Tag Archive | Cheese curds

Barn Quilt and Dairy Farm Tour

Barn Quilt Tour Video-90 minutes

Green County Cheese Days in Monroe is back again, and this year I planned on taking the Barn Quilt and DeVoe Dairy Farm Tour. I had not done this before and I was excited! Our guides are Kris Winkler and Lynn Lokken. I went alone since Al couldn’t come with me on Saturday.  The tour was sold out with over 60 people filling the bus!


We headed out at 11 AM, Kris and Lynn gave a running commentary during the tour. We saw a great many barn quilts.  To do your own tour, you can get the map from the Green County Visitor and Activity Guide. There is a pull-out map in the middle of the publication. You can also see a Google map of the barn quilt locations from the website, Green County Barn Quilts.  We saw as many as we could in 2 1/2 hours.  Here is a small sample of the quilts we saw.

Kris and Lynn also pointed out several businesses and cheese-making places along the route.  The first was Rackow’s Family Sausage with the distinctive pink silo!

This quilt was mentioned but we didn’t see it on the tour.  This one was modeled after a scuba diving flag, a sport we participated in together for many years. It’s called, “Live and Let Dive”, #141 on the map.

The Maple Leaf Cheese factory in Monroe. They are the source of the famous fried cheese curds sold at Cheese Days by the Monroe Optimist Club.

Al and I saw this place in October (not on the tour), the Maple Leaf Cheese Store in Juda where we enjoyed a treat!

On the tour, we also got a sneak preview of a brand-new goat and sheep dairy farm that is still in development. It’s called Ms. J and Co.  This farm will be able to provide sheep and goat milk on a larger scale to cheese producers in Wisconsin. They are predicted to come online in 2020. It’s possible we may get a tour here at Cheese Days in two years!

And now, our visit to the DeVoe Dairy Farm for our tour!

Our first part of the tour was in the milking parlor. Yvonne DeVoe does all the milking on the farm and you can tell she loves her cows! ❤  The “head cow” is Adele, she mooed a few times for us too 🙂

Next, our group moved over to the farmyard, where we saw chickens, goats, pigs, donkey, and other animals. Oldest daughter Katlyn took over from here.

She also showed us a couple of newborn calves. She carried them in and out of the barn like they were light. Really, they might be at least 60 pounds!

Then, we adjourned to enjoy some ice-cold milk, cheese, and ice cream!

Our hosts Lynn and Kris serving snacks to all the tour participants.

I even said “Hi” to Alice in Dairyland 2018, Kaitlyn Riley!  A nice young lady doing a great job representing Wisconsin. After the tour, she participated in the cow milking contest.

After about 15 minutes, it was time to head to Monroe, Kaitlyn had some milking to do soon!  We saw a few more barn quilts on the way back. Be sure to watch the video for the full, unabridged tour.

Thanks, Kris and Lynn for a great tour, I hope to see you in 2020 during Cheese Days!


2nd Annual Wisconsin Cheese Curdfest


Curdfest sign

Curdfest took place the same day as Ride the Drive and on our way back home and it looked like a lot of fun. It took place at the Madison Mallard’s baseball team stadium. Cheese is big business in Wisconsin and cheese curds are a favorite snack. This festival serves cheese curds from MANY businesses and you have the chance to vote for your favorite!

Cheese Curd ballot

There was quite a crowd when we arrived, we realized it would be the last time inside these gates until our first game next summer. We got in line at the Curd Girl food cart. This was the only cart we stopped at and cash was low. We made a good choice though, they were delicious!

Curdfest Curd Girlfood cart

Fried Cheese Curds at Curdfest

There was so much more to see, a petting zoo for the kids drew a crowd. The animals were so cute!

Petting Zoo Collage


We also had music by the Hometown Sweethearts as a great background to all the fun.

Hometown Sweethearts band at Curdfest


For a great time and great curds, come to Curdfest!

Curdfest at Madison Mallards in Madison

Return to Algoma-Lighthouse Photos and More


Our last visit to Algoma was almost a year ago, we were back again for a visit before heading to the Green Bay Packers game that evening.  We have fallen in love with this Harbor Town and wanted to explore it more.  Also, to retake pictures of the lighthouse since they didn’t turn out last year.  We also visited several businesses we didn’t see last year.

A couple of the businesses were actually over the  border in Door County. Since we love Door County too, it was good to cross over. Our first stop was Renard’s Cheese where Al bought some cheese curds, a popular snack in Wisconsin.

Door County signRenard's Cheese


In the adjoining building is where they make the cheese.  They were happy to take our picture by a rack filled with cheese wheels.

Renards Cheese

We then went up the road a little further to Weinke’s Market to look around and get some of their famous cherry pie filling. They are located 6 miles north of downtown Algoma.


They had freshly made Kolaches, a fav from Al’s Czech heritage, yum!


Weinke's Market Cherry Pie Filling

After that we headed back to the south side of Algoma  to take a look at The Flying Pig . What a delightful place with art for sale and beautiful gardens outside.  Also a cafe. For sale were beautiful souvenir stoneware mugs by Sunset Hill Stoneware for $20.  I got one 🙂 See a video here to learn more. The red pig gracing the front of the building is named “Betty”.

The Flying Pig in Algoma,WisconsinFlying Pig Betty

Steampunk LampThe Flying Pig cafe

Flying Pig stoneware mug

Enjoy the garden, a winding path goes around a pond edged by shacks constructed in Door County.

Shack at The Flying Pig in Algoma WI

Relaxing by the pond. we had a good time here.

Flying Pig pond and me

Time for lunch! This time we ate at the Stadium Diner.  What delicious food friendly atmosphere here.  Owner Terry Hannah personally greeted us and welcomed  us to Algoma.  Strangers feel like friends here and aren’t strangers for long! Our burgers were delicious and we split Brownie a la mode. Yum! We’ll be back next time we visit.

Stadium Diner


If you come here, don’t forget to get some wine to enjoy lakeside at Von Stiehl Winery. They also offer tours and tastings.

Von Stiehl Winery in Algoma, WI

Finally about 2:00 PM, it was time to take lighthouse pictures. Also got some action in the Marina, it was a beautiful day with few waves. The true color  is right.

Algoma Lighthouse and MarinaAlgoma lighthouse

Algoma has much to offer, we look forward to coming back.

Algoma Lakeshore

Locally Grown at the Dane County Farmers Market

Wisconsin State Capitol

Wisconsin State Capitol

Nearly every Saturday, also Wednesdays in the summer

Wisconsin is becoming well known for it huge Farmers Market on Saturdays from April until November. After that it moves inside for the winter.  The variety is incredible in all seasons.  The rules for members is very strict, all produce must be grown by the vendors and and everything else must be made by them.  Enjoy some scenes from the market.   If you come, go COUNTERCLOCKWISE around the Capitol Square, an unwritten rule 🙂

One of my favorites vendors, Dale Marsden. He makes the most delicious honey and is known for his famous beehive hat. He will be happy to pose for a picture for you, do him a favor though and buy some honey 🙂

Dale Marsden labeled100_9342


Locally produced food is very popular in Madison, and there are many restaurants downtown that buy food at the market.  Here is a chef pulling a wagon to load up on local produce.   One of the flower beds around the square has been converted into a garden in recent years.

Capitol Garden  8-25-12

Capitol Garden 8-25-12

8-25-12 102100_6242



Morel Mushrooms 4-21-12

Morel Mushrooms

In the fall, it’s really pretty. I just showed you spring and summer. On 10-8-11 we went to the capitol Observation deck and got great views of the market from the below. Also a great view of Lake Mendota around fall color peak time.

10-8 441Lake mendota

10-8 093Pumpkins and Gourds

Another favorite vendor is Stella’s Bakery. They make the best spicy cheese bread around. In fact, they are able to bake it right there and sell it hot. Yum!


That about wraps it up. If you get to come to the market, come hungry!