As the idea of buying and eating local gains momentum, local farmers markets provide a wonderful bounty of fresh produce, flowers and handmade items in Eau Claire.
Phoenix Park, downtown Eau Claire, is one of the state's busiest markets on Saturday mornings. Wednesday morning and Thursday afternoon, the crowds move to the market in Gordy's parking lot, and every Sunday morning from June through October, vendors set up their wares in the parking lot at Festival Foods.
Walking among the 25 plus vendors on a Sunday morning, there were beautiful displays of every kind of vegetable arranged on a variety of tables under matching tents.
A most unusual find were the Ground Cherries. Grown on bushes, they fall off onto the ground when ripe and can be eaten raw or made into a sauce or pie.
Jade Seichter, an organic first-year farmer from Augusta, sells the usual array of vegetables but also carries a kind of bean called "Dragon's Tongue," similar to green beans but with a very unusual color.
Anderson Xiong was selling beautiful bouquets of flowers along with vegetables grown in his family's garden.
Eric Anderson was another one of the vendors whose business Sticks & Stones uses 100-year-old wood to craft picture frames as well as unusual chairs and tables custom made from different woods to fit the customers' needs.
Looking to supplement the family meals or find a gift or a flower arrangement, farmers markets are the perfect way to spend time out in the fresh air and do it "local."