So much of what we eat often comes from afar, so it’s easy to forget just how good a potato freshly pulled from the ground tastes.
Sisters Sharon Kremsreiter and Sandy Herum of Herman’s Clover Valley Farms can trace their farming roots back to 1914 when their grandfather bought land in Harshaw and began growing potatoes a few years later. His legacy lives on with the family farm in the form of 14 varieties of potatoes they grow, as well as other products, like beans, carrots, onions, and herbs.
Herman’s Clover Valley Farms is returning to the Minocqua Farmers Market, bringing with them, of course, their best sellers: German butterballs (a yellow potato) and purple fingerlings, popular for its antioxidants.
The farmers market is one of the few ways to meet the people who grow our food and craft artisan products. Plump blueberries and juicy tomatoes, scratch-made cookies, as well as jams, teas, birdhouses, and blooms are just a few of the offerings from the 20-plus vendors that can typically be found here each week.
For Sharon and Mike Pleasant, owners of Pleasant Best Sauces, being at the farmers market is an opportunity to share their creative and culinary passion: sauces. “The Messy Stuff,” a tangy barbecue sauce, started the whole operation. His thinking turned into a full-scale business, and he even resurrected family recipes, like his mother’s “Bayled Hay”, a sweet relish she made, originally, to use up the abundance of cabbage from her garden.
Their Abundant Garden Marinara Sauce uses zucchinis from one of the other market vendors, known locally as Big Jum.
“The nice thing is the fact that it’s so diverse,” Sharon Pleasant says of the farmers market. “No matter what you need, you can find it there.”
Kremsreiter and Herum say they enjoy getting to meet the people who come through the market. The sisters have their regulars who come by for farm-fresh goods, and they like to share recipes with customers.
When you go, Kremsreiter recommends checking out some of her favorites, including the aptly named vendor The Cookie Lady, as well as Valentine Gardens & Greenhouses, which produces beautiful mums.
The market operates from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Fridays from May 14 to October 8 at the Let’s Minocqua Visitors Bureau + Chamber of Commerce building located just across the bridge (8216 Hwy 51 S.) from downtown Minocqua.