By Jenny Falk

MADISON, Wis.–The outdoor farmers markets won’t be open for another month. In the meantime, farmers at the winter market are still selling at the Madison Senior Center.

The farmers market is a long-standing tradition in Madison. A tradition that continues even through the winter at the Monona Terrace, and at the Madison Senior Center.

“I’m a year round farmers market junkie,” said market regular Jim Draeger. “I’m either out of town or I’m dead if I’m not here.”

But, as popular as the farmers market is, success all depends on the season.

Potato farmer John Aue said it was a good year for his crop.

John sells potatoes at the market beginning in September, but because they harvest late, they can run in to freezes.

“That didn’t happen this past fall. Temperatures were mild all the way through. So there’s global warming for you. Plus side,” Aue said.

He expects to have potatoes at the farmers market through June.

Some farmers have used the winter season to their advantage, like spinach grower Bill Warner.

Bill grows winter spinach, which gets sweeter the more it freezes.

“I never thought you could put spinach and good together, but you actually can with winter spinach,” Warner said.

But for many farmers, the market is much more than just a way to make money.

“This plus side—being able to actually know the people your labor is feeding is just priceless,” Aue said.

The last chance to attend the indoor winter farmers market is April 11th. Just head over to the Madison Senior Center Saturdays between 8 and noon.

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