation’s history.”
Much of what happens during the annual Midwest Foodservice Expo is insider advice and networking for the hospitality industry and others whose work involves the preparation and delivery of good food.
Vendors hawk food trucks to chef uniforms, digital advertising systems to slush machines. Also in the mix at this Wisconsin Restaurant Association event are food and beverage samples from tiny to major manufacturers.
When pelting rain wakes me at 4 a.m. on a Monday, about all I can do is listen and wonder. The closest weather forecast online is for a city 70 miles away and 3,300 feet higher in elevation.
This is the day. There is no rain date. Our train leaves in mid afternoon.
An investigation into animal neglect at a Kenosha County farm shifted to a second location Saturday, with 30 additional dead calves found at a Paris farm.
BURLINGTON — Gina Diliberti typically creates sculpture from ice, but Saturday she was working with a more fragrant medium.
To kick off the Memorial Day weekend, “A Tribute to Our Veterans,” a display honoring Kenosha County’s fallen, wounded and still-standing service members, was unveiled at 10 a.m. Saturday at the Kenosha History Center, 220 51st Place on Simmons Island.
A crash in Paddock Lake Friday just after 8:30 a.m. injured a motorcyclist.
SOMERS — On a day of reflection and celebration, the Shoreland Lutheran High School class of 2015 gave into the pomp and circumstance of the graduation ceremony Saturday morning, but once outside, it was all selfies and photo bombs.
It was a small but determined group that made their voices heard against genetically modified organisms (GMOs) in Kenosha’s third annual March Against Monsanto.
Kenosha Unified School District Superintendent Sue Savaglio-Jarvis is in the middle of developing a strategic plan for the district while navigating the evolving state budget landscape.
A crash left a man and a woman seriously injured and shut down a portion of Sheridan Road about 9 p.m. Friday.
As the investigation into the cause of the Salmonella outbreak that sickened more than 60 people continues, the Kenosha County Division of Health is reaching out to the latino religious community.
BRIGHTON — The Kenosha County Sheriff’s Department is investigating a case of alleged animal abuse at a farm on Highway 75 in Brighton.
A 24-year-old Kenosha woman was charged with prostitution and drug possession on Friday after an undercover sting at a local hotel earlier this week.
In the Wizard of Oz, the Scarecrow advises Dorothy which way to take at a crossroads, as he points simultaneously in opposite directions.
As promised, free, outdoor public Wi-Fi access to cover Kenosha’s lakefront and downtown areas will go online today.
TWIN LAKES — A new Twin Lakes police chief could be named as early as next week, Village Administrator Jennifer Frederick said Friday.
A local dermatologist who turned in his patients while working as a federal drug informant is coming under the scrutiny of the state’s Medical Examining Board, after a complaint was filed saying his behavior was unethical.
When the doors open Saturday morning at Cardinali’s Golden Krust Bakery, a Kenosha tradtion comes back to life.
Local residents seeking information on what to do during an emergency or a natural disaster could soon have a mobile application available at their fingertips.