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Keeping it fresh at the farmers market

Falls seasonal market kicked off May 1

Flower baskets in bloom greeted shoppers to the Menomonee Falls Farmers Market on its May 1 opening in the North Middle School parking lot on Main Street. Market vendors will be on the site every Wednesday morning until November.

Flower baskets in bloom greeted shoppers to the Menomonee Falls Farmers Market on its May 1 opening in the North Middle School parking lot on Main Street. Market vendors will be on the site every Wednesday morning until November. Photo By C.T. Kruger

May 5, 2013

Menomonee Falls - The Menomonee Falls Farmers Market was in full swing last week when it kicked off May 1.

The market runs from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. every Wednesday until Nov. 27 in the North Middle School parking lot. Once produce starts rolling in, the market will be full, said Barb Watters, manager of the Menomonee Falls Business Improvement District, which runs the farmers market.

Right now, seedlings for cabbage crops, Brussels sprouts and herbs are available, said Barbara Gillich from Gillich's Produce in Dodge County. She was selling those crops last week. They can be planted now because they withstand cooler temperatures. Any crops that can be directly seeded are able to be planted this time of year, such as peas and radishes. She did say to hold off on planting for a little bit if the weather will bring a lot of rain as seeds can rot if they get too wet.

Gillich, who has been attending the Falls market for nearly two decades, also had hanging flower baskets for purchase.

"As a rule of thumb, if it goes below 45 degrees, bring it into the garage for the night," she said.

Once July rolls around, Gillich will begin to offer tomatoes, onions, leeks, summer squash, Asian eggplant and 29 different peppers.

"I do some of the more unusual crops," she said.

Her first picking crop for the season will be rhubarb.

More than produce

The Falls farmers market has a slew of offerings beyond produce and flowers. New this year is a prepared food center with hot dogs and brats.

Sharon Gilpin with Sharon's Cloth Necklaces had her handmade jewelry for sale. The necklaces are made of cloth and the length is adjustable with a bead that can slide up and down.

"They are great for traveling and wonderful in summer because they are not hot and they make nice gifts because no matter who you give them to they can adjust the length," Gilpin said.

Sylvia Bruemmer has always sewed, but it wasn't until she fell off a ladder and broke her foot that she turned it into a business. Wheelchair-bound, Bruemmer started making clothes for her granddaughter's dolls. Now, she's back on her feet with a booth at the Menomonee Falls Farmers Market displaying a plethora of doll clothes including dresses, raincoats and shoes.

"Everyone said it was really cute, so here I am. It kind of bloomed," she said.

An outfit costs $15, which includes a pair of doll shoes of the buyer's choice.

Husband pitches in

To take it a step further, Bruemmer's husband began making doll furniture such as bunk beds, tables and a clothes rack.

"My husband who has never touched a saw in his life is making things that I can sell," she said.

The farmers market will begin to fill up with vendors in coming weeks including a kettle corn vendor and a business that makes french fries and potato chips on-site, Watters said.

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