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I am such a dope sometimes. I’ve been writing The Weedpatch Gazette since 1991 and yet never took the time to visit the Farmers Market in Madison. How is that possible? But I’ve now made up for lost time and, even as early in the year as it is for northern gardeners, the market was stupendous. So many vendors! So many hippies! Like my own personal favorite time machine…

Having had the fun of visiting farmers markets in Santa Monica, CA; Carlsbad, CA; Asheville, NC’s (where it’s called a “tailgate market”); Coconut Grove, FL; Chicago’s http://www.greencitymarket.org; many towns in Provence; and Union Square in Manhattan, I think this one rocks them all. Maybe it’s because it’s just so, so “Wisconsin”. Care for some cheese bread, cheese head?

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AND I had the extra added pleasure of re-meeting David Nedveck. He and his wife, Nancy, own The Flower Factory in Stoughton, Wisconsin. It is THE BEST GARDEN CENTER for a plant maniac. Don’t believe me? How about that they have 234 new plants for 2013?! Their catalog is my Bible. I go there with a trailer on my car. If this place were any closer, I would be in deep, deep financial trouble…

So…drive up to Madison for a long weekend. Go on Friday, visit all 15 species of the world’s cranes at the International Crane Foundation. See Devil’s Lake and learn about glacial geology and see quartzite rocks. Check into a bed & breakfast. On Saturday, go to the Farmers Market and load up with veggies and jams and puzzle through the weird guy’s argument that 9/11 was a conspiracy of the US government. Take a break and hike over to the Daily Scoop at the UW Student Union to slurp some homemade Ag School (motto: “cheese will not be shipped until after October 1st!”) ice cream (which is available at this site on the internet by the way). Then on Sunday go to the Flower Factory and spend the whole day, 9-6, in heaven. That’s the same as going to church, n’est-ce pas?##