By Richard Calkins

With short days and frigid temperatures, “cabin fever” becomes a common phenomenon this time of year. Not only do we spend most of our time indoors, we rarely have an opportunity to stop and chat with friends and neighbors, catching up on what’s going on. Fortunately, the newly-established Johnson County Winter Farmers Market provides a warm and welcoming venue for doing just that. It’s available from 9 am to noon every Saturday between now and the end of April.

In addition to fresh local produce, pasture-raised beef and pork, jams, jellies and local honey, farm-fresh eggs, breads, pastries, and other baked goods, and a variety of locally-produced crafts, the Farmer’s Market Café features hot coffee, hot chocolate, and tea (for a small donation), and comfortable seating, where you can “sit a spell” and chat with folks you may not have seen since the leaves started to fall.

Located in the lower level of the appropriately-named Johnson County Welcome Center on Route 421, the Farmers Market also features local musicians, whose melodious renderings add significantly to the ambience. Johnson County’s own Maggie Aldridge, for example, is booked for the first Saturday of each month.

But wait – there’s more! Market Manager Anna Timmerman, in collaboration with Johnson County Extension Office’s Sarah Ransom, will be providing a special table for kids’ activities each week. This coming Saturday, for example, will feature no-bake cookies. And, most Saturdays, one of our vendors will be doing a cooking demonstration, with free samples. Recent demos have included kale chips, breakfast sausages, and stir-fried bok choi. This coming Saturday’s demonstration will be bratwurst by Old Beech Farms.
So make sure that cabin fever doesn’t get YOU down: call up some friends and neighbors and invite them to join you at the Farmers Market Café this Saturday morning. In fact, why not make it a standing date — “See you Saturday around ten at the Farmers Market Café”.