Appleton farmers markets offer opportunity to enjoy local produce

As this late summer finally begins to show itself in the Fox Cities, a distinctly summer activity is beginning to infiltrate Saturday mornings—and this year, Wednesday evenings, too.
The Downtown Farm Market has been an iconic weekend activity for the 12 years it has been running in Appleton. Each Saturday, more than 150 vendors and hundreds of visitors line College Avenue between the hours of 8:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. to enjoy the weather and locally produced products. It is not uncommon for the street to be bursting with tasty scents, flowing music, and a liveliness that is sure to give first-time shoppers a reason to return again and again.


To celebrate the long-awaited summer season (and to pick up a few treats for myself), I dropped by the new Midweek Market in Appleton, held every Wednesday afternoon from 3:30 to 7:30 p.m. in the area right behind the City Center Plaza in downtown Appleton. A smaller counterpart to the Saturday farm market, the Midweek Market offers locally grown and made products in one convenient place. Shoppers can browse the stands for produce, crafts, food and more.

“The market has given the opportunity to so many to sell their products, to express their talents, and to showcase their abilities,” says Djuanna Hugdahl, farm market director. “Visitors can expect not only a diverse product line, but also a variety of entertainment options; from bluegrass to belly dancing, to Cajun, Latin American, and Egyptian cuisine and more.”

Red Belly

One booth at the market is Soap Dance, an Appleton-based line of soaps and other body care products founded by Patti Ehaney.

“My philosophy is to provide the highest-quality body care products available anywhere,” says Ehaney.

Soap Dance sets up shop at a variety of different markets in the area, and also has a convenient online shop where buyers can read about each product (including ingredients) and purchase from the comfort of their own homes. Branded as “Pure ‘n Natural,” these soaps are handmade and are packaged using unique labels. Only the best ingredients are used, and Soap Dance products are chemical- and additive-free. Also available are lip balms, lotions, creams and mists.


Riverview Gardens is another market vendor regular. Volunteers offered up fresh produce and new organic breads. Apart from their booth at the market, the organization works to combat job displacement and loss in the area by offering training to the homeless or unemployed of the Fox Valley. “The farm market is a great way to talk to hundreds of people every week about our mission,” says Hava Blair.

Finally, I stopped by Ann’s Gluten Free Bakery, which offers fresh gluten-free baked goods every week. Owner Ann Mongin also is a baker at the Green Tomato Artisan Market & Kitchen, which aims to assist producers of local edible items get their products out to Fox Valley consumers. You can find Mongin’s products at a variety of different markets in the area.


Revisiting the Farm Market made for an eye-opening experience. The Farm Market’s role is two-fold. On one hand, it is a destination for Fox Cities residents to buy only the highest-quality produce, crafts and other specialties that represent the widely talented and passionate individuals of our community. But the farm market isn’t just a place to shop; it represents a greater effort by individuals and organizations to enhance a community they so greatly cherish. Each vendor, shopper and organizer is doing a service that you can’t put a price tag on: bringing together a community.

—By Mia Sato

This entry was posted in General. Bookmark this post.

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.