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It's farmers market season again in Brookfield, with the operation continuing to add new and varied vendors.
The Brookfield Farmers Market begins its 2012 season on Saturday at 8 a.m. in the parking lot of the Brookfield Village Hall, 8820 Brookfield Ave. The market, which marks its fifth anniversary, will be held every Saturday from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. through October.
"I think on the whole the emphasis has been about not only being a natural market, but a community gathering place," said Patricia Weber, the market manager. "It brings in people who know the quality, but who also like the ambiance."
This year the market will play host to more than 20 vendors and will include new offerings such as meat and cheese from Nickels Distribution, produce from Jeffrey Farms and pickled specialties from That Pickle Guy, as well as returning favorites like Chuck "Eggman" Barman from Swingbelly's, produce from Hardin Farms' orchards and honey from Dennanne Farms.
In addition to the fresh produce, which is the centerpiece of the market, other products, such as fresh cut flowers and plants, natural granola, brownies and baked desserts, sweets, bread, salsas, sauces, soups, coffee, natural soaps and dog treats will be for sale.
The market has grown through the years, from drawing 200 to 300 people each Saturday to bringing in more than 850 on some weeks last year.
"We hope to grow and bring to the attention of people going to the market what's out there," said Weber. "People always look forward to it, because they love the ambiance and the mix of people. And I love the fact that we're drawing in an educational component and drawing in the community."
The Brookfield Public Library, which will be at the market weekly, on Saturday will be signing up people for their summer reading program, while Route 66 Aquaponics will be demonstrating how to grow organic herbs indoors. There will also be live music, supplied by Brookfield resident Hollywood Slim.