Thiensville farmers market touches the senses

Shoppers pick from the zinnias and other plants offered by Ruth Wood for Pigeon Creek Nursery of Jackson during the Thiensville Village Market on Tuesday.
Published on: 6/12/2013

Thiensville — Through the warm summer air of Thiensville Village Park on Tuesday morning, the sounds and smells of dozens of different vendors mingled with the strum of guitar and the laughter of children.

It all heralded the opening of Thiensville's Village Market, a farmers market which for years has been hosted at the Walgreens at Main Street and Freistadt Road.

More than 250 patrons had made their way through the market by 11 a.m., market volunteers reported.

"They're coming in droves," said Thiensville Business Association President Jesse Daily, grinning behind the bright green uniform and cashier's smock of the volunteers.

So far 41 total vendors have signed up. The market is open every Tuesday through Oct. 29, from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Live musicians will lend to the atmosphere. This week, 15-year-old singer/songwriter Signe Wright serenaded the crowd with her blend of pop, folk, and country styles.

Available wares ranged widely — fresh meat, flowers, herbal salves, baked goods, Thai iced tea, and even dog chews made of elk antlers and powdered elk horn pills touted as a healing agent for joints.

Anchoring the center of the market was the gregarious Jim Lightner, the "Curd Nurd." Since last fall he has been selling fresh cheese curds from Oconto Falls — about 40 minutes north of Green Bay — out of the back of a van, selling wholesale to area gas stations and setting up shop in parking lots to offer a "drive-thru" curd service.

"I've been eating fresh curds every day of my life," said Lightner. "You can't get that down here."

Lightner, a Grafton resident, receives fresh curds each morning at 9:30, and is on the road by 10. The Curd Nurd's mascot, Squeaky, represents the coveted squeak which accompanies only the freshest curds.

Business has been booming, he said, for one simple reason.

"It's bringing curds to the people."