EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WEAU) -- The Eau Claire Summer Farmers Market has been a staple in the community for many years.
People flocking to Phoenix Park from all around the Chippewa Valley in the summer months for organic locally-grown foods; turns out, there is no need to wait until the spring for what the farmers have to offer.
While outside the ground is frozen and bare inside the L.E. Philips Senior Center there is a taste of spring waiting; fresh veggies, meats and cheese line the tables.
“I came here once before and haven't actually realized that it's happening in the winter,” said Linda Coffield of Eau Claire, who visited the Winter Market for the first time this winter.
The Eau Claire Winter Farmers Market has brought fresh feel to the Chippewa Valley for nearly a decade.
“We have been at the L.E. Philips Center going on 5th year now; each year and each market, it really gets better and better,” said Winter Market Manager Chris Kees Winkler.
With about 12-15 venders at the location on average, the winter farmers market is an extension of the summer farmers market that takes place downtown Eau Claire as well.
Winkler says even though the tables look a little different in the winter months, customers can still find meats, cheese, produce and bakery at the winter farmer's market,which has been growing more popular.
“We believe in eating local and eating in season,” said Bev Willger.
Bev and Joe Willger have been visiting the summer farmers market for almost 20 years.
"We just wanted to be able to continue to get those special foods in the winter," said Bev Willger.
Coming from Ladysmith area, this is the couple's second year visiting the winter market.
“You can get fresh produce even right now in February,” said Joe Willger.
And farmers say if you have the product, why not sell it?
“Several of us venders have a year-long business; since the summer market goes until October it gives us a venue to still supply our customers during the winter,” said Deanna Klindworth with Lambalot Acres Meat Farm.
Being inside, shielded from the element, customers say the market is a great place to feed the soul too; get to know the farmers, their product and the community.
“It's just a nice way to wake up on a Saturday morning,” added Coffield.
The winter farmers market runs from November to April on every second Saturday of the month. The next one will be taking place on February 8th.
More information on the market’s dates and times visit the links on the side of the page.