House of Wis. Cheese: Local foods and local folks

Thanksgiving dinner entirely from food produced within 50 miles of your home. Can it be done? That’s the challenge issued by the vendors at the Best of Wisconsin Indoor Farmers’ Market of McFarland.

Dave Lundeen, Lundeen Farms of Columbus, explains, “We were looking around the room the other day and it occurred to us that these vendors sell everything needed to produce a fine Thanksgiving dinner-everything except the turkey. I’m sold out of those this year already, but I have some mighty fine nine pound chickens.” Lundeen raises free-range chickens and turkeys, natural fed pork, brown eggs and fresh vegetables.

The Best of Wisconsin Indoor Farmers’ Market of McFarland takes place every Saturday morning from 9 am to 2 pm in the McFarland Municipal Building, 5915 Milwaukee Street, through December 17th. A selection of vendors from the summer outdoor markets in McFarland, Oregon, and Stoughton gather to continue bringing fresh seasonal foods and handcrafted and gift items to market.

“This is the eleventh year for the indoor market,” says Dave Woodcock of Wildlife Preserves of Stoughton, who is the market manager. “We strive to provide relaxed shopping with great variety in an intimate setting. This challenge reinforces that buying local is truly possible.” Woodcock and his partner Laurie Porter produce and bring over 80 varieties of jams, jellies, marmalades, preserves, and butters such as apple and pumpkin. They also provide red, baby, and black popcorn and shiitake mushrooms.

The list of vegetables available from Lundeen, Earl Krueger of EIO Farms in Sun Prairie as well as by Mai Chang of Madison is impressive: brussel sprouts, squash-regular, yellow, and butternut, onions, sugar pie pumpkin, purple cauliflower, ground cherries, russet and finger potatoes, bok choy, lettuce, spinach, carrots, yellow and green onions, super-hot chili peppers, lemon grass, garlic, tomatoes, beets, and broccoli. Krueger declares, “Our cranberries and wild rice may not adhere to the distance rule, but they are gathered by family members up north. That certainly fits the spirit of the challenge.”

Two bakers bring every kind of baked good to the market: white, wheat, and cinnamon bread, caramel apple pie, apple dumplings and cinnamon buns are presented by Roy and Mary Kauper of Breezy Hill Bakery in Edgerton while cookies, pumpkin bars, snack mix, monkey bread, pretzel bread chips, cashew brittle and mini pies in many flavors are brought by Pat and Dena Nimmow of Golden Days Company Bakery in Sun Prairie.

Also out of Sun Prairie is Ed Jaeckel’s collection of honey: regular, creamed, buttered and candied in all sorts of sizes, along with sorghum and maple syrup. Lisa Jess has Ida Red and JoBurn apples from Jess’ Apples of Orfordville, and Jeff Price from House of Wisconsin Cheese in Madison presents cheese and cheese curds from Cedar Grove Cheese in Plain and Silver Lewis Cheese of Monticello, among other cheesemakers throughout the state.

Coffee roasted in Lake Mills by Mike and Nancy Brill of Glory Beans coffee is available in ground and whole bean sizes and gift assortments, and of course hand-crafted holiday kitchen hand towels and dish cloths created by Joyce and Clark Huston of Madison complete the festive look in the kitchen while putting together this totally local feast.

Concludes Lundeen, “We’re hoping people take the challenge, stop by, and let us put good local stuff on their tables this year. We’d love to hear their stories about how buying truly local this year has worked for them. They can also share their stories on our Facebook page.”

That page is located at:, and more information about the market can be found at: